Life at the end of the road

February 5, 2020

Back at the coalface :-)

4:00am now and I’d much rather I was tucked up in bed than plonking away on here but it’s better than ‘working out’ Smile That’s what the rest of the ‘team’ will be doing shortly Smile I kid you not 50% of Hallaig’s crew will be charging around the car deck with dumbbells and skipping ropes shortly, or at least by the time I’ve finished typing this. The last thing that I heard as I departed ship last night was “see you down here at 6:00am”!!!!! Aye right Smile Methinks Sandy and Finlay been watching too much of ‘SAS who cares who wins’   Smile Such is the ‘joy of youth’, me, I’ve got a good excuse for being up at ‘stupid o clock’, I can’t sleep! or at least I can’t stay in bed.

Not that I had that problem last night, my fist day back on shift ended with me curled up in bed whilst most people were watching the early evening soaps. It had been a busier day than usual. Sure, the first day back is always a mad rush trying to get all the stuff done that I’ve had a fortnight to finish but not actually done so yet.


The trailer project being the first one, but that was after my neighbour banged on the door before daylight asking if I could look at their wind turbine. The already busy schedule just got a whole lot busier!

Proven wind turbine springs

After Monday night’s storm the neighbour had awoken to a ‘clicking’ from the wind turbine that had been working overtime through the night. I call it a Proven WT2500 cos that’s what it was called when I installed it 14 years ago. Since then the company has passed through several hands and names whilst still retaining the core workforce. SD Wind Energy being the latest incarnation , before that it was Kingspan Environmental. The names may have changed but the turbines, at least the smaller ones have changed little. They are still the rugged well built piece of kit they were twenty years ago and their service and parts supply has improved no end since the Proven days.

Lowering the neighbour’s turbine had most certainly not been on the ‘to do list’ but it was Tuesday and had we not done it, it would have been a fortnight at least before it even got looked at. So, with it still being dark and breezy I got on with the trailer project until daylight and the wind abated. Unusually the forecast was right, by 9:00am the remnants of the previous day’s gale had passed us by and I ‘tracked’ Calum the Kubota round to ‘Number 3’ my ‘happy wee home’ of 25 years.

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It was a lot easier than when I took the turbine there in 2005 Smile

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My good friend Willie Eyre ‘back in the day’ God rest his soul Smile it’s hard to think of Willie without smiling.

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Just as promised the wind ‘fell away’ to nothing revealing the broken spring and reluctantly I loaded up the Mule. I say reluctantly cos it’s not mine and the last thing I did on Monday was wash and clean it Smile

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It’s a lovely spot up there overlooking the sea and ruins of the houses in the right hand photo that was taken circa 1885.

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My ‘apprentice’ soon had it lowered and I just happened to have a spare set of springs in my shed, by 11:00am the turbine was back up and I had time to tidy up before heading for the 12:15 ferry. The ‘to do’ list unfinished Sad smile

I had planned to do some more work on one of the Brochel generators, I say one cos I’ve four to choose from and there’s generally only one working Smile

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Still, at least the SDMO 6kW was working when I left it on Monday Smile


Wee dug and I even found time for a walk on the beach by the castle that was once ‘seat’ of the Raasay Macleods.

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That’ll be the house not the castle Smile

Sunshine on Sconser

So, I got myself to Portree and filled up with essential breakfast kit. The two ‘young fellas’ will be needing a good breakfast after their 6:00am workout Smile

The avocado, egg, and chorizo on toast should do the trick after they’ve done that lot hey.

After trawling around the Co-op I arrived back on Hallaig at 15:00 in time to let my ‘back to back’ away for a well earned rest. The first thing I noticed was SUNSHINE!!!

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Sconser doesn’t ‘do’ sunshine in the winter, spring must be here Smile OK, it wasn’t actually on the village yet but it was bathing Hallaig at the pier so it cannot be far away.

January 30, 2016

The magic ‘Ton’ :-)

One thing about Gertrude and her ‘passing wind’ was that she certainly filled our turnip with energy. After yet another virtually silent night behind thick walls a concrete floor and triple glazing I awoke to the full fury of a westerly gale, at least I think it was westerly it’s well dark when I surface in the mornings. Apart from the sudden drop in temperature and the associated conversion of rain to hail, it was much like yesterday. The house may be super insulated but it was definitely cooler inside than normal. A quick look at the outside temperature sensor on the roof mounted solar hot water tubes indicated just 2 degrees outside. Hardly freezing but a good bit cooler than the previous days 6 or 7 degrees. We only manually switch the heating on for a couple of hours in the evening, partly because we’re ‘off grid’ and economy of electricity usage is now second nature, but mainly cos I can’t work the controller Smile

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Must get around to reading the manual one of these days Smile Anyway between all the wind, water and even sunshine Gertrude gave us 100kWh of energy yesterday and 101kWh today, if only we were getting paid for it all. Bizarrely you can actually claim the ‘Feed in Tariff’ even if you are ‘off grid’ like us but that means getting someone who is ‘MCS registered’ to do the installation with new gear. me I like to do stuff myself and much of my gear is second hand, seconds, or not ‘MCS approved. A new turnip like ours would set you back best part of £20K with the ground works, mine was £800 plus around £400 worth of diesel to collect it from Yorkshire.

Sure I fitted the later blades and a new set of springs to it, but that was cos old ones got damaged whilst it was awaiting to be raised and was my fault. The last two days, thanks to Gertrude the thing has produced 64kWh and 62kWh so I’m ‘well chuffed’.

Just like a garage

Today’s main tasks apart from paying the Inland Revenue, helping wifey with her tax return and doing all the paperwork associated with moving pigs was to continue working on the Subaru.

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The rear offside wheel bearing having turned into a bit of an epic. Everything was seized, I had to cut the long 14mm bolts that hold the track control arms onto the hubs and use all manner of bodges and pullers to remove the complete hub carriers, drive shafts and bearings form both sides.

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Having had to cut through both of the 240mm long 14mm bolts that secure the hub carrier to the lower arms I then had to remove them with a puller made from a large socket and some threaded bar. All in all a three hour job turned into a three day one!!!

In between the frequent hail showers it was out collecting bedding for the pigs.


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Then a couple of hours spent sorting out the rear lights on my trailer ready for the trip to Munro’s tomorrow. Normally

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we’d be taking them in on a Monday but I think Henry will be hot on Gertrude’s heals then Sad smile


Methinks my son will be missing another day off school Sad smile

That was it really, most of the day was spent in the barn under the wife’s car so pretty dull really.


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Seems strange without the telehandler and caravan, I’ll really miss the former, would have liked to get another ‘Fred Flintstone’  table and chairs outside the hoose Smile

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