Saturday, 7 June 2014

A Life Truly Lived

Anyone's life truly lived consists of work, sunshine, exercise, soap, plenty of fresh air, and a happy contented spirit.
                   -Lillie Langtry

Whilst struggling to come up with a title more exciting than 'Sunsets and Visitors' (It's been a long week...) I clicked onto an 'inspiring quotes' (I was getting desperate!) page and this particular phrase seemed more than appropriate. Work definitely comes first at the moment. With that said we have had the first set of visitors for the year, which has been very nice! 

With work in the house progressing, we made the decision to move out of our kitchen/ sitting room / everything room. This meant that everything we've accumulated and bought up had to be moved elsewhere, which was no mean feat! Luckily Pauline was here to organise things and clear them all out into the shed. 

First things first the chimney flues had to be moved out of the shed and sheeted down.

I arrived home after a week or so down south and was confronted with 3 very large piles of rubble that each had to be sorted into bricks, stones, wall paper and rubble... It was a thrilling job. 

The bluebells were particularly spectacular this year, carpeting the entire lawn. April is definitely a time for flowers.

 Sunset at Port Ellen, whilst staying at Tigh Cargaman.

There are quite a few photos of Cassie in here I'm afraid...

Football is her favourite thing. We're gradually building up a collection of beach finds for her!

A few from the garden.

 Early morning walk up the fairy hill.

Highland cow and calf on the High Road.

The paps of Jura.

Looking out over Loch Indaal, again from the High Road.

A rare well surfaced road.

Pauline walking the beach at the head of Loch Indaal.

Cassie and I sat on the beach whilst Mary-Ann, Nick and Pauline went into the Museum of Islay Life.

We had some particularly spectacular clear skies over the full moon whilst staying in Port Ellen.

Moonlit M.V. Finlaggan.

This ruined house has sunk deep into the bog above Cairn Cottage, Port Ellen.

Both the dogs like to lie in the sand heap for some reason... Isla moves when you want to get at it, Cassie is more stubborn.

Whilst Pauline was with us, we took a trip around the island as the weather wasn't good enough for going to the beach or staying at home. After visiting the RSPB centre and havng lunch at Saligo Bay, we went onto the church at Kilchoman.

Mary-Ann spent a few days in Glasgow with Pauline before she traveled home to Dorset. Less than a week later we were joined by Adam, who had come for a working holiday and our friends Melinda and Nigel, our first campers of the year! I don't envy them, the midges are terrible at the moment..

The last week of May was another hot one. As we were working long hours through the days, we took Melinda and Nigel to Kintra to see the sunset in the evening.

A very upset oyster catcher.

Another view of the Paps of Jura.

Melinda and Nigel enjoying the view!

It has been a week for discovering and revisiting beautiful beaches. When we arrived at Kintra there were people everywhere because of the Feis Ile, as per our usual sunset routine, we walked left down the track to a stoney beach about a 5 minute walk away, this is where I took the photo below. From here we walked on further than I had ever been in the direciton of the Oa, and came to this beautiful sandy beach. We didn't see one other person, although there were some goats!

Saturday saw us having our first day off for... I'm not sure how long, a while anyway. As it was another beautiful day, we went up to Sanaigmore.

Nick and Nigel, waiting for Melinda and Mary-Ann to arrive with the picnic.

Adam, Nick, Melinda and Nigel in our picnic spot.

I really like taking panorama shots, but on my screen they hang off the edge of the blogs background.... I'm not sure if it's just my screen size or whether it happens to everyone?

This little bay is just around the corner from Sanaigmore and is definitely in my top 5 Islay beaches list. It reminds me of a place we stay on Mull called Scoor. Sheltered, white sand, rocks at the edges and a tropical coloured sea. For anyone visiting Mull, it is is a must see. We always stayed in Scoor house, the drive down the bumpy track is a little nerve wracking, but worth it in the end.

When this photo is full size, you can see Nigel walking on the cliffs in the background, shows how good Cassie's eyesight is.

Almost as good as her rock climbing skills.

Adam and I went on a walk from the beach and found another scenic spot.

With particularly nice cliff formation.

Cassie found another football...

The banks down to the beach were covered in primroses.

I keep accidentally setting my camera to cartoon mode, so I have an awful lot of cartoon photos.

Yet another view of the Paps of Jura.

Knock bay, just before Adam persuaded me to go swimming. It was a mistake, so cold!

Group Photo: Adam, Me, George, Nick, Mary-Ann Melinda and Nigel.

George is a friend of Melinda and Nigel's who is doing a house up on the Isle of Harris, he was very interesting to talk to as he is doing a similar thing to us.

As Adam was only here for 2 weeks and we worked for all except one, we took a half day on Wednesday and went to the Oa for a walk with Cassie. This beach would also be on my top 10 list. If you drive to the end of the road at Risabus then keep walking on foot, this beach is just a 10 minute walk away. It is one of my favourite places to go as it has so much to offer from wild goats, to a waterfall to rare orchids. I would definitely recommend it. Adam and I kept to the cliff this time rather than going down as it is quite a committing walk down a very steep hill and we wanted to walk further round.

This raven was at the top of the waterfall. I took some video footage, hopefully Adam will make something of it and I'll post it on here when possible.

The beach from the cliffs around the corner, with Port Ellen and Carraig Fhada Lighthouse in the background.

A garden tiger moth caterpillar.

Another beach we found a way around the Oa.

Nesting gulls. 

At the moment, nearly everywhere you go by the coast you cause havoc among the sea birds as they are all trying to distract you from their nests.

At one pont we had a very near miss with Cassie chasing 4 goats down from the hill onto the cliff. The goats went over (and were fine) but luckily, perhaps due to my yelling, Cassie stopped just in time. I made her lie down for a telling off!

On Adam's last night we drove down to Claggan to see the sunset with a box of celebrations! My camera ran out of battery so I don't have any pictures, but there was this very nice red deer on the side of the road.

I decided to separate days out and work on the house this time around as there was just too much to say. I am halfway through the other post though, so it should take too long I hope! We have had Gary working with us for the past two weeks as well as Adam, so our usual team of three was up to five, although, Gary does the work of about 5 people alone! The progress we've made is phenomenal and incredibly exciting for us. I won't say any more here as no one will read the other post if I do, but lets just say that when Sandy and Tom come in the summer, they should be able to stay in their own house for the first time. That is assuming we haven't all collapsed from overwork by then. 

Happy June, good luck to anyone taking exams at the moment. (Jenny Kerr!)


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