Life at the end of the road

November 30, 2021

Older and wiser?

Filed under: daily doings, Land Rover, stonework — Tags: , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 8:04 am

An all together more settled morning greeted me today, not that I could tell from inside the house, were it not for my multitude of sensors in and around Sonas. The warm concrete floor, triple glazing and total blackness out side insulating me from the world outdoors. https://www.wunderground.com/dashboard/pws/IKYLE21

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I even got up too late to hear the shipping forecast and turned the Radio off as the news started belching out the same old mince. The BBC reporting that Boris the buffoon is now accused of acting too quickly in attempts to deal with yet another COVID variant, which I see has now been named after the 15th letter of the Greek alphabet. I wonder if this an attempt to make it sound like we’ve already beaten the fourteen previous  mutations Smile Or perhaps it’s just Boris showing off his classical education Smile Whatever, it certainly makes a change from his self serving cronies being accused of not acting quickly enough, you gotta laugh really Smile

Well yesterday I started the day off by taking Bonzo for a walk with the Mule. I wanted to take the rest of Callum’s Raasay Sawmill timber over to Torran so let Bonzo chase me down the track rather than walking him Smile 

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Exercising a caution totally out of character I made three trips to finish taking the rafters and sarking boards over. I think old age has finally endowed me with some common sense when it comes to doing things on my own. Either that or my various tumbles and rolling incidents have finally knocked some sense into me Smile

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Having finally finished with the Mule and digger along at Torran I thought it was about time I repaired the wall that I’d knocked down earlier in the year.

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It was the last job for ‘Calum the Kubota’ before I tracked him back to Arnish.

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Not one that I’m particularly proud of but at least it’s better than it was Sad smile 

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And with that done I woke Bonzo and we started tracking Calum back to Arnish.

The rest of my day being spent pottering in the shed and taking Callum’s trailer back to the Raasay Sawmill. The latter job being done purely to test the ‘Old Girl’s’ new intercooler and fuel mods whilst pulling a heavy trailer down ‘Calum’s Road’. I gotta say that I was very pleased with the results, the large twin axle Ifor Williams trailer being barely noticeable behind the Land Rover. I just need to try it with two tons of aggregate on the back now Smile

November 2, 2021

Over the hill :-)

It turned into a reasonable day on Monday, sure there was the odd shower but most of those happened whilst I was either driving or in a shed. My first task being to tighten up the beam secured to the Schoolhouse gable end having finished securing the studs in previously with the ubiquitous Hilti HIT-RE 500V4 resin. It’s a bit of a mouthful  but is seriously good stuff having many advantages over traditional expanding anchors like Rawlbolts and the like. Firstly you can make your fixings much closer to the edge of whatever it is your anchoring to and secondly you don’t have to be quite so accurate with drilling the holes, it being very difficult to make an accurate start to a hole with a hammering bit especially with a heavy drill on a vertical surface of rough stone or concrete. Mind you it does have the disadvantage of being expensive, having a short shelf life and needing used once opened so it’s really not ideal for just doing a couple of fixings. What it is perfect for is lager projects like masts, wind turbines and any large thing that needs securing firmly to rock or concrete. I’ve used lots of it usually buying it off eBlag past its use by date by a few moths for a fraction of the cost.

Anyway, Bonzo and I set off overland rather than taking the track choosing to go up to North Arnish then down into the next valley following the stream to where it goes under the track just by the Schoolhouse. The last time I took this route was with Molly and Barbara in the reverse direction so it must be a couple of years ago at least.

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This willow must be truly ancient, I could only just get my arms around its trunk which is quite amazing when you consider its windswept location just at the base of the hill below North Arnish.

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Passing through the ruined settlement we climbed the to the top of the southern ridge of the next valley. The northern wall of the valley being a popular spot with Raasay House for their climbing and abseiling activities  https://raasay-house-activities-and-boat-trips.rezdy.com/458536/full-day-rock-climbing Though like myself, I don’t think they’ve been here for a while. Below the rock known as Calum’s Cliff lies the unusual circular sheep fank that served the crofters of this area a generation or so back.

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Along with the remains of the dividing wall between Torran and North Arnish.

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This will be the power cable that we laid years ago to serve the Broadband mast atop the hill in the distance, it’s almost a mile from my house and what an epic that was!

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Scrambling down from on high to the valley floor Bonzo and I picked our way through the birch and hazel along the stream to the Schoolhouse.

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On the ‘shroom front all I found was these Dryad saddle https://www.wildfooduk.com/mushroom-guide/dryads-saddle/ which I didn’t actually realize were edible as my parents never used to bother with them.

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Once there I secured the studs with a 19mm spanner and we took the easy way home down the track.

By now the wind had eased somewhat and the sun was out Smile

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The solar hot water was even working away Surprised smile that’ll be the first time I’ve noticed hot water in November, sure it was only 65 degrees and the very optimistic meter told me it was producing the equivalent of 19.7kW which I suspect is wrong by exactly a factor of ten as those 60 tubes are equal to around 2.2kW of solar PV.

Next task was to go and collect my trailer and gas from the village, calling at Brochel on the way for a leisurely stroll with both dugs, Molly enjoys a short limp and hobble if the going is smooth and the scenery fresh Smile

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It was only a week walk to the top of the grassy knoll opposite Brochel Castle but the wee dog enjoyed it, mind you she was pretty stiff after Smile

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The Faroese fish farm vessels  Bakkanes https://www.marinetraffic.com/en/ais/details/ships/shipid:312713/mmsi:231863000/imo:9366809/vessel:BAKKANES and the Hav Alda https://www.marinetraffic.com/en/ais/details/ships/shipid:204416/mmsi:231864000/imo:9195377/vessel:HAV_ALDA at anchor in Portree bay.

Once I’d collected my trailer gas cylinders and exhaust lagging from Hallaig we headed home.

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The exhaust lagging off the main diesel generator aboard Hallaig had been replaced at dock so I intercepted the old stuff on the way to the skip Smile

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Sure it doesn’t look very exciting but this would be perfect for my Lister HR2 who’s lagging was inadequate to say the least. Not that it actually gets used that often but when it does it gets awfully hot in the shed and since I moved my battery bank one has to get very close to the exhaust to enter the shed.

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I’ve still got a little to finish off yet but whether I actually get around to it or not is a different matter, the stuff is a nightmare to work with. A bit like loft insulation it leaves you sneezing and itching Sad smile

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