Saturday, 30 June 2012

Greetings from Scotland! Well, June has been the wettest since records began. That rates along with April! When one considers that March was the hottest for decades and May the coldest for 70 years, we are not sure what is happening, but we do love it here. What still amazes us is that the contractors leave their keys in their earthmoving equipment for weeks and that the lead and copper which came off the roof are still here after two months and that the workers tools are just left overnight. Not possible in SA I guess! The house stripping is coming to an end. The wooden windows have been ordered from Finland and now the challenge of rebuilding will soon begin. We do hope you like these and hope to see you back on our website soon. Love, Chris & Paula

The Rhododendrons look really good, even if the wrong variety! 

Our Maltese Poodle went into his first trim in a Scottish Dog Parlor - he usually looks similar to the dog on the left, but look what happened! We did not recognise him!
We are laying a 230 metres underground electric cable to the house over the field. Lots of hassle getting all the parties together as not one utility supplies power here.

The interior of the house in this section has now been stripped out giving the house cathedral-like proportions without the first floor

The porch was in poor condition and had to be removed. An action shot of it coming down.

The last thing to go was the staircase. Notice the fireplace in the sky.

It can get cold at night and our little terrier, Oxo, is taking no chances!

Saturday, 2 June 2012

We have been working on restoring the house for 4 weeks now and these are the latest pictures of progress. Most of the work has been destructive - breaking down and removing the insides, but the stonemasons have been repairing rotten lintels and the roofing repairs is in progress. We will post something monthly so, if you are interested, kindly check for updates on a monthly basis. Best wishes, Chris & Paula.

 Here is  picture of the back courtyard. The two outbuildings are in the process of being demolished, after removing the slate. They will be rebuilt in a slightly modified form. Only the Loo is left standing!
 This is a view of the front of the house. The windows have all been removed as well as the entrance porch on the left - the new Turret will go where the entrance porch was. The stonemasons are busy inside the house and, in order to get more light into the kitchen, we have decided to punch through stone gable to make the window> this is not to be undertaken lightly as removing the huge stones can cause an avalanche above. Luckily, they are experts.
The upstairs walls have been stripped out and the ceilings and windows removed. The floors will all be removed later, but they are useful for access.

This is an example of the stonemasons craft - it is easier repairing the stonework with blocks. The wooden lintels were rotten due to the huge amount of rain that came in over many years.

The valley between the front and back gables was very neglected over the 24 years that the house stood empty and many of the trusses were rotten. This meant removal of part of the slates and 'sarking' boards and then renewing selected beams. Presently in progress.
Bluebells and Forget-me-nots struggle to get through the clumpy grass.
 Paula has started to cut swathes through some of the garden to create meadow paths on the outskirts of the garden. The grass that has taken over the garden is tough with tightly bound roots which must be cut down by weedeater until it yields to a lawmower.

 This is part of the 'lawn' and bank nearest the house. You can see that Paula has been busy, but it's hard going!
 We have lots of pheasants and Red Deer in the woods around us (as well as badgers). All these creatures are most welcome (even if they eat or dig up all new shoots), but they are incredibly difficult to photograph of! - this is my best shot of a pheasant.