Life at the end of the road

November 12, 2018

Back in the groove :-)

Gosh, it’s 6:45 and that’s me just up, almost feeling ‘normal’ again after the clock moving nonsense. Truth be known, I could have happily stayed in bed until daylight but ‘one more sleep’ and I’ll be back at work after my month off and I’ve far too much to do to be lying in bed Smile First task being Lachie’s tracked barrow which has taken a back seat of late on account of the ‘Bug’ mainly but also cos the parts have only just arrived.

Sunday

Well, it was a lovely day yesterday for sure and as has become the custom of late, I have been ‘taking it easy’ on the Sabbath, well easy for me that is. So, after dropping the ‘Bug’ off it’s stands and moving it out the way,

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to reveal the scene of carnage that was left behind, I went indoors to make breakfast for darling wife, another recent task on the Sunday timetable I’ve been cultivating.

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The 45 year old VW camper started a treat and ran like a clock, I was well chuffed Smile

After the ‘heart attack on a plate’ of home grown sausages eggs and Co op British bacon and shrooms had settled down we went to ‘walk it off’ with the dugs.

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Taking the track to Torran and resting at Jessie Nicolson’s memorial bench on the way, methinks a discreet chainsaw is called for on a couple of birch trees to improve the view Smile

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With a few calories burnt off and after yet another cup of tea we went out for a Sunday drive, which is something I’ve yet to re- embrace in my preparations for ‘taking it easy’ and preparing for retirement Smile

We are sailing

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The Wee Bug ran like a dream up and down Calum’s road which is as hardy a test for a campervan as anything I know, with exception of ‘The Bealach’ to Applecross https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bealach_na_B%C3%A0 . I gotta say, we thoroughly enjoyed our little ‘sail’ cos that’s what driving one of these is like, it’s soft suspension making it comfortable but very ‘roly poly’. I can see why people fall in love with these things and the ‘air cooled donkey’ in the boot.

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That done and I turned my efforts onto another Sunday task, washing the car, or fleet as in my case Smile

Engine Management Lights

Next wee job was to check out the engine management warning light that had appeared on Wifey’s Subaru last week on the way to Girvan.

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This would cost you at least £40 in a garage but a few years ago I bought an OBD II code reader off Amazon for less than a tenner and it’s saved me hunners. Having said that, it does ‘have its moments’ and yesterday was one such day. The Chinese piece of carp brought up the fault and it’s code P0420 https://exhaustsystemsguide.com/p0420-code/ in what may as well have been Mandarin Smile 

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Catalytic System Efficiency Below Threshold Bank 1

I dunno why it does this but every now and then it reads ‘backwards’ well almost but you ‘get the gist’ and it was only a tenner. Anyway, I cleared the code and ignored it, the exhaust is new, the car averaged just over 40MPG on the recent trip to Girvan and back so there is sweet ‘foxtrot alpha’ wrong with the catalytic converter. Which after all is just an American con to try and keep foreign cars out of their markets. The ‘cat’ cleans up dirty exhausts rather than encouraging manufactures to develop ‘lean burn’ technology. An engine fitted with a cat will always produce lower CO readings at the exhaust so it penalizes smaller engines which produce slightly higher readings but much less of them. Hence the cat is much more suited to larger thirsty V8’s that the American’s love. They’re expensive to make being full of precious metals, sap energy from the engine and cost a fortune to replace.

Back to the dumper

After a light lunch of soup Callum and his dug arrived with the roofing for the car/boat shelter.

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The dug was a great help unloading the roofing sheets Smile

Then, with a nice tidy shed to work in I set about the unenvious task of replacing the spool valve micro switches on the HIT500 tracked dumper.

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A task which has more in common with watch making then engineering. These tiny switches being very awkward to get at are held in position with small Allen screws and a steel backing plate.

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The plate is almost impossible to hold in place so I stuck it with silicon whilst I fitted the first screw using the Allen key through the holes in the outer switch. So, it’s not possible to fit the inner switch without removing the out one first and it’s not possible to fit the inner switch using slotted screw or bolts. Anyway, it’s about time I fed the pigs and got back on with it.

October 29, 2018

Seven more cube :-)

Only 6:00PM, but black as pitch outside and me in for the night. No work in the shed, no wine, just a quiet night in with the dugs and early to bed. Though I guess the ‘early’ is debatable with all this messing around with clocks and the quiet bit isn’t exactly relaxing cos I had the heating on for an hour and it upsets Leah!!!

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First off she went in her air raid shelter, a covered dog cage hidden amongst some furniture in a bedroom, someone suggested that she needs a safe place to call her own. That was fine until I went for a shower whereupon she followed me and curled up in a corner of the bathroom shivering. It can’t be the heat she dislikes cos we do not heat any rooms other than the bathroom and living area and the bathroom floor really is warm.

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Then it was a spot of whinging and shaking under the table whilst I was on me laptop before sulking in a corner of the room and finally settling down under the sink!!

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I finally gave in and switched it off at 18:30, sure it’s not cold anyway, 22 inside and 4 out but it would be nice to use it once in a while without the dug getting all neurotic Smile

The BIG pour

Well, it really was the perfect day for concreting at the foot of the slip, I could see that right from the moment dawn broke.

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The Royal stag was out there when I fed the animals at 7:00 but light wasn’t that great for pictures and he was moving amongst the trees.

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However, the Storr, Old Man of Storr and Brothers Point kept still enough for a couple of shots whilst I had my bacon sandwich for breakfast.

Then it was off to Tarbert for a walk with the dugs to collect the dumper,

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I just love the swirls of ancient volcanic rock along this section of Calum’s road, often wet and south facing so they grow no moss they look truly beautiful in the sun.

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Rainey’s Wall built to keep the tenants on the most unfertile ground and save the rest for game.

On the way back Molly hitched a lift and Leah brought up the rear. I never noticed this morning but that’s her just found my ‘sports exhaust’ which must have fallen off the dumper (again) Smile

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With the dumper down at the slip I dumped and spread its load and started working on the turning area whilst waiting for Lachie and Ross who I’d rebooked on the 11:25. Much to my surprise (and delight) they caught the 10:25.

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Sure it was an hour too early for the tide but it gave us chance to have a coffee and get set up. Plan being to fill the dumper bucket on the road, reverse down, turn in my turning spot then dump as directed. Ross operated the batcher, Lachie did all the hard work and I wet my pants driving the dumper Smile

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The pigs came along to keep an eye on things and assist with ‘car marshalling’.

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The ‘swivel tip’ made life easier but there were still one or two hairy moments turning the dumper with a full bucket.

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Ross had done a nice stiff 50 Newton mix with fibre glass strands in it and we added reinforcing mesh at the bottom for good measure.

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All the while the two professionals poking and then tamping the mix into every crevice.

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The last couple of loads went down bucket first which was easier  and by 14:30 we were done, the boys having laid some 7 cubic meters of concrete in the time it takes me to mix a few barrow loads in the Belle Smile That would be some 15 tons lighter in Eyre Plant’s Scania as Ross headed for the 15:30 ferry after washing his batcher and my dumper Smile

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All I need now is my Land Rover back to use the slip Smile Methinks I’ll be fitting a tow ball to the blade of Calum meanwhile Smile

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