Wednesday 27 May 2015

Roskhill Bluebell Wood

Well, we have the bluebells, but are a bit short on trees...! The bluebells are growing on the large triangle of land which lies between the allotment and the river gorge - the gorge is to the right on the picture below. I have been keeping the area clear of unwanted vegetation for a couple of years now, though leave it 'naturalised'. I have planted a few trees at the top of the bank on the right, and they are doing fine, though they are too small to see in this picture.

This is the same patch of land looking in the other direction, with the river gorge on the left. The yellow flowering shrubs are gorse.

And while I'm here - here's an angle on the Barn which we seldom photograph. The little road which serves the half dozen houses in Roskhill runs between the allotment and the Barn. The building behind the Barn is the original farmhouse to which the Barn was once a part. 

Tuesday 26 May 2015

Barn Works Latest - Progress, but slowly!

Now that the visitor season is fully upon us, servicing the cottages, attending to laundry and mowing lawns takes priority over everything else. Unfortunately this means that I am not achieving a very high rate of progress with the numerous finishing off jobs in the Barn.

However, today, I have completed the tiling of the kitchen, and we are pleased with the result. The walls above the tiles and the ceiling are still to be painted, but that is a quick job (once we have decided what colour to do the walls...). Then there's the floor to tile - but painting comes first.

The rough-cast window wall be painted white,
and the beam above will remain natural,
but we haven't decided on the colour for the other walls yet.
There will be two shelves on the wall to the right.
We decided to tile the splash-back behind the hob

Sunday 17 May 2015

Barn Works Latest - Airing cupboard fit-out

Now that the building professionals have completed their work at Roskhill Barn, future progress towards a completely finished and fitted-out dwelling will be rather slower - because the only hands undertaking the work will be mine, with much TLC from Sue.

From the start of the project, it had been our plan that I would undertake the final fitting and finishing - partly to save a bit of money, and partly so that we would regain 'ownership' of the rebuild, and have the satisfaction of being able to say, 'we did that bit'.

To date, I have barely wielded a paintbrush, though there will surely be plenty of paintbrush-wielding to come... but the immediate task was to create places to put some (if not all) of the 'stuff' that one needs to 'put somewhere'. I first installed some of the old kitchen cupboards in the garage, and fitted a sturdy worktop on top of them, which gives me somewhere to work. My trusty and massive woodwork bench (rescued from the closure of a school I worked in many years ago) also now stands in the garage, where it is already proving immensely useful.

Today, I have fitted a piece of worktop above the washing machine, so our tumble drier has a solid platform to stand on without taking up any more floor space, and then I completed the fitting out of the large airing cupboard that we had installed in the new utility room. This involved creating ways of installing a lot of slatted shelving avoiding the assorted pipework which connects to the hot water tank and central heating. I've sawn a lot of timber and driven home a lot of screws, but I am well pleased with the result. Pictures below.

Tomorrow, the focus moves to the tiling of the kitchen....

The tumble drier now installed over the washing machine
and here is some of my new airing cupboard shelving.
I have bought ceramic tiles for the floor - to be laid soon....!
More of the airing cupboard shelving

Saturday 9 May 2015

Spot The Difference...!

We have been enjoying some truly sensational Skye weather the last few days, so to make the most of it, decoration work at the Barn has moved outside, and the garden has had some attention too.

Today, my pictures are of the outside of the Barn in August 2014, and as it is today. Our aim was always to maintain the shape and character of the old agricultural building, which we think we have achieved pretty well.

Inside is completely transformed, with all new heating, plumbing and wiring along with a revised room layout to suit our lifestyle. More photos will follow, as I get the decorating done!

'Before' - Roskhill Barn, Summer 2014
'After' - Roskhill Barn, May 2015
Spot The Differences...!!!
The Barn today, from the upper garden.
We are still waiting for all the vegetation to put on its summer green!
The Barn today, from the road
I will work to restore the grass between the gable end wall and the road itself -
the builders used this patch for their cement mixer...

Monday 4 May 2015

Allotment Diary 2015

Just to prove that the allotment IS tidy and planted - here's a picture taken yesterday. The broad beans and peas are showing above the ground, though you'd have to look closely to see them! The rhubarb is great! My challenge this year is going to be keeping the plots neat while giving most of my time to redecorating all of the Barn - busy days ahead...!

Roskhill Barn allotment, 3rd May 2015

Barn Works Latest - Finished !!

The chaps moved out all but a couple of items of their building equipment today - we are left with a ladder, a wheelbarrow, and a neatly packed box of assorted smaller items. Clearly they expect to be doing a bit of 'snagging', and we know of a couple of little teeny jobs that are still to be done.

But substantially, and at long last, the building works are all done. The electrician still has to complete his wiring of the garage and the phone/ethernet cables - but I don't think that counts as building!

So Sue and I are now left with a very dusty home, and it now falls to me to do 'my bit', which is all the decorating, and such tiling as we are going to do. Until that is all done, we won't be having any new carpeets fitted - so we'll be living in a muddle for a while yet!.

Here's just one exterior picture taken yesterday.

Roskhill Barn