Wednesday 28 January 2015

Barn Build Latest - Extension Frame Goes Up

While I have been away down south, work has continued at The Barn. Here are three pictures taken today -
With scaffolding in place, it is not easy to see what the staircase extension is going to look like...

... but the garage is looking almost finished, and is already is use for dry storage 

From the garden, the garage looks too big for the house,
though it will blend-in once rendered and painted.
The roof will be black.

Tuesday 27 January 2015

More On My Trip South...

I've been away from Skye for well over a week now, and am very much looking to getting back. I'll be home tomorrow.

But it's been a good trip, with time spent with long-term friends Sara and Rod near Southampton (no photos this time - sorry...)

...and with Val in Torquay - who is anxiously watching for her new beach hut to be built...
Meadfoot Beach, Torquay - Jan 2015
Then I spent a couple of nights with my sister and family, who live at Hole Farm, on the edge of Dartmoor...
Hole Farm is the white dot...
And on my way home, I have paused at Falkirk to see The Kelpies...
Just stunning...!!!

Friday 23 January 2015

My Trip South

I am currently in Devon, enjoying short stays with long-time friends and family. After getting used to life on Skye, it is always a bit of a shock to come south and find myself in queues of traffic, and seeing crowds of people thronging along pavements in the towns!

The journey down was a bit of a challenge - we'd had a lot of snow...
A87 in Glen Cluanie
I had an overnight stop in Morecambe. I don't think I had ever visited the town before, but after a short wander round, I think I may have to visit again. I was impressed by the attempts at urban regeneration that are going on, and also at the amount of 'public art' that is to be found everywhere.
A Flock of Words
poems and snippets of prose set into a walkway between the railway station and seafront
Morecambe seafront (and more pavement art)
Bird sculpture on the seafront
I've been in Torquay this week. The weather has been raw, damp and grey - not really conducive to going out for walks. But I've had my usual shopping to do, so have popped by the sea front here a couple of times.
The Council are busy building new beach huts above Meadfoot Beach
I'm off to my sister's near Okehampton tomorrow for a couple of nights, then begin the trek back north. I may post some more pictures if I get the chance to take any!

Sunday 11 January 2015

Barn Build Latest - Garage Takes Shape

The weather and the Christmas/New Year break has significantly slowed progress of late, but here are a couple of pictures taken this weekend, which clearly shows the new garage and oil tank 'recess'.
Hopefully next week, the weather will be kind enough to allow the timber work to be started, which will mean some big changes soon.

The section cut into the lawn is to house the 'sunken' oil tank
The blockwork walls will be rendered to match the rest of the building
The garage roof will be black corrugated steel

A Bit of a Breeze

I've said before in this blog that you really have to experience Skye weather in order to understand it. It's all very well seeing weather forecasts in which forecasters talk glibly about 100 mile per hour winds, and what they poetically term 'wintry showers', but until you are here and living through a 'Skye Breeze', you really cannot know what the forecasters are talking about.

In the last few days, we have had a 'Skye Breeze' - in fact, it was a full-on 'Hoolie'. (This is a local expression used to describe weather that instantly soaks you to the skin and blows you off your feet, both at the same time). Huddled down inside your home, with the wind roaring outside and the hail hammering against the window, you can feel quite calm, though you do imagine the havoc that is being wrought outside. Then the power fails. No worries - there are candles at the ready, and most homes have some kind of back-up for heating and cooking. On this occasion, the mains water went off as well, and was off for a full day. But you cope.

It is surprising how well you can sleep with all the commotion of a storm going on outside. In the morning, everything looks much the same outside. A neighbour who had unwisely erected a wooden fence will now have to re-erect it (mostly, we have wire fences here, which are storm-proof) and I found the wheelie bins quite easily, and thankfully, they hadn't emptied themselves. A leg from our plastic garden table was half way down our drive. I later found another table leg in the road, and have now spotted the table top in a nearby field. The fourth leg remains unaccounted for.

There aren't many large trees in the area - no surprises really - so there is seldom tree-damage, though I later discovered a large branch had been shed by one of our Roskhill Barn trees. As for buildings - they are built to withstand such weather. Roofs occasionally lose a tile, but major damage is extremely rare.

Roskhill trees shed a branch - it's not easy to see where it's come from though!