Friday, 25 December 2009

Merry Christmas!

Turkey in the oven, dogs are walked, made a cuppa and now waiting for everyone else to wake up!

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Snow Times

Finally the snow arrives in Argyll. Preceded by frosty days and frostier nights we woke this morning (some of us earlier than others...) to a couple of inches of the soft stuff. Initial childlike euphoria at putting down those all important first footprints was tempered slightly when I realised that the frost and ice was still there only now hidden under a lot of white stuff. This is Toby approximately 20 seconds after he stumbled to the bedroom window expecting another non event in the daily snow check. Pretty and seasonal though it all is it will be better once we have Mum, Pip, the turkey, the ham and the presents up here with us. Plans to drive are being abandoned as I type in a very sensible decision not to travel a very large stretch of the length of Britain in our snowiest week so far. We are so rubbish at snow in this country that she would probably arrive round about January 3rd triumphantly clutching the turkey....We would be happy for her to abandon the turkey at home in the freezer ditto the ham (but not the dog) as the thought of that combination of travelling companions on the UK railway system is a bit boggling (Have you heard the one about the ham, the turkey and the dog?.....). However Nigel is chief Mum organiser in residence at present and I am sure will juggle everything nicely. Howard and Myrna are also travelling at the moment but in the other direction down to Doncaster braving the infamous A66, however we gave them (or was it lent?.....) a bar of chocolate, a bottle of water and one banana and so can surely survive anything! We know how to do survival packs.

Friday, 18 December 2009

Frosty start

A quick run out this morning complete with head torch and ipod to make me not feel so hard done to at running in the cold and (very) dark...this is part of the "making Lucy lose weight" plan that seems to involve my doing more running than usual. The dogs loved the unexpectedly early exercise chasing off more than normal. I found the running different, jerkier as I tried to adjust to the uneven ground, the danger of slipping and the intense dark,I may have frightened the neighbours with my heavy breathing progress past their house at 7am. I was home by 7.30am to a very welcoming warm, toasty smelling kitchen with a cup of tea ready for me...and I feel all smug now at having got the run out of the way....just Braehead to survive now.

Thursday, 17 December 2009

New blog!

Just finished creating a new blog for the running group in Inveraray. I shall just have to wait and see now if anyone else is geeky enough to want to look at it! As always your feedback whoever you may be is appreciated.....not had any comments for a while!
Just lulling around here in the pre Christmas week with few vague things lurking around left to do but not too many. From past experience this means that I won't rush around getting those things done and will suddenly remember them round about next Thursday night. Trips down to Lochgilphead this week number three in as many days, twice for me and once for Garret. Garret's involved taking a Lucy dog to the vet in a worry over a lump on her tummy that turned out to be FAT!! £21 later and immediately into a 4 mile run for the fat dog! One of my trips was to take Toby to fracture clinic where the consultant has cast doubt on the scaphoid break. The plan is to keep the (frankly, by now smelly) cast on another week and then re x-ray. Just to stop him losing credibility he does have a crack to the radius. This will throw me into the chaos that is Tesco on the 23rd December so wish me well.

Monday, 14 December 2009

Dashing through the snow

No snow but lots of dashing at yet another Christmas themed run on Sunday. The weather was glorious but oh so cold as we ran around Loch Barnlusgan. Soup and mince pies followed and hearty chat between runners...perfect!

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Race time but not as I know it

A different sort of racing today, the equine kind which involved no more effort on my part than a gentle wander to the saddling up enclosure and a dipping into my pocket for a bet on each race. Actually even the latter was not a burden as Garret staked me for the day. We sadly, despite his best efforts betting on the winner in 3 out of 6 races did not come out in front as I failed dismally to pick even one! However a great day out with good friends and then an Indian meal in Edinburgh to round it off. Perfect!

Hot off the Christmas presses...

