4 Dwellings & a storage unit

Nearly a month has passed since I last wrote a blog post, so plenty to write about. Partly the delay has been due to using the warm weather spell that remained to commit to outdoor jobs, partly to moving homes, and partly to the return of the cold weather making it impossible to spend any length of time at the keyboard not wearing gloves.

During that spell of warm weather.

So first a story fit for a farce. For a time at the end of March our possessions were spread across four properties. The property now occupied by mum had been decorated mid March and after a couple of runs to storage had been fully furnished complete with mum who had moved in. Karen and I traded time between the winter rental and making good the caravan we now live in. The Old Manse still houses much stuff however.

What I have learnt during this period is that when in any of the four properties the thing I require to complete a job is in a second abode. I go to that location to search for said item, be it a screwdriver, pair of glasses, cooking utensil only to be distracted by a job that also requires my attention or a realisation that said item is not in this location at all. The job in the second location requires an item relocated in the first or third places – most likely the one I have just come from to start the search. You get the picture.

Anyway, without labouring the point, mum is safe in her new home, we are comfy in the caravan, the keys to the holiday home have been returned and the Old Manse, well some work to stripping out has recommenced.

It has been a while since I last wrote on the blog, as one avid reader has pointed out to me today, so I’ve needed to review photos on the iPhone to remind me of activity. The shepherd’s hut has seen a significant makeover of the roof making it watertight again. The addition of batons, insulation and finally the tin that arrived back in December make for a good finish. I have my friend Keith, and his confidence at height, to thank for a huge help completing the tin – a job Karen and I could not have done without him. We needed to freshen up the paintwork too, taking advantage of a sunny day.

…(Vapour Barrier) & tin roof.
Then a repaint.

We have spent many an enjoyable hour at Achamore Gardens and were recently treated to a guided to tour by Achamore’s head gardener. A few photos to follow but it’s hard both to describe and capture the beauty of the camellia walk when it fully bloomed in March.

Some stunning blooms at Achamore

An equally enjoyable morning was spent on a second guided walk by the Isle of Gigha Ranger service & Historic Environment Scotland. Gigha has many treasures for the those interested in history, I more enjoyed the walk and views!

The fantastic west coast of Gigha
A fortified area the target of todays walk

A first check this year was made on the bees. They appear to be in good health and, like us, were really enjoying the good spell of weather that occurred around the middle of March. The weather wasn’t to last though and our plans to revisit and further check frames and the queen excluder have been put on hold.

Bee maintenance…
… they seem well

JB visited us along with his drone producing some great video (can be seen over on Instagram @oldmansegigha) and photography. The latter is helping us to map out and plan the walled garden and beyond, increasing accuracy of plans started by Karen over winter.

The Old Manse and it’s walled garden

Outside the house we have been resident in the on-site caravan for a couple of weeks now. Karen has done a great job in making a small space warm and comfortable. There have been a few frustrations, namely making a tv point work only having it fail again days later but successes too. The oven has provided two Sunday roasts to date and draughts are excluded to a minimum! With a water connection and a battery recharging unit working as it should we are in a good place.


Inside the Old Manse we turned our attention to ripping out the kitchen. The room had become a bit of a dumping ground and was frustrating us both in the mess it had become. All units have now been delivered to the tip at Campbeltown and the removal of a stud wall has allowed us a vision of what might be achieved by opening the space up. More to do here, and in the garden when the good weather returns.

Demolition crew
A much neater space.

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