Saturday 31 January 2009

New bathroom

I think I mentioned that we were planning to put a new bath upstairs. 

When it came to it, it seemed like a good idea to replace the toilet and wash basin as well.

This meant that part of a pine-panelled wall would have to be replaced because of a different location of the toilet cistern.

Then we had a good look at the floor, and thought that if we were doing all this work, we might as well retile the floor, which had a couple of cracked tiles.

So now that I have put up a new light fitting and replaced the inadquate heating, we are nearly ready to replace the bath......

Thursday 22 January 2009


Sue here!  Now its MY turn......!
It was a lovely sunny day yesterday so Richard and I decided to take a trip out with the cameras up to the north west of the island visiting Feriniquarrie, Lower and Upper Milovaig, Glendale and finally Neist Point.......   Shafts of sunlight cut through the gathering clouds that hover over Loch Mor in the photograph below.

Below is a shot of Richard as he's taking his own photographs just below the telecommunications masts at Scoval, (290 metres) close to Feriniquarrie.   Crikey - it was cold up there!

Despite the icy blasts we managed to get a lot of varied and interesting photographs but decided not to do the walk out to Neist Point (below) for fear of becoming 'airborne' in the gusting winds!   

Below is the Memorial to the famous piping dynasty of MacCrimmons above Loch Dunvegan.  The amazing views were worth the trudge through the boggy, wet ground to get there!

Skye - heaven on earth - at times!   I still have to pinch myself on occasions as a reminder that we do actually live here!!

Tuesday 20 January 2009

STB Inspection...

We are awaiting the arrival of a Scottish Tourist Board Quality Assurance inspector at the Barn today. We are being inspected as a B&B as well as self catering, so she is staying the night. 

Our B&B arrangements mean that breakfast is prepared in our kitchen in the downstairs apartment, then served in the dining area of the upstairs apartment.  Now, the access to the upstairs apartment is via an outside staircase - fine when the weather is good, but in a 'Skye Breeze', it can be a challenge to get the toast upstairs without half of it blowing away over the roof... 

So, think of us if it's windy in the morning!

Friday 16 January 2009


The last two mornings have started with glorious but different looking sunrises. Here's todays...

and this was yesterday...

Tuesday 13 January 2009

Sue has a camera!

Sue had a camera for Christmas.

We had wonderful weather today, so went up to Waternish to take some pictures. Here are a few of Sue's shots.

The Outer Hebrides

Trumpan churchyard

Loch Dunvegan and Dunvegan Head

Sunday 11 January 2009


We have just joined a social communication website called Scotster - some of you might find it interesting, especially if you have links with Scotland (other than us!)

Scotster: the photo sharing and social site for Scotland

Tuesday 6 January 2009

Spooky - even in sunlight!

The ruin of Gesto House stands among witchy trees on the shore of Gesto Bay, Loch Harport.

The house, built about 1760, was the former home of the Macleods of Gesto, who were  the oldest cadet branch of the Macleods of Dunvegan, with whom they became involved in a long-running dispute. The rift was cemented in the mid-19th century, when the tack of Gesto was transferred to two Borders sheepfarmers. The Macleods, who had settled here in c.1425, never returned to Gesto, but a descendant, Kenneth Macleod, got his own back by buying up extensive properties in the north of Skye when the Macleods had to sell them in the later 19th century to meet debts.

Devon differences

I am now back home on Skye after celebrating Christmas and New Year in Devon.

 I had Basil with me in Devon, so was obliged to undertake the compulsory twice daily ‘walkies’. This is not actually a problem – I think I enjoy the outings as much as Basil.

On the very first ‘walkies’ back on Skye, I was aware of ethereal differences between where I had been and where I was now in the ‘feel’ of just about everything around me.

 The physical surroundings were similar – mostly in Torquay I walked in an area of well established mixed woodland which actually includes many fine Scots Pines. The paths were dryer (no rain at all fell while I was down south, rendering my spare trousers, boots, socks and numerous dog towels unnecessary).  But there were hills to climb, and signs of wild animal activity.

 No – it was the intangible things that were different.

 It wasn’t temperature – if anything, in actual degrees Celcius, Devon was colder than Skye on this occasion, and anyway, since the start of living here I have been convinced that we have a different kind of ‘cold’ here.

 It might have been sounds – in Torquay there was always a background cacophony of dogs barking, distant human voices, engines of cars, lorries, motor cycles, aeroplanes – most of which were more apparent than the sigh of the wind through the trees. On Skye the loudest noise is the silence. Stand motionless, hold your breath, and on a still day you can strain hard and hear no more than the distant rush of water in a burn as it splashes over rocks on its way to the sea. There may be an occasional caw from circling crows, and twitter from small birds as they flit among the twigs, but mostly, all you hear is the silence.

Or it may have been the air – in Torquay the winter air is often damp with sea mist, and is scented with noxious particles of pollutants from all those engines, and all the central heating systems in all the houses. On Skye, the air is just air. Fuzzy lichen (in my picture below, taken yesterday in Dunvegan wood) is only able to grow in unpolluted air.

 And of course,  Skye also has fairies....