Life at the end of the road

January 5, 2018

It’s all over now :-)

Well that’s it, a ‘dry’ January ahead and ‘the party is over’ so to speak. Just as well really cos me liver couldn’t cope with any more drink and we’ve all had waaay too much in  the way of rich food and treats. The last side of hot smoked salmon is just about to go into a creamy pasta and we officially stopped drinking yesterday, though me thinks that’ll just be a temporary thing once my figure returns Smile Smile Gonna take more than stopping drinking to get rid of my belly right enough.

A proper rest

After all the excess and activity on the diving front I’ve been taking easy this last couple of days which really is not like me. The weather has been good with light winds and hardly any rain but I’ve been staying in my bed until after 8:00 and just pottering about outside for an hour or two before coming inside and doing a little reading or net surfing.

On Thursday I managed a couple of wee jobs outside, dumping the old scallop shells on the shore for the crabs to clean them and collecting the cleaned ones for spreading around the house.

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Trust me, in few years time it will look lovely, it’s amazing how quickly they mount up, there’s only so many ashtrays you can have so this will be a good way of using them.

Also tried out my new cordless grinder that me mum bought me for Christmas.

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The exhaust had broken on the Benford PST3000 dumper (again) so I hacked it in bits and re routed it a different way, hoping it would be less prone to breaking.

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Also replaced the fuel return pipe which was looking decidedly dodgy, just about every injector ‘leak off’ pipe has split over a few weeks so I’ve replaced those previously. This pipe is made of the same stuff and is the same age so I figured it can’t be far behind.

Apart from taking ‘wee dug’ out for a gentle walk and making a beef curry I didn’t do a lot else as my ‘right hand man’ boat driver, dive partner and son wasn’t feeling great.


Even before I’d gone to bed on Thursday completely sober for the first time in ten days I’d decided to do a repeat performance today. It would be my son’s last day before going back to uni and I’d rather enjoyed Thursday, so at 8:30 I got up having had the best sleep since the full moon. I let out the hens then took ‘wee dug’ for her wee walk on a short leash. Now it’s really not uncommon to see golden or sea eagles daily pretty much anywhere on Raasay and the North End is probably better than anywhere. What is unusual though is to hear them, I cannot ever recall hearing one in all the years I’ve lived here. Well this morning (perhaps cos I had my hearing aids in) I heard a pair. They were right over head but very difficult to follow with the camera


Much less vocal than the buzzard, the golden eagle can sometimes be heard making a ‘yelping’ call. The male and female may also perform aerial displays, where the male will make mock attacks at the female and the two will cartwheel downwards uttering their call.

And that just about sums up what they were doing, which struck me as a little early for mating. Pretty impressive I’ll tell you Smile

I also solved a mystery from last night and on previous dark nights.

P1130249 We’ve been seeing a large vessel off Manish Point from the living room windows late at night. The lights suggested a vessel over 50m with an aft wheelhouse but that row down the side made it look like windows lit up. Well it headed back north this morning having spent the night in Portree, the 63,3m long fish farm vessel Vestland. Strange how we’ve never seen it in daylight before.

Topping up the thermal store

It was whilst removing my boots in the ‘Bunker’ that I heard a noise from ‘Immersion 1’ we have 5 in the store and this one is connected right into the house grid rather than dump load circuits. It’s at the top of the 1500lt store for the DHW (domestic hot water) and I switch on most mornings till the store top reaches 80 degrees C. I used to leave it on 24/7 as the store is extremely well insulated. However this was causing my inverter to loose track of the battery SOC (state of charge) over a couple of weeks. The noise sounded just like a kettle starting to boil and had me puzzled for a while, then I figured it must need the pressure topping up in the store. The Akvaterm thermal store is designed to run at 3Bar.


Trouble is, what I thought was the store pressure gauge for two years turns out to be the heat pump one!! The store does not appear to have one!! Nay problem methinks, I know my water pressure from the well above the house is 2Bar so I just topped it up with that.


