Life at the end of the road

December 1, 2019

Rabbits, rabbits, rabbits,

Filed under: daily doings, food, pigs — Tags: , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 7:25 am

Dunno where it comes from and neither does Wikipedia but that’ll be the 1st of December here and funnily enough a few bunnies too Smile The demise of the North End rabbit population has always been a mystery to me, perhaps the mink or the explosion in the sea eagle population but they do at last seem to be making a come back. Long gone are the days when I could be guaranteed to shoot a couple for lunch on my way to work. I honestly can’t remember the last time I had a rabbit pasta for dinner Sad smile That meal however may not be far away Smile There has most definitely been a healthy revival of the population here. It really has been rare to see one north of Brochel for almost ten years. Nowadays I’ve been seeing quite a few both here and at Torran and I do love a tasty bunny Smile An Italian dish where you serve it quartered on a bed of pasta being my favourite, a simple affair I picked up from me Mum who in turn copied off me Granny. The house I lived in in Liguria as a child kept rabbits under the house next to the wine cellar and I’ll never forget my granny catching them then pulling their necks. Obviously as a wee boy this kind of thing fascinates you. Emilia never stopped talking, even when reaching in the small room to deftly grab one she’d be wittering away. Then ‘quick as you like’ she’d swing it under her arm and set off for the kitchen, at the same time snapping its neck without pausing for breath or breaking step.

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There wasn’t a road to Provvedasco when I lived there, like the road to Arnish, it didn’t arrive there until the 70s or 80s. I guess that’s why me dear old Dad had such a fine pair of lungs, he had to walk up and down a mountain every day to school Smile

Golly gosh, I lost the thread there as I ‘walked down memory lane’, I also caught a whiff of the outside loo Smile I kid you not, my abiding memory of living in rural Italy isn’t treading grapes barefoot in a barrel or the large outdoor communal oven, it’s the smell from the outdoor toilet Sad smile The contents of which eventually ended up on or in the fields, at least that’s what I was told, dunno whether it was on the grapes or olives but it didn’t seem to do anyone any harm. Having said that, it does seem to be a problem in countries that still adhere to the practice Sad smile

Farewell November

Right, enough of that, so, the month has been exceptional, light winds, little rain and not really cold, for three days (nights) in a row I’ve woken to the sight of Orion out the bedroom window.


Once more at a ridiculous hour and yet again with little frost and temperatures the right side of zero. Sure, it was a little colder this morning with a ‘scrunch’ from the gravel underfoot and half hearted frost on the roof of the car. No frozen windows though and with just the thinnest layer of ice on the pigs water dish.

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Yesterday morning was spent hauling rock and sub base for road and track repairs, the sight of the Council gritter being something of a surprise. A ‘wee chat’ with Nairn and Calum informed me that it was ‘white’ at the South End. A visit from my wife later on confirming heavy frost on her car, we must get a little more of the Gulf Stream at Arnish Smile

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The afternoon saw us going for a pleasant walk with four dogs and pigs Smile

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After which I had to repair (yet again) the seized throttle on the Yamaha YFM350 quad.

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The throttle quadrant keeps seizing up even though it’s been freed off and lubricated several times. Once more it was rusty and full of water, having sealed the cover with silicon last time I guess the water must be running down the throttle cable and getting into the housing. So, that’ll be a new cable on order from who offer first class service. Meanwhile I have left the cover off and covered the mechanism with white grease, at least then the water will not collect and if it does seize again I can free it off without removing the bodywork Smile

Well, that’s it for now, time for a mackerel sandwich for breakfast and back out to some road building methinks. I’ve got heaps of work to do on my Subaru for the MOT too but I’ll leave that ‘for a rainy day’, it looks like another ‘peach of a day’ ahead here.


January 8, 2019

The ‘last sleep’ :-(

Filed under: boats, daily doings, food, How I — Tags: , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 8:34 pm

Less than two weeks since I actually finished work but to be honest it feels more like a month, hope I can remember what to do when I get back there Smile. Just now it’s 18:00 and the wife and I are cooking ‘Pork Milanese’ spaghetti with some fine home grown pork loin. Darling wife is on the breaded loin cutlets and me, I’m making the sauce and spaghetti.

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Never bothered with the Meanwhile, lay the pork medallions between two layers of cling film and bash with a rolling pin until they are about 1cm thick. bit right enough. Whoever wrote that menu had obviously never eaten a proper pork loin Smile Ours are so tender you can cut them with a fork !!!

