Looking back at the blog after a return from holiday I realise that I haven’t made time to commit words to the page since early May. Plenty to tell you about but much of a distant memory so I’m relying upon the photos on the iPhone to prompt me of topics to write about. The routine of desk work and renovation at evenings and weekends is my excuse, that and a (well deserved) holiday too.

Chronologically as things appear on my phone then and back to early May. Focus needed to shift to the interior of the Old Manse and the rip out of the kitchen commenced. Dan visited and was, as always keen to lay his hands on power tools and start the demolition process. He is however, not so clean on the tidy up. The baton was handed to me for some of that but with the desk calling Karen took the lead on bringing down the lath and plaster ceiling. Not an easy job and have to give wifey a lot of credit for doing this – the room being transformed and starting to see the potential of the space we have for the kitchen and dining area.

In tandem with the interior rip out the plan was to keep the garden under control by continually mowing the meadow and walled garden. Still areas to clear to ensure that the lawnmower comes across no significant rocks or hazards still being uncovered from previous ownership. However, punctures to our new lawnmower and the pace at which nature fights this process mean that the pictures from mid & late May have seen significant growth again and on return from holiday there is work to do once more.

It wasn’t all work in May though, we did manage to visit Achamore with the rhododendrons in full bloom and walk the newest of Gigha’s path network to be opened. A night with the Gigha food group taught me to fillet the famous halibut and I also managed a few oysters from dinner at the hotel that are very much in season. The final photos in this section demonstrate more of the natural beauty of the island with a couple of sunsets from the end of May.

Preparations of clearing rubble from the building paid dividends this month as Michael Ross returned for a week of pointing. The exterior of the build is pretty much ‘chipped out’ and estimates tell me that Michael needs a further week to complete the task. Lewis, our joiner, returned also to snag the windows and all is running smooth now. The exterior of the build is certainly looking more as we expect.

An unexpected distraction during the pointing came from the bees who decided to swarm. Quite an experience for me as new to beekeeping but guided by Karen we managed to shepherd the ejected queen and swarm into a second hive.

And finally to the holiday, a week of luxury in sharp contrast to the caravan living we experience at the moment. A week aboard P&O’s Iona, food and drink plentiful and better still no washing up! A lovely week in Norway cruising through Fjords with time to read books (Richard Osman’s excellent second offering for me) and to see some live music. A lovely phot of Mum, Karen and I to finish, hope you will agree we don’t scrub up too bad?


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