Friday 19 September 2014

A Visit to Devon, and the Indy-Ref

I set off back to Skye tomorrow after 10 nights away. I take a couple of days over the journey, which I do in my van, staying overnight in B&Bs. In Devon, I have mostly been staying at the home of my long-time friend Val, who owns a lovely flat in a Victorian villa overlooking Torbay. I also spent a couple of days at my sister's home on the edge of Dartmoor, where her family gathered for a brilliant afternoon barbecue to celebrate my nephew Chris's birthday.

While I've been away, Sue has has her work cut out keeping the cottages and our B&B business running, as well as coping with walking Cupar four times a day and doing her own part-time care-work job. I think she'll be pleased to have me home again to do my share of the chores and the dog walks!

Here in Torquay, the weather has been good, and I have managed to spend some time walking and have enjoyed exploring some of the woodland and countryside that lies surprisingly close to the town centre.

Path above Hollicombe
Scadson Woods
Road to Cockington

Of course, my time away from home has coincided with the Independence Referendum. I had applied for a postal vote, so no problem there. Last night, I was awake much of the night listening to the radio as the counts were announced. I am greatly relieved at the 'no' result, though slightly saddened that the event took place in the way that it did. The people of Scotland are a proud population, and I think Scotland deserves its differences from England to be more fully appreciated. But I voted 'no' because I was far from convinced that the path to Independence had been adequately planned for, and I was very concerned at the damage that could be caused to the whole of the UK by financial uncertainty.

I sincerely hope that some real good will come out of the Referendum result, and that agreement can quickly be reached on constitutional changes that will benefit not only the Scots, but all of the people of the United Kingdom.

Friday 5 September 2014

We've Bought A House (we hope)!

After the sudden sale of Aird View, Sue and I got down to searching the Skye estate agent's websites to find a replacement. The plan was to buy a property we thought would let well, but closer to home than to 30-odd miles that we were driving to Aird View every week to do the turnrounds.

And here's what we are hoping will soon be ours...
7 Roag
The house from the road
We are only able to make a conditional offer at this stage because we will need the cash from the sale of Aird View to pay for 7 Roag, and we understand our purchaser is currently arranging their finance. So we now face the anxious nail-biting wait of a month or two while the wheels of house-purchase grind slowly on. In the meantime, if someone else comes along with a bucket of cash and wants to buy 7 Roag, we lose out. How come in this super-fast digital age you can do almost anything with a click of a mouse, but to buy a house takes a couple of months...? Hmmm... 

7 Roag is a traditional Skye croft house, and stands at the upper end of the Roag township with a great view over Pool Roag and surrounding hills. It is only one and a half miles from the Barn - we can see it from our front windows! It is immaculate inside and out, with some lovely 'old' features, including a beautiful range cooker and some v-groove wood paneling to some of the walls, but it also comes with all the modern conveniences which will make it comfy and cosy for our holiday visitors. 

More news soon, and hopefully all good news!

Thursday 4 September 2014

We've Sold Aird View!

After nearly a year on the market, a lady came to visit Aird View last weekend, and has since made us an offer which is conditional on her obtaining a mortgage, but we have verbally accepted. We are quite pleased that Aird View looks set to again become a family home rather than a holiday let.

Aird View
Wow! This occurrence left us briefly in a state of shock, and now we are in a state of near-panic as we try to cope with not only the planning of the re-build of the Barn, which is due to start on 1st November, but now with the sale of Aird View, which is due to complete in Mid-December!

Part of our panic is due to the fact that our plan was always to replace Aird View with another letting property nearer to our home, to make the managing of turn-rounds and gardening, etc. easier for us. There are a number of properties for sale on Skye right now, which is good news for us, but there seem to be surprisingly few which look 'just right' on paper. We have already viewed one very old but nicely modernised cottage which turned out to be a disappointment for various reasons. Today we are due to look at an attractive croft house, and on Saturday we have a viewing booked at a modern bungalow.

I guess we'll find something to suit us soon, and then there'll just be the nightmare of storing all the furniture from here somewhere for when the building starts, and also of moving the contents from Aird View to somewhere when the sale completes... I hope we will have a new place lined up for then, otherwise we may need a large tarpaulin on the lawn...