People ask the question: ‘What do you actually do?’, often a summer question from visitors, when answered about Summer work, the question is asked again: ‘But in the winter?’ and it always amuses me. Winter is probably a busier time than the rest of the year. It is maintenance time, planning time, web work time, holiday time, there is so much to get done in the long winter especially trying to fit in outside work when battling against weather. Or with the added problem of the weather adding to the workload. It would be nice to sort photos out, tidy the computer, read a book or just chill. But for me there is always something to do that takes me away from messing about! There is always a project. This year a project we have talked about for many years and that is turning the two semi detached cottages into one. Or at least connecting them so that they can be used as one. To that end I stripped out the kitchen/living room in Seascape as an exploratory exercise and found an old press or possibly in the first place a passageway?
It was possibly an original passageway as it had been blocked up rather than built as a press. Anyway it will make our job easier and by the look of the original wooden lintels not a moment too soon, they are starting to rot and one is pretty bent. But not bad for over a hundred years in place.
Onwards with the project, a call to Ian our builder he was free for a week and I was happy to prepare for him coming.
Needs must when there is quite a bit of catch up to deal with.
The windows and beads have suffered at Dry Harbour with all the attention on the New House. But even although we were fully tied up building these past three years it was as much down to the weather rather than time which created the situation we have now, much painting and repairs to carry out.
The Gable on the Escape cottage developed a leak all those years ago, but it has been shoved to the back of the cue, not any more. We are going to pick some of it out seal it with plaster and paint on a waterseal.
With the weather this January past it is no wonder the gable at Escape is leaking, plus 90+mph winds don’t help. The field here is like a sponge, so wet.
With more gales coming and no good days to strip the roof it was damage limitation time and best to tie down the debris, all now stripped and ready for putting back on. Soon.
In the middle of it all I remembered we had picked up some pie casings from my old friend Alastair at Kyle Bakery in Bonar Bridge, the idea is to try out making some venison pies for sale. We tried various recipes and they turned out really good but many lessons learned. The venison curry was probably the best although the mince pie was close.
During Storm Brendan the tide was exceptionally high and the waterpipe at the bothy which has never had a problem before was exposed, a delicate job to replace the stone lies ahead.
Back to the cottage and the prep’ work goes on on really wet days quite a thing to consider that these lintels were most likely put into this passage in 1878 when the house was built. When we took them out they were not that rotten in fact I’m going to slice one to see how old the timber was and to make a plaque I think.
With more gales coming it is not wise to have the boat out on the mooring, there is a problem with the hull to so the less it is in the water at this time the better.
It is not all doom and gloom, there have been some calm days and clear (few) but when they come you really appreciate them. Bit of work to keep putting the boat in and out of the water but it saves sleepless nights.