Inveraray jogscotland hosted their inaugural Jingle bells run on Sunday December 6th. The weather was kind and 31 competitors of varying ages and abilities lined up at the start line in the grounds of Inveraray Castle. The run was a one mile loop with the choice to run once, twice or three times round. There was some fantastic competitive running from everyone, with many running further than they had before. Inveraray running group would like to thank everyone who made the effort to attend especially those from Ormsary jogscotland and even one competitor who came all the way from West Yorkshire. The Inveraray group captured first over all place with member Toby Corner taking first adult male prize in the 3 miles in 18.36, first adult female in the three miles was Liz Feeney 24.47, log leader, mid Argyll group. The first junior female over 3 miles was Freya Corner 22.41, Inveraray . The first adult in the two miles Kate Gomersall from Leeds and first junior, Rosie Corner came in together at 17.30 making it a hat trick for the Corner family. Patrick Feeney, Minard joined his mother in the prizes as first male Junior in 14.54. The junior one mile prizes were hotly contested with local runner Ben Cameron putting in a fantastic run of 9.04 with another local Iona McCulloch coming over the finishing line with a big smile in 12.07 as first junior female. First adult female was Nicola Scott. Thanks also go to Argyll Estates and The Duke of Argyll for allowing us to use their lovely grounds to run in, the marshals and time keeper Dilla Patrick. Inveraray jogscotland meet every Tuesday night during term time at the shelter Shed at the Primary school at 7pm.

Therefore an agony of laminating, results collating andgeneral panicing about the weather came to a very happy, festive end!

Friday, 4 December 2009

Over the hills and far away

A routine run turned into a small adventure today as Liz and I took off for a bit of unintentional fell running. The run started off as routine and then in a bid to get up to the top of a previously unexplored hill we took off first along one quad track and then (after losing Molly, Liz's Jack Russell) another one that was more promising and did indeed taks us a good long way of walking/running up to near the top. Reluctant to turn back we (after checking that Claonairigh Taxis had not gone out and about on his other job) set off cross country through a field and then a clear fell to get down to the tracks above Auchindrain museum and our eventual lift home. Very satisfying and good fun...just got to wash the trainers now...VERY muddy indeed.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Round up and panic, panic!!

The weekend at Centre Parcs surrounded by floods seems now a distant but happy memory! In true Corner style we cycled, swam, badminton-ed and tennis-ed the weekend away lubricated by just a wee bit of wine and fuelled by more than a wee bit of food. It was great sharing it all with Liz who joined in wholeheartedly, well she had no choice really. There was a dodgy moment as she and I both simultaneously tried to find a valid and unique excuse for ducking out of the Laser Conquest...this desire to wimp out lasted until the first round was shot and then we were off and at 'em...Sisters against the world...well, the green team anyway! The weather was fine considering the devastation going on around us. No pictures at present as my iphone seems to not want to give up the pictures so if anyone can help get in touch!
As always December is looking as though it is going to flash past at the speed of a Christmas fairy light. This weekend inveraray jogscotland has its inaugural Jingle Bells run on the Castle grounds. A choice of laps from one mile, two or three miles. There WILL be photos this time! I am therefore trying to juggle all the details in my head and occasionally something falls out (of my head) and so we will be lucky if all goes well...or indeed to get any meals between then and now...

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

What to say??

Why does not doing the thing you know that you should have done ages ago make one not do it even more? I know I am not alone in this and am usually good with "to do" lists "to pack for holiday" lists, lists of lists etc but once something goes over that invisible guilt line then the chance has gone. Anyway, a very long winded way of saying that due to several unrelated circumstances I have not updated the "then" blog and so therefore have not written the "now" one either. So, here we are well into Autumn and the half term holidays have been and gone. We are gearing up for our "we worked hard in the summer" treat at Centre Parcs in Cumbria at the weekend which means mucking out the car and removing half the things that the children try to stuff into a half pint pot. October and November seem to have flashed by in a way the summer does not. This weekend was a high point as Garret, Toby and I attended the annual triathlon awards dinner on Friday where we watched the action from a table well out of the action when to my immense surprise I was announced female Runner of the Year...I am shamelessly proud having never received a nomination let alone an award before. The cherry on a very muddy cake was the Tin Farm 5 race at Ormsary on Sunday when Toby took third junior and 8th overall and I was second veteran Woman, great though this was the best bit was seeing several of the inveraray jogscotland runners competing and smiling their way over the finishing line. Fabulous running girls!!

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Ahhhhh sweet......