We have a pump at work with a gauge on so I can take it up the final 1Bar with that and add some more corrosion inhibitor at the same time. I shouldn’t have been surprised but it was interesting to hear the noise get quieter as the pressure rose. Funnily enough the addition of the cold water didn’t alter the temperature of the store so I guess it couldn’t have been much water.


Wee dug loves the smell in there Smile so do I right enough, nothing quite like the smell of curing salamis and ham.

More dumper work

The starter switch packed up on the dumper about a month ago, mainly cos it lives outside and gets power washed regularly. So rather than spend £40 on another I got a couple of waterproof ‘button types’ from China.

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The magnetic drill proved more than a match for the 8mm steel bulkhead where I mounted it. A magnetic drill is one of those things that you don’t realize just how useful it is until you’ve had one.

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Next it was a few air cleaner mods, rather than spend £50 on a Benford air filter element I fitted a £9 Land Rover one which is actually better cos it’s longer. However, it does mean that the element sticks out of the housing making the dumper even noisier than it already is, well one of my wife’s modified plant pots sorted that Smile

Out for the winter

It would have been nice to ‘bash a few clams’ before my son went back to uni tomorrow but he’d much to do and still wasn’t feeling 100% so I went to collect the Searider from the sowf end.

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Nice big ebb round the Sgeir Chnapach, had many a productive day around there with my good mate Willy Eyre Smile


Lashed the Searider to the trailer, put all the cylinders, weight belts and fuel tanks in the Landy and tootled home.

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Snow covered Torridon mountains, the solid rock ‘North End’ and Brochel Loch from the top of Croc an Uan (Hill of the lamb)


That was it really, I flushed out the Tohatsu 90TLDI and my son did a couple of hours in the digger on the Torran track. Even when not firing on all cylinders you can do a lot of work with a Kubota 360 Smile


December 31, 2017

Hogmanay it is :-)

Filed under: daily doings — Tags: , , , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 4:44 pm

So that’s it, 2017 is drawing to a close and it’s not that long since I got used to writing 2017 on cheques and the like. No kidding, some places still take them, PITA that they are. Sadly I still have to use the things now and then cos I’m not very good with cash, keys, pens, glasses or penknives. Don’t ever give me any of the former cos I’ll loose them and I suppose I should have hearing aids to the list, I’ve only had em two weeks and already I’ve lost one Sad smile

As I mentioned previously it’s been a whole ten years on here, which means it’s a decade since and the epic Hogmanay at Torran.


Whilst the old croft house is sadly missing dearest Jessie this year,


most of the clan Nicolson are there and methinks that is where we’ll be heading tonight Smile There is gonna be an epic sesh down at the Raasay boatshed with my crewmates providing sustenance, music, craic and jollification. Sure, we are torn between the two but it’s a case of stay sober and drive 20miles in the Land Rover or get wrecked and bounce along the Torran track on the quad with the wife on the back Smile Pretty sure it’s gonna be pure kickin’ at the boatshed

it certainly was last year Smile

However, I finished work this morning and came home to do a little ‘guerrilla road works’

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on ‘Calum’s road’. These puddles have just been getting larger and larger with all the rain and snow. Sure the Council should be sorting it but there excuse is lack of money, well it took me 10 minutes with a shovel and it’s the suspension on my cars that get fecked due to their lack of maintenance.

My son too was on the roadwork’s,

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he took Calum the Kubota down the Torran track and did some ditching.


He’s pretty damn good at it too, the Dude has the patience inherited from his mother Smile

Six months in the cage Sad smile

The poor ‘wee dug’ has been confined to a cage for six months in the hope her detached ligament will repair.


As you can see, she is far from impressed Sad smile

No more work this year Smile

So that’s about it really, the last couple of days at work were a little manic, especially getting in there with the treacherous roads but our local contractor managed to keep them clear, so no disruption on that front, unlike other places on the mainland and Skye. Much as I moan about HRC, considering all the financial cuts we get a pretty good service really compared to some.

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Ben Tianavaig, Dun Caan and Dun Caan covered in cloud.


That’ll be Emby and Ali gettin’ a little carried away with a pre 2018 clear up Smile Won’t be able to find a feckin thing next year Smile

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