So, where was I

That was boodly delicious so where was I, well, I never posted yesterday, not cos I’d nothing to write about but cos I was pure wrecked. A simple task of mixing a few loads of concrete turning into a bit of an epic on account of the weather. Consequently I was a little slow in removing myself from the house,


however, fortified by the last four ‘hand picked’ scallops that my son and I had collected, I made it. Whoops, cocked up there, I just remembered, I had two yesterday and the last four this morning.

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Bet my cholesterol (whatever that is) is ‘though the roof’ now,along with my blood pressure and BMI probably, but that’s it. I guess that along with half of the UK I’ll be starting some kind of ‘health drive’ for the New Year Smile So that’ll be the Baileys with coffee, tea, porridge and crab ‘oot the windae’ till next Christmas hey. So, when I finally did leave the house it was to go down to the slipway to collect some tools and scallop shells. I chuck them into the sea after shucking them then go and collect them a few tides later after the crabs had cleaned them. I’m sure they’ll come in useful one day Smile

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The wind at that time was still from the west so nowhere near as rough in there as it would be later on but at some point over the last couple of days

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the old 36” digger bucket had been moved several yards up the shore. It used to sit over that light patch on the left hand image where my son dumped it last year, the plan being to use it as an extra weight on the inshore leg of my mooring. Well that’s not going to be quite so easy just now Smile

Having got my trowel, spade, hammer, rake, scallop shells, PVA adhesive and self into Phoebe I headed back up the hill to make a start. I had already tried taking the dogs for a walk but Molly was having none of and Leah seemed more than happy to do an ‘about turn’ at the gate.

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Back to the mixer

The pishing overnight rain had left my trailer load of aggregate so sodden that me first mix was like soup Sad smile

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Reduction of the water sorted that but the high wind made shovelling the cement ‘interesting’ and safety glasses mandatory to say the least.

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I guess I only did half a dozen barrow loads but most of those involved me trowelling it over the fence a scoop at a time them walking round to spread it.


Not my neatest work by a long shot but I eventually got the job finished and turned my attention to my Mate’s quad.

Yamaha YFM 350 Bruin 4×4

At some 15 years of age and after more work than your average London taxi the wee Yamaha quad was needing some attention. I just cannot sing the praises of this machine highly enough, my Mate has had it from new and it has carried several articulated lorry loads of building materials to his house. That aside it’s dragged thousands of litres of fuel, coal, gas, batteries, slates, rock, aggregate and of course pigs too. It has been used and abused beyond belief, lived much of its life outdoors, been covered in salt spray and buried in peat. Sure it’s had a few repairs but only what you would expect for such a well worked machine. It’s one weak spot in these 15 years has been the electrics, it has in that time been plagued with niggling electrical faults. Usually these have manifested them selves in the starting department, usually switches, solenoids, brushes or just plain corroded wiring.

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This time it was the starter button that needed replacing. The button actually failed about ten years ago and I transferred the wiring back then to the horn switch. Not much call for a horn here so it did just fine (lasted twice as long as the original) until it failed recently. Luckily I had bought a couple of these recently,

 7/8" Kill Stop Handlebar Switch Horn Button For Motorcycle Bike Quad ATV 2017 Vv

a motorcycle horn switch off eBay that did the job nicely.

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It was whilst poking about underneath that I noticed a few cracks in the rear ‘swinging arm’ and decided to leave it until tomorrow (today) when I could power wash it and have a proper look.

Creosoting in January Smile

Well, it was a far better day today for sure with both dogs eager and willing for a walk, as was I truth be known, so it was with a ‘spring in our step’ that the three of us wandered along the road to Calum’s old house and back, calling along the way to check my hydro turbine.

After depositing the dugs back in the house then cleaning up all the couch grass from yesterday’s gale I turned my attention to cleaning up the Yamaha and getting it on the lift. That friggin couch grass is Raasay’s equivalent of tumbleweed and finds its way into everything after a good gale of wind.

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This vehicle lift certainly makes life easier Smile

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Yamaha YFM350FA BRUIN 4X4 2004 REAR ARM for a 2004 Yamaha YFM350FA BRUIN 4X4

My original plan was to remove the rear arm and just weld it up,

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however once it was off it became apparent that a repair wasn’t really such a good idea as the rest of the arm was pretty corroded inside.

Whilst at it I also removed the front RH lower wishbone, that had been bent for quite a while and did require cutting to take off.

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After ordering the parts form MSP in Holland I got on with creosoting my fence. It’s not often you can do that here in January Smile

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and even got it finished before dark Smile

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