After a day or so of worry about the piglets and an emergency trip down to Lochgilphead to get weaners nuts things seems to be settling down. Mummy Pig seemed to have had enough of motherhood after two weeks (some sympathy there...)which led to the strongest two grabbing hold whenever she stood still near them and the other four huddling in the hut. Now they are all out and about,the family is back together. Mr Pig has broken into their field and so they come and go at will and really it is very hard to split them up as they are all so very content together. He rests his head on the girls in total contentment and as I write they are curled up in a big heap with piglets swarming all over the four of them.
The “Then” blog. For details see entry for March 7th 2009. In brief the restoration of Claonairigh House.
Monday 12th October (Peter)
Very dull today but stayed dry. No midges, no mice either
Started on lower flashing on the front of the house and replaced some broken tiles. Shottun’s workmen were clearing the timber from the old cottages all day. Wagons still moving large amounts of mixed timber. Steve called, says he is working near the Castle in Inveraray.
Tuesday October 13th
Dull and dampish. Rain at times sunny. No midges
Finished flashing to lower lead roof, dug out gateway and posthole.

Sunday, 11 October 2009


The “Then” blog. For details see entry for March 7th 2009. In brief the restoration of Claonairigh House.
Tuesday 6th October
Beautiful day. 4 midges. 2 bit me an 1 bit Dad. 1 gote aten by the bat. L/N (little Nipper mouse trap) 5 Mice O
Sad day to begin with, found a dead bat (probably the coughing bat of Clunary) gave it a Viking burial. G finished north side of lounge roof. P chased out chimney for flashing and patched up bad bit of stonework. G and P tiled 1/3 of south roof. Buzzed by Chinook playing war games most of the day (quite good at getting the leaves to fall quickly).
Weds October 7th
Beautiful day again. No idges L/N 6 Mice 0
Finished tiling South side of lounge roof and ¼ of hip side. Police came round looking for two army persons who were supposed to hide for 36hrs, after 48hrs and a cold night they decided to look for them. The stags were noisy last night.
Thursday 8th Oct
Sunny spells, heavy scotch mists. No midges. L/N 6 Mice 0
Finished tiling the roof, fixed lead flashing round chimney and most of zinc edging. The caravan stinks, the warm weather seems to have activated the water closet so we have shovelled a lot of soil over it and sprayed a lot of air freshener.
Friday Oct 9th
Sunny, lovely day. No Midges L/N 7 Mice -6 shrews -1
Filled in earth closet and dug a new one. G went to inveraray for supplies. Finished zinc edgings and flashing along the wall. Started rendering flashing but broke off to help P pull out old tree trunk that was breaking drains at rear of house did this and decided to check the drains to see if any damage had been done to the drains. None had but I thought that I would just see if the soapy water was going into the cess tank...It wasn’t so we thought we’d have a little check to see why not. 4hrs later we had rodded the drains through to the cess tank, found another large access holes ½ way down the slope in front of the house and my cement had set in the bucket. On a lighter note the frogs or rather a frog found the drains a great laugh as a water shoot as it jumped (or was it pushed?) down the newly found access hole that dad was rodding and emerged down at the cess tank where I was. It then hopped out of the water and started heading back up the hill as if it couldn’t wait for another turn.
Saturday 10th (Peter)
Sunny, good day (no midges)
Working on finishing roof. Flashings. Garret pruned damson tree using tower scaffold. I removed the tree roots remaining at the rear of the house, stated on lower roof. G returned to Leeds late evening. Steve returned from Holiday.
Sunday 11th
Sunny, Good day. No midges
Very keen frost this morning must have been 3 or 4 below. Very cosy when you are warm and dry. Air very clear. Fixed roof flashings to rear lower roof. Re proofed caravan awing, searched out the awful stink in the caravan. The cause was not the dead rat as though but the dead battery which was slowly boiling and giving off gas under Garret’s bed.

Monday, 5 October 2009

Garret's race report.

