Friday 14 November 2008

Moving forward, slowly.

Crikey! The under floor heating seems to be working already!
Bryan is tiling the bathroom. He must be the most meticulous tiler on the planet. He's very thorough, and I would defy anybody to spot a misplaced dollop of adhesive or grouting. The tiles are lined up in regimental order.
The addition of tiles seem to make the bath room look bigger - it has an uncluttered look and yes, that's right, you've noticed it too, the absence of a loo and sink.
But there is a bath, and we can fill it with a bucket from the outside tap, and heat it up a bit with water from the kettle! Only we can't and we don't as it isn't quite connected yet.
We drove to Inverness and collected the doors on the trailer. Dodo is putting in door frames and hinges and handles - and doors, hopefully!
I don't want any future guest to panic, but this is the guest room! I've plastered and sanded down and today I'm painting. The thing I've noticed about rooms, is that they appear quite small until you come to paint the ceiling and then they seem to take on proportions of aircraft hangers in size! Yesterday the electrician came round and they are starting next week with the final fix, which means light switches and light bulbs and heating and the stuff that normal houses have.
I sent a photo of the damaged oven to Ikea as requested. I'm waiting for a response. Maybe they're just lost for words.
We really need and want to move in to the house now. It's so nearly there but electricity and water would make it so much easier

Monday 10 November 2008

Stac Pollaidh

Robin (our oldest son) arrived from Manchester for a week of hard labour and toil, but on Friday (following the discovery of the damaged oven) we let him have a break and he and I climbed Stac Pollaidh. Pronounced Stac Polly, it's a sort of rocky ridge that rises up and stands on its own just to the north of Ullapool. It looks very eroded and weather worn. A serrated rocky ridge.
The weather looked promising, and there were new boots to be worn in.

In recent years they have put in a foot path, at least as far as the north side where the ascent begins. This is a popular mountain as it's a relatively easy climb and being near the road doesn't take enormous long trek to reach.
The views it gives are awesome. In the distance Suilven, with Loch Sionascaig

This old boy has plenty to say! I wonder what changes (if any) he has seen.
And another old boy. It was very windy on top
but the view went all around and it was well worth making the effort. We sheltered from the wind and ate sausage rolls and chocolate.
And decided not to go up here. The traverse of the summit ridge is a rocky scramble and we didn't want to get blown off the top, besides we had to get back so Robin could finish insulating the loft!

The walk back down again was easy, if somewhat tough on the knees and driving home we caught the sun as it was just beginning to set.
Robin flew back to Manchester this morning on the 7am flight. He made the journey to the airport on time, despite gales and driving sleet, and rain. It was great to have his help and his company. As always I miss the kids when they go back after a visit. It's great that they come up and actually seem to enjoy it. They like what we're doing and enjoy sharing it with us, money and time permitting

Thursday 6 November 2008


This is the broken microwave oven that we unpacked today...
And this is where it should go, above the ordinary oven that isn't broken..!
I've spoken to IKEA (I speak to them most days) and the nice young man at the other end of the phone said to hold on a moment while he entered my order number on the computer. Then he was very quiet for a long time as we have a large case history that he had to look at. And I explained that we weren't trying to be difficult but that a lot of kitchen items appeared to have been broken in the journey from Edinburgh to our house, only to be discovered bit by bit as we unpack and try to fit them. To cheer him up and to show him I wasn't an awkward customer I told him the fridge freezer looked very nice and so did the sink, now it had been replaced with one that wasn't broken, and that the new replaced induction hob had also arrived, in one piece.
He's going to get an adviser to phone me tomorrow!

Saturday 1 November 2008

A new day

The colour was dazzling. Intense deep oranges and reds that glowed; as if an enormous furnace had been lit behind the mountain. It begun this morning, quietly, just a glow, that slowly grew richer, deeper. It lasted no more than 5 minutes, heralding the arrival of a new day. And at the risk of showing the same old mountain yet again on this blog, here it is!
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