Finished by Christmas?
As always we have been busy, a little stressed at times, but the house is now really coming together. There is a sense of deja vu often, as though we have been here before, but then we have. We watched as the walls became warmer, the plaster went on and the rooms took shape and light appeared. Now it is happening again and this time we will have the satisfaction of having done an amazing job to the end. It has not been easy for any of us, but also it has not been too difficult either considering the task undertaken with no proper previous experience. There will still be lots to do and decisions to make, but we are almost there...
Thanks to everyone again who keeps us moving forward.
Port Ellen from Kilnaughton beach
Happy Birthday Isla'
Another big milestone, Isla' was 14 years old on the 14th June
and despite her arthritis is a very happy dog
living with Topsy and Roderick.
Gary plasters...Jenny cleans!
Plastering the kitchen/diner
A bird work of art!
Now and again Gary cleans...
Nick alternates between building extractor pipes
into and through walls and painting doors.
Rebuilding bits of wall.
The kitchen extractor proved a very long job, but it's in.
Waiting for Martin, who is a bit tied up with baby Belle,
but manages a day quite regularly.
Jenny spends a great deal of time painting to perfection, I have to admit I am very bad at that sort of perfection and get bored very easily. Sometimes we need to celebrate our differences!
Upstairs walls all painted.
Painting new doors, starting with knotting to stop the paint bleeding...hopefully.
Painting door frames.
The last bit to insulate and board before plastering is the utility and shower room.
Bathroom suite arriving with Mundells...
Planting some of the 100 trees that Tom bought.
The boiler and oil tank arrive with Buildbase...
Michael helps carry the oil tank to the concrete base
Tom and Adam made a while ago.
Setting up for plumbing the bathroom suite in.
All new windows and doors now and the outside is looking very smart.
More doors, more light!
We used the big old slates again for the entrance.
Gary started tiling the first bathroom,
The mosaic tiles make it look like tartan.
The utility plastered and ready for the boiler,
which is next on the long list.
Finally Nick has had a chance to paint the outside windows, which last year the weather prevented him finishing. Every sunny day that is his top priority...unless someone else needs him!
...like today when Micheal arrived with Sandy and Tom's Oak flooring, which must not get wet. I would help, but I have a blog to get published...and he's happier on his own!
A variety of animals
Black faced sheep and lambs at Ardtalla
Little black lamb Ardbeg
An interesting combination at Ardbeg
Seals lazing around in the fine weather Seal bay
Some very elegant Kildalton birds!
A White tailed eagle flew over the Dower House,
bad photo, but dramatic at the time.
Another trip to Wackerfield!
This time to collect Tom and Sandy's beautiful
Oak staircase from Dave Leadbetter
A picnic just before Rest and Be Thankful
As we cannot get across the Penines and back in a day we have made the trips into mini breaks and are exploring places we have never been before.
Reeth In The Yorkshire Dales
The Arkleside Guest House, Reeth is up on the Hill
with extensive views of the surrounding hills.
Very friendly, we had two pampered nights with no driving,
as Reeth has everything you need.
Apart from the views, there are quaint shops, cafes, good pub food and lots of walking. Recommended.
We had a rare day off walking in the beautiful countryside
around Reeth, it was a bit damp, but we're used to that,
though Islay was by this time starting a 3 weeks heatwave.
The sheep have longer legs here.
We always look for a new project for Gary...
this looks like a good one!
We drove slowly across country to Manchester to stay
another 2 days with Auntie Enid.
Then brought her home to Islay
Bathed in beautiful evening sun, one of the Paps of Jura
...A family week
Jenny teaching Imogen to go swimming with her clothes on,
Lottie taught Katie and Jenny years ago...much more fun!
While Helen's back is turned Ian is digging. What an amazing recovery he is making after his fall in March.
Little boys must have a boat to float in a dammed stream
Those of the family that could were all together this May
to say a proper good-bye to Joan, Nick and Helen's Mum,
who wanted her ashes to be left at sea, so we spoke to Gus
and took a trip round the Oa, out to sea a bit and back round Texa.
It was a very special way to say good-bye and Alec and Robbie were great hosts. We had the most amazing trip and when the weather is good, taking a trip with "Islay Sea-Adventures" is a fabulous way to see Islay's scenery and wildlife with people who care about their beautiful environment and the wildlife,
Kayaking is quieter, but not everyone can paddle that far in a day!
With the children Imogen and Oscar we also sent a trail of flowers from Topsy's garden to remember the people we have lost and miss.
particularly their little cousin Isaac and other adults children who leave great gaps in our lives.
Ginny and Osca perfect shades.
Is this really Great Britain?
Can you see the seals head? Not the small one there's
a big one in the rocks.
Jamie and Ian drank a dram to Joan
Auntie Enid enjoyed the sea so much she nearly had a swim
at the end...luckily we stopped her just in time!
We finished our trip the best way on Islay
with a visit to a distillery, Ardbeg for lunch.
An Islay Safari
I just love Cows and calves
The minibus is fulfilling many uses, this time a tour round the island on another beautiful day. The weather is definitely making up for last year on Islay, we had 3 stunning weeks of hot sun. Jamie brings the sun and he thought he wouldn't like this sort of holiday, but he came back
Nick and Ian enjoy Portnahaven
A grey seal glides by.
These 3 photos are Bob Browns taken on Jan's camera
A common Lizard at Kildalton
A Siskin in our Willow tree
An excellent Snipe at Gruinart RSPB reserve
...and finally a paddle to Seal Bay.
We saw many otters, 1 eating lying on it's back, 1 popped up right next to our kayak with a fish in it's mouth and some just swimming.
Nick posing in his designer clothes.
The sea was so clear we saw starfish and many other sea creatures...must take a fishing line next time.
Heading home we can admire the house with it's shiny roof, windows and doors. We are getting there.
In the summer Sandy and Tom are going to sleep in their house for the first time...not sure what on yet and they may have to flush the loo with buckets, but we're used to that! You never know we may have heating, electric and water by then...if not we will by Christmas...watch this space.
PS I hear it's raining in Dorset!