Oban ½ 4th October
Fiona mentioned there was a ½ marathon this weekend and not wanting to waste the training session I did the weekend before I thought what the hell, I only worked to 01.30 in the morning so I got an early night, then remembered emptying a plastic bag out of my pocket and into a bin last night. Unfortunately it had £55 in it, so up early to hopefully retrieve it before it was nicked or thrown out! Two bacon rolls, one roll with honey and two bottles of water into the car and away after one quick detour to restack some 5m long roofing sheets that had moved in the wind. Arrived at Oban and registered, quick change and a tin of red bull to drink (Bad idea). A warm up and a quick walk to the start. Then off down the main street and through the town. At the one mile mark I checked my watch, 6.5mins, not good, (I need Fiona with me to stop my natural impetuousness). I chill and try to ease my pace, I had been learning my 7 times and 8 times tables so I could check my splits, I didn’t know my 6.5 times tables so I would have to slow, (my legs would also blow up at 5 miles). 2 miles 14mins (better). I carry on up my 7 tables to 5 miles and then start to settle for anything between 7 and 8. Ho, the red bull ...bad idea, I got a small mouth full of it again at around 3 miles, note to self, drink it at least an hour before I start to run, it then let me know there was still some undigested at 5 and 7 miles. I carried on quite well with the normal twinges in my calves, then behind my right knee, then my left buttock all of which came and went to be finally extinguished when I developed a blister on my left arch at 9 miles, proper pain to think about. This eased as my mind started thinking how the relatively flat run on the 6.5miles out and back to Gallanachmore and the 3 miles along to Ganavan Bay had suddenly changed to be quite hilly as we climbed the new cycle track towards Dunstaffnage. As my calves were quite tight by now I went on to the balls of my feet and tried to spring my way up, it didn’t make me any faster but I got up the hills and eased my calves. By the time I had run this (the 10 mile mark being the turning point) and checked my watch at 11miles I was now nearing 8 min pace 1hr 22min. I had really psyched myself to a less than 1hr 40mins time so I tried to increase my pace, the blister now appearing on my right arch lifted me slightly so with the pleasant thought of the run up the hill to Atlantis to finish I battled on. The lovely sunny weather had changed to a light drizzle which was nice and as I turned to drop back down to Atlantis the sound of someone behind me obviously desperate to drop my position by one by the sounds he was making was all the encouragement I needed to keep my speed up for the next few hundred metres bringing me home in 1hr 39mins ish I hope!

The “Then” blog. For details see entry for March 7th 2009. In brief the restoration of Claonairigh House.
Monday 5th
Beautiful midges. Caught one mouse in the house and one in the awning.
Finished fitting sarking board to lounge roof. Tiles ¾ north side working with shirt off in the sunshine.

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Autumn beach Fire..perfect......

Whilst we were performing miracles by rubbing two pieces of wood together on the shore Garret was running the Oban 1/2 marathon in 1hr 39!! No wife to hold him back.

The “Then” blog. For details see entry for March 7th 2009. In brief the restoration of Claonairigh House.
Sunday 4th Oct
Beautiful day No Midges
Cut sarking board and fitted to lounge roof, finished north side. Finished hip side.

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Nowt much to report....

The “Then” blog. For details see entry for March 7th 2009. In brief the restoration of Claonairigh House.
Saturday 3rd October
Light rain am nice pm No midges
Cut bottom section of stair supports away and built a breeze wall to support instead. Dug hole under the stairs about 2” deep to give a more useful space.

NB a useful space indeed! Used to be an overflow storage space for nappies bought in has the wine times change.

Friday, 2 October 2009

Should have left well alone.

Weather pretty much the same then as now but have not noticed any mice yet. Feeling fresh and good this morning and so set off enthusiastically for a run round the 4 and a bit mile circuit then spent the rest of the day crippled with back pain.....Eased quite a bit by a brief swim with Liz but back with a vengeance now. A friend called round and advised stretching therapy which I tried on our exerciser but just hurt my feet and caused a rush of blood to my brain which is just not used to it!
The “Then” blog. For details see entry for March 7th 2009. In brief the restoration of Claonairigh House.
October 1st 1992 (Peter)
Clear,dry sunny periods. No midges
Fix roof tiles and unload materials from Harcross. Collect papers from inveraray.
Friday 2nd October (Garret)
Rainy, no midges....a few mice!!
G arrived 9am. Stripped dining room ceiling and cleaned up