See Food

It’s been a long while since the last blog, my apologies to my readership, it’s been busy. So I’m first going to talk about one of my great loves food before giving a more chronological account of the last couple of months.

We are blessed on Gigha to enjoy three fantastic food eateries who all thrive on the fantastic seafood this island offers. Before posting pictures of those I want to talk about the community on the island and how blessed I was to find a knock on the door asking if I could use a couple of lobsters. A swift yes to Ben B allowed me to make lobster, asparagus and pea risotto the following night and boy was it good!

Lobster courtesy of Ben
Lobster, asparagus and pea risotto

In no particular order I’ve had the pleasure of eating at the Gigha Hotel, The Boathouse and The Nook in the past fortnight. I’m a regular at the Nook for their Fish and Chips but enjoyed the pickled fish platter today to celebrate finishing the deck (more later). I treated the deck builders to The Boathouse last night and enjoyed the Linguine Vongole, highly recommended. And the Hotel last week for a visit from a good friend, thoroughly enjoying Gigha oysters before a well cooked burger. Again more of this later but look out for the food in the stories.

Back to late July to pick up the story from the last post. We continued to remove parts of the first floor that were to no longer remain in the new version of the Manse. Ceilings came down and more lath and plaster were placed in front garden and wood piles respectively. Surprisingly one of the two bedrooms yielded three ceilings, one above another that was hidden at first look. It does give the height back to the room though.

Ceiling removal
When you take down a ceiling and find another ceiling
One of two rooms on the first floor now stripped of lath and plaster

We then tackled the last of the living room on the first floor. And thinking that was most of the demolition, we set about emptying the house. The decision prompted us to move the caravan to a location we could construct the awning. After a couple of false starts (to move behind the house) we settled on a sheltered spot in the front garden. As long as we don’t sink after the weekend’s downpour it will remain home for a while.

Karen became an expert with the motor mover……
…. but even with her skills it wouldn’t make the corner
So to the front garden it went….
…. and was adorned with awning

We have been blessed with visitors and a great social life too of late. Delighted to host Andy & Emily Peake for a couple of nights who both played a part in cutting the meadow. Their timing was perfect to join us for a great party down at Liem too, so much so I cannot recall the following picture being taken. Nedless to say we had a good time (and plenty of red wine).

Andy, Emily & I post red wine

I have also been working throughout August. And whilst I make no secret of attempting to transition away from the IT industry I am grateful for being able to work from home and earn a decent wage that all is going on with the cost of living at the moment. What makes the day at the desk easier is that I have moved into the shepherd’s hut and have some great views from there.

View from the desk.
And our own standing stone when I open the door

I got to indulge another of my passions as the days grow shorter, that of stargazing. Some lovely night skies and I managed to capture a moonscape of which, I am quite proud. Though not as good as my friends at Argyll Auroras who produced the latter stunning image that was then annotated by my good friend and Dark Skies expert Keith.

Moon in the meadow
Delighted to get the Nikon out again
Keith’s annotated photo whom I must credit to Robert Laing ( can you spot the Manse?)

Our social month continued with visitors aplenty. Murdoch and Rhona arrived by (push) bike as did Steve a week later. But the prize for most stunning travel to the island was taken by Julian who upstaged all by arriving by plane. Steve put in a great shift emptying the Manse and Murdoch has returned to photograph the estate for us. I think I need a whole blog on what he has produced……

Rhona meeting other Gigha residents
Arriving in style
My good friend Julian and I
We started with the oysters – Gigha has the best from anywhere I’ve found
A view from the plane – guess the island.

Either side of our wedding anniversary we spent time on the garden, something we both love. Whilst I dont put these pictures on to say look how great it is looking I’m still pretty chuffed that we are holding back the weeds to keep the canvass looking ok. Hoping for big things next year if we can keep control for a while longer. I must mention the wedding anniversary and a cheeky lunch at Skipness Seafood Cabin – a great way to celebrate with the woman I love more and more each year xx.

Happy anniversary xx
The not so formal, formal garden

And back on the house front there were decisions – again prompted by food – choosing the kitchen components. The layout though is still up for grabs so will talk about that in later months. We did come up with some novel design tools mind, or archaic possibly? We concluded we would order from Wren and do so now before prices escalated further.

Envisaging design into real life
CAD drawing?

Now bang up to date the bill of fare for this weekend was to build a deck in front of the shepherds hut. Lots of pictures on Insta for this one and a hearty thanks to our friends Kathryn and John who endured the wettest day of the year to build the frame. The weekend ended in glorious sunshine for me to screw down the last remaining boards and enjoy that decadent pickled fish platter from the Nook washed down with a glass of champagne delivered by plane earlier in the week. We have some great friends!

No worries mate, it will all fit..
Weather warning, not going to stop us
Sunny Sunday
Decadent afternoon to celebrate finishing
And what better than The Nook’s pickled seafood platter washed down with fizz?
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