Sunday, 22 May 2005

one more week to go

... and plenty of work left for us.
And plenty we have finished. I have finally tiled the kitchen. And Erech is pretty much done with the piping for the heating and water supply.

The weather, as usually, is changing and continues to do so indefinitely.
We had some quite cold days and some rather warm days mixed with a little rain and ...
Here is the proof that it can be coldish up here. A layer of ice in a bucket full of water:

Our mood is still optimistic though sometimes I feel like I need to cheer up Erech because he is getting frustrated with working on the pipes.

He has been putting in quite some hours I must say. So it is always a good idea to take little break and enjoy the sunshine with a nice lunch.

Sometimes we have visitors. The neigbors come around and sometimes it is just little things like this shrew who we had some fun with, chasing it around ...

But I do have a feeling I am going nuts. Usually I start noticing it in the afternoon, when singing out loud crazy sonds with the most terrible voice but I am afraid Erech has to put up with that all day and I just don't notice it myself :)
This is me making sure my wooden support piece is strong enough for the raidiator it is supposed to hold.

We still make sure to have some relaxing time in the evening after the sun sets and we have finished working. That's usually around 10:00 pm.
Last night Erich was sanding and cleaning fittings for the copper pipes and I played some guitar...

And here is the most recent pictrue. It's only a few minutes old.
Erech and Vince and my T43 while editing the blog in Vince' kitchen.

Tuesday, 17 May 2005


So, it is almost a week since the last report ... lot's of things have happened. We are finally starting to build things instead of tearing everything down and I have been to London for a job interview.
In addition the weather has been realy nice for a few days which increased our motivation.

 Though it did not last for long. Today the weather turned back to
it's original grey, cloudy, rainy, sometimes snowy mood and back again to some sunshine.

So, I was gone off to London for the 12th and the 13th. Erech took me to Aberdeen to catch the plane at 9:50. That ment getting up early... but more on the job application and interview in another post.
Erech picked me up again on friday and we got a little more done on the house on a beautiful sunny day.We now have finished with most of the piping in the new bathroom and put in some concrete to level it all out.

While Erech was taking care of the bathroom I fixed up the insulation in the kitchen, worked on the electricity and did little things like fixing up an old door. I have also managed to put in new plasterboards in the kitchen.

Besides working all day, we made sure to enjoy the nice weather by doing things like climbing the house' wall.

Today we took a day off as the weather was just awfull and we both were tired of moving sand and cement. We went to see a couple destileries ... very nice thing to do on a day like today.

Wednesday, 11 May 2005

it's cold here

The temperatures have droped a bit, we are no at around 11C during the day and about 4C at night, and still we have no heating at all. It even snowed yesterday.

The fireplace, the single one that is left, does not realy warm up the place but gives us a comfortable feeling. Visiting the neighbors is always a special occasion, too, that happens about once a day to chat, check email, and warm up a bit.

We have managed to take down a couple of walls to make room for the new bathroom.

We riped out more of the floor to put pipes in and fixed some walls to add support for the radiators we are going to put in.
Since the ground level around the house is to high, so it is always wet in the house we decided to get someone it to put drainage all around the house. Of course things could not just go right, the main water pipe was riped out while the trench was dug up.

Let's hope this will be good for a number of years and get the house a bit dryer.

We still have not heard from BT so we have to manage with the cellphones. And even those only work in some parts of the house.

But then again, life is great up here.

Sunday, 8 May 2005

from sunny California to rainy Scotland

I haven't realy found the time yet to process the trip to the states and off I am again on yet another adventure.

It all started last Thursday:

I arrived in Frankfurt with Arne and we parted there. I was picked up by Erech and Arne took the train back home. I did not have much time to rest because the car and the trailer needed to be packed for the trip up to the highlands. I am not sure how much we packed but I am sure it was more than the trailer and the car where ment to handle. We had tiles, radiators, a complete kitchen, cement, ... and a motor scooter.As long as we would not stop uphill the car started to get going quite well.

We took off Friday the next morning to drive up to Rotterdam to catch the ferry to Hull,England.It was an overnight ferry and we had a nice little room with comfortable beds. For dinner we set on deck and enjoyed a nice bottle of wine while the sun was setting.

We both were quite tired and did not manage to stay up for very long to enjoy the luxary of the ship. Early the next morning we arrived in England. We had a proper english breakfast a a little restaurant which filled us well enough to get through the day.
This is how the car was fed :) (pure rape seed oil):

At around 21:00 o clock we arrived at Croftglass Cottage, near Dufftown:

It is beautiful up here. The only thing you hear are the birds singing and the wind howling and every so often a rain shower comes along which sometimes turns into hail or even snow. I guess that's Scotland.
It is still quite cold and we don't have heating in the house. Though warm blankets and working till we drop into bed makes sure we are not getting too cold.
We have electricity but no phone and the mobiles only work in certain spots in the house.
British Telecom actually promised a phone line to be installed before May but they did not take into account that the house is in the middle of nowhere and that it might be a bit more work than just pushing a couple buttons to make it work. The lines snaped during the winter and the tel. posts they used to hang on are not high enough to meet the regulations. So, they will come in with a crew next week to put in new posts and a new line along a couple miles of road. They might have it ready on the 16th but we do not realy count on it.
Fortunately the neighbors are great people and we can just come down to user their line to get online or do phone calls.

There is more than plenty of work here to be done and we only have a month to get it all finished. We nned to put in a new heating system, build a comple bath and replace the existing kitchen with a new one.
Besides that there is an old bathroom that needs to be torn down and some wall that need to be removed to build the new one. Pretty much The floor needs to be tiled in most places and the walls need a new makeover. The windows need to be replaced, but that'll happen during the summer. The list goes on and on and on ...

So far we have pretty much been tearing out things amd the more we take out we find even more that should be fixed. Like the floor in the living room. We just wanted to put in some new pipes for the heating system and the main watter line. So we opened up the wooden floor to find out that one of the supporting beams is rotten at the end. So, we open up more to find out that they are all rotten. Great! Now we got the bare dirt floor.

No more sitting at the fireplace for a while but lot's of timber to burn. Luckily we still have another working fireplace in the dining room. We did find more spots where the timber needs to be removed. Erech was a bit down at the end of the day but we both agreed to do the job right instead of just giving it a quick fix.

Even with the cold weather, the little surprises we discover and what not, Erech and I are both greatly enjoying the time up here.

Like haveing the luch out in the sun:

or working hard just like that: