Life at the end of the road

November 8, 2020

Taking Calum for a walk :-)

Filed under: animals, daily doings, food, Trucks and plant — Tags: , , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 8:30 am

Not much in the way of stars this morning, black, mild and dry outside, no sign of yesterday’s spectacular star studded sky and numerous constellations many of which are only visible during the winter. Not that I know many of them but Orion and Pleiades are at least two that you only see at this time of year and both were showing off the previous evening. It was a ‘pure peach’ of a day on Saturday but before I realised just how lovely it was gonna be I spent some time on the Land Rover ‘spaghetti’.

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My goal being to get the instrument cluster and various warning lights working but as is often the case, something that seems relatively straight forward on the surface turned into an epic. Sure the gauges and their backlighting was straight forward enough but trying to get the ‘low fuel warning light’ to work sent my brain into a spin. Sure, it’s really easy, there are three wires on the sender unit in the tank, one goes to the warning light, one to the fuel gauge and one to earth. That’s what it shows in all three wiring diagrams that cover the three different looms in my Landy, so a simple task of utilising one of the 20 wires I’ve run through the chassis that is not already spoken for and then connecting it to the white and slate coloured wire that goes to the warning light. Not a chance, after much trawling of the Internet after giving up on all the wiring diagrams in the Haynes manual I discover these threads, ,

and this little PCB taped into the instrument cluster loom. This appears in no wiring diagrams or parts books and was buried in the wiring loom I had bought off eBay to replace the one lost by Tayside Land Rover. Whereas early Defenders use a simple three wire system later ones have three wires on the sender unit but the white and slate one that goes to the low fuel light does not actually go there!!! no, in fact it does not go anywhere!!! it just ends inside the loom around the bulkhead. The ‘low fuel warning light’ being controlled by this little secret module that turns on the light when the fuel gauge (green and black) wire reaches a certain resistance value that corresponds to a few litres of fuel in the tank. Sure, it’s a good idea, just wish they didn’t keep it secret Smile Luckily, it was a pure peach of a day so I gave up on the fuel light for a while and took Molly and Calum the Kubota over to Torran after giving him a good greasing, filling with fuel and loading his spare buckets into a trailer.

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I had some drains to clear and some exploration to do to find the course of a water pipe and had had enough of being stuck inside a shed on such a fine day.

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Surprisingly enough the pigs didn’t follow and after twenty minute of bouncing down the track at less than walking pace Molly abandoned me too.

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It is much further than the sign suggests Smile Only ten minutes walk right enough but a good half hour in the digger.

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Keenly watched by a golden eagle Molly and I walked back to get the buckets before I spent the afternoon fruitlessly trying to get my fuel light working. It being far too nice to go inside and consult the Internet. Something I should have done much earlier in the day, it would have saved me hours that I could have spent in the sunshine Smile

Anyway, it’s well after 8:00 now, the pigs have been fed and let out, Molly and I have done our exercises


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the ‘first breakfast’ is almost eaten and the second pot of coffee made. Time to go and attack my fuel light once more before I return inside to have ‘second breakfast’ and put my leg of lamb in the oven. No marinade today, methinks I’ll just rub some olive oil, garlic and rosemary over it then cook it ‘low and slow’. Thought it was beef when I dug it out the freezer and I’ve no mint sauce Sad smile

November 4, 2020

I got off lightly :-)

Filed under: animals, daily doings, Land Rover, shed/house, weather — Tags: , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 7:37 am

Been a while hey, well, with the whole kingdom spiralling towards another ‘lockdown’ I thought I’d go and see my Son whilst I still could. Who knows where we’ll be at Christmas and it was a good job I did. I mean, if that halfwit and the baldy Yorkshireman that’s pulling his strings think COVID is serious enough for another lockdown then it must be bad hey. With a pure carp forecast ahead the sane thing would have been to stay put but I’m not known for my sensible decisions hey. If I were sensible I’d be driving a Land Cruiser or L200 and not a fleet of Land Rovers. Still, I suppose there is some logic in having a Defender, Disco and Range Rover, at some point, at least one of them will work Smile

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Before leaving on Friday I spent Thursday inside the Land Rover fitting some trim and carpet before installing new seat belts and removing all the seat brackets for cleaning up and painting. One of those jobs that takes hours and leaves not much to show for it.

A long way for a takeaway Smile

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Friday looked like ‘the calm before the storm’ when I departed Sonas I caught a glimpse of the ‘royal’ stag before taking ‘wee dug’ for a final wander on the way to the ferry. She would be staying with my wife and my neighbour would be house and pig sitting. The pigs I wanted to be fat, the dug I didn’t Smile Smile

The next few days I spent with my son and MiL in a rather wet and windy Girvan and Edinburgh living off Indian takeaways and out of Chinese restaurants. This was great at the time but left me longing for a good salad. All the time checking the Raasay Facecloth page and weather reports from back home. The ferry was off and trees were down closing the road to the north end. Sure it was only a small tree and was soon cleared but the alternative route had already been closed for a week due to a rockfall or something.

Rather than risk returning on a stormy Sunday I checked into a hotel in Fort William. The Travelodge there was only £25.99 for the night and easily bookable online. The last thing I wanted was to arrive on Skye in the dark to find the ferry off and try to find an extortionally priced room at short notice. I’ve stayed in a few Travelodge hotels recently and for an overnight stay they do exactly what you need, provide a clean room, comfy bed, hot shower and no frills, my days of sleeping in the car are done Smile

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It was a very different Raasay that greeted me on Monday morning, a more pronounced brown hue replacing the golden one I’d left behind three days earlier.

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Just as I’d departed Raasay seeing a 12 pointed stag, an 8 pointed one greeted me at Glame, the Torran aspens however had shed all their golden foliage during the weekend storm.

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The lone holly near my house being thrown into sharp relief against the withering birch leaves.

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Despite the 77MPH winds recorded by George Rankine at Eyre on Saturday and the 64MPH on Sunday, damage at Sonas was light. A basket full of clothes pegs strewn about the drive, a small 12V solar pane off the shed roof, my tractor wheel blown over and bins displaced.

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That was it really, Molly found a bone and we were both glad to be home Smile

Going backwards Sad smile

Despite being home for 11:30 on Monday morning I did very little bar tidy up stuff displaced by the storm and tidy up around the croft. Tuesday saw me attack the ‘Old Girl’ with a new vigour, having left her with some unresolved issues. The heater motor had failed on the day I’d left, the ignition light had failed as had several more dashboard lights which I’d left in working order Sad smile

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Still, I managed to get most of them back on and the rear lights working before turning my attention towards the more cosmetic task of removing and restoring my seat brackets.

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It was a peach of a day with a fine close to it.

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