Sunday 30 November 2014

Barn Latest - Blockwork Begins

Not a great deal to show this week. The poured concrete had to be left to harden, then the chaps were on site a while to start laying some base courses of blocks...
This is the garage. The flooded bit on the left will become a path between the garage and a retaining wall below the lawn. Some land drains are planned!
I'm still not quite able to visualise how the staircase will fit! It will be coming through the wall where the pick-axe handle is leaning, and turn as it climbs to enter upstairs where it reaches the old upper front door.

This is 'round the back'. The back end of garage will extend beyond the wall of the Barn. My wooden shed will be going in thuis gap, up against the fence, leaving a space to walk through between it and the Barn.

Saturday 29 November 2014

Summer Cottage Available for Booking!

I have just launched the website for our new our new holiday cottage - Summer Cottage in Roag. It is at . Online booking is available, with first bookings starting from Easter 2015. At the moment, the photographs on the site are all taken from the Estate Agent's details, but they will have to do until we are able to get some better ones of our own.

Here is the Summer Cottage as seen in Google Streetview:

We have bought the cottage with much of the furniture in place, so the work to get it ready for letting is relatively minimal. To be sure we are ready though, and to get the know how the cottage 'works', we will be staying in the cottage for a while in the New Year. It is less than 2 miles from Roskhill Barn, so it will be easier for us to keep an eye on the building work than from Loch View, which is where we are staying at present.

Of course, once we move out of Loch View, I shall do a bit of refreshing of the decorating, then this cottage will again be available for early Spring breaks. The website for here is

More news on the Roskhill Barn re-build soon!

Friday 21 November 2014

Barn Latest - Outside Staircase Gone

Our builders at Roskhill have made the most of the brilliant weather we have had this week, and have achieved great things with the Barn make-over.

The machine man made short work of demolishing the outside staircase which gave access to the upstairs apartment. The photo below shows the footings - already concreted - where the small extension will be built to accommodate the new internal staircase.

Further work has taken place at the end of the building. What seems like a huge space has been created which will be filled by the garage, retaining wall and path, and beyond it (where one of our cheerful builders is working) is the sunken space which will house our concealed central heating oil tank.

Shame the excavator has chewed up the lawn, but establishing new grass will be one of many little jobs for next spring!


Tuesday 18 November 2014

Barn Latest - Machine Man On Site

Locally, the people employed by building firms to bring an excavator and dumper truck to a building site are known as 'machine men'. Our man has been at the Barn today, and is making good headway, and a bit of a mess.. but the garden will recover in time...

This doesn't show a lot, except my shed has been lifted (by 'the machine') from the end of the barn (where the garage will go) to a temporary parking place on the front drive. The stuff on the lawn is the old bathroom, several doors and bits of wall.

This is viewing from the front drive. The garage will be going where the dumper truck is standing, with a retaining wall and 'sunken' path between the garage and the lawn.

This is round the back of the Barn. My shed will end up close to the fence, where the red marks are on the ground. The garage will extend beyond the end of the existing barn wall - the trenches are for the footings.

Sunday 16 November 2014

Barn Works Update - Demolition!

We popped into Roskhill today to find that internal demolition has well and truly begun. The destruction of parts of the garden begin this week. I'm told it has to get worse before it will all get better...

Anyway, this is the new kitchen... well, it is if you use your imagination... The 'old' kitchen light is the gold coloured spotlight. Now that the former bathroom wall (and bathroom suite) have been removed, the additional space for the new kitchen has been created. The former bathroom door will be filled-in of course!

Saturday 15 November 2014

A Rosy Glow

While Sue and I are staying at Loch View, we are less than a mile distant from Skye's only whisky distillery - Talisker. Below are a few pictures taken yesterday, under a very pink sunset sky...

Much of the product from the distillery goes off to be blended, but there is also a strong market for the single malt, especially when aged by 12 years or more. Although I am happy to sample a wee dram occasionally, I am not any kind of whisky connoisseur .

I still can't help looking at the bonded warehouses as I pass and think about the £££££millions of spirit that is stored there!

Carbost village - all the buildings in the foreground (behind the trees) are the distillery

Talisker Distillery, Carbost

Talisker sunset

Thursday 13 November 2014

Brief Barn Update

Work started on the re-make of Roskhill Barn today - the ground floor bathroom and wall between it and the kitchen are being stripped out. The 'machine driver' will be at work outside next week, scraping back soil and digging trenches. I think a lot of destruction will happen very quickly. Photos soon!

Tuesday 11 November 2014

We've Bought a House - Update

It was a while ago now that I reported our excitement at having found a buyer for Aird View, and then making an offer on a lovely traditional Skye croft house in Roag.

Well. the legal wheels have creaked slowly onwards, and we are still on course to completing the deal - we should be doing the key-swapping on 1st December, and we will then at last become the owners of 7 Roag - here is a picture from the Estate Agent, and I'll take some better pictures very soon!

Before we get the keys, we have rather a lot of furniture to sort out. Most of what we had upstairs at the Barn is no longer needed, and we intend to replace much of Aird View's furniture too. With this in mind, I am holding an 'open house' furniture sale tomorrow - I've been advertising it on an Isle of Skye Sell/Swap/Buy Facebook page. We are hoping that we can clear out much of the surplus bits before we find ourselves having to move it all to Roag!

Meanwhile at the Barn, our builder is yet to start work... We hope this is not a precedent of what is to come... he was supposed to start last week. Hmmm. 

More house news soon.

Sunday 9 November 2014

A November Walk to Coire Lagan

The weather was stunning this morning, and I didn't have anything urgent to do, so going for a walk seemed like a good idea. Now we are living at Loch View, we are very close to the popular start points for walks in the Cuillin, so I headed down to Glen Brittle and followed a trail up to Coire Lagan - somewhere I have never been before.

This would be a popular walk in summer, but today I had the place almost to myself. Mostly, the path is rocky, and reasonably easy walking. Only the final approach to the small loch in the Coire is a little more challenging - but definitely worth the effort.

Here's a few of my pictures from the day... Click on a picture to view them full size as a gallery.

On the way up - this burn seems to be un-named
The moor is in its winter colour now. In summer, the grass is vivid green
Nearly in the coire - the going gets a bit tough here
View from the top
The lochan in Coire Lagan - today, a perfect mirror
Spectacular reflections
I came back via a different path, past Eas Mòr - Skye's highest waterfall with an 80ft drop

Wednesday 5 November 2014

Living at Loch View

Sue and I are settling into life at Loch View now, staying here while Roskhill Barn gets its major make-over. We seem to have fitted-in everything we need, and all is going well so far! I've no photos of the works at the Barn yet, as there's nothing to see, but there should be more on that next week.

Meanwhile, here's a couple of pictures from Loch View, taken this morning. We have had so many rain-soaked, soggy-doggy walkies just recently, it was a real treat to set off for our morning trot today with this sunrise to look at...

And here's the view from the bottom of the drive an hour or so later...