Friday, 10 April 2015

Spring is here!

Spring is here

The 1st of April, the first lambs are born and now they are everywhere. The ram, or tup is put with the sheep on 
Halloween and 5 months later you get these popping out.

Please let me in...

Whooper swans heading North over the Dower House.

These are the Eider ducks I mentioned in the last blog.

Nick fixing the last down pipes.

Gary on his hands and knees tiling the wet room floor. 
A bit too difficult for a novice like me, it needs a slope!

Jenny grouting the front doorstep with mortar

No the Dower House has not shrunk...

Nick and I paid our friends, Barbara and Brian a long overdue visit in Inverness, they live a mile from the Culloden battlefield.

It snowed while we were there...

...and we shopped, 'til we dropped!

The panelling is part of Nicks vision, between them Nick and Gary designed a pattern.
 Gary used his router skills to create this.

The contraption on the mantel piece is the dado rail for the curved wall, wet and weighted to perfection to create a bend...
Someone broke it!

I'm glad you know where all that spaghetti goes Martin!
Before we finish the porch, Martin had to move the 
circuit board to its final height.

As Gary was waiting for some trusses to do his next job, he and his labourer ended up with one of the worst...insulating the attic!
I think all of us agree that Xtratherm/Kingspan is 
a horrible, horrible job!

Nick is painting/varnishing doors, his main job of the moment...year!

On Easter Sunday we got out!
The Haar (Scottish sea fog) hung in the valleys and over the sea. The rest of Islay was in beautiful sunshine...

 We chose the Oa for a walk...bad choice as we ate our picnic of decorated Dower House eggs in the cold haar. 
The dogs enjoyed it and it was very atmospheric.

A Reed bunting on the Oa

The Islay plane circled over head as the airport was in thick fog. 
Each time it circled hundreds of geese took off and one of them poohed on my car...the cheek.


Easter Monday...

I made a mistake, apparently and ordered 36 sheets of plasterboard to come with a pack of Thermalite blocks, that we ordered many months ago. I was told to order them I'm sure and no one told me Gary had changed his mind and wanted them later!

As it was a beautiful day we went for a paddle in between work.

We met Mark, from Islay studios also kayaking, with friends.

...and while I cooked dinner Nick carried all the plaster board in.

...and Jenny carried the very wet, Thermalite blocks.

Tuesday back to work...or perhaps we never stopped!

Jenny grouts the wet room tiles

...and Nick makes a raised platform for the wet room toilet

...before Lee comes to finish off more pipes

"Connections" something we all need.

"Tools for the job" essential...

...and plans, without those we would get no where!


A walk in the sunset...
We have been going to Kintra for many years to watch the sun set and I'm sure you agree, it's not a bad spot!

The following morning at The Dower House...

Seals, Merganser ducks 
and the tell tail sign of a plane in the sky.

A misty Thursday morning

Moss, Lichen and Quartz.

A heron flies over the Dower House.

The Larch trees are flowering little pink cones.

What shall we do with all these slates?

Gary suggested a map of Islay and Lee helped me perfect it.
Unfortunately it has to be moved along as it ended up in
 front of the disabled access door. 
Do you know how heavy those slates are?

Recently I have been asked if we have any regrets, if we had known how hard it was going to be would we have still done the project.
We get a few chances in life to change direction. You either spend your life in a comfortable, or often very uncomfortable groove, thinking that it is the only way to live and wouldn't it be nice to do something exciting, something you really want to do before you get too old . Well you can, we did and there are always choices. 
Tom, Sandy, Nick and I took a chance, but we didn't consider it a risk, because given this amazing opportunity, why would you not? We often say we wish we were all 10 years younger, but the time wasn't right then, we were still learning and earning.
If you want something enough and the time is right, just go for it...
or stay where you's your choice. 

The Dower House is slowly coming back to life and we have made a lot of new friends along the way, people, I hope will remain long after the last door is fitted, the last cable and copper pipe connected. One thing I have learnt is that life is about people, not money. Money is just something you need to get by. People are the most important thing, without, friendship, kindness and trust there is nothing.

Soon we will be able to offer a cup of tea and cake to welcome
 you when you call, won't that be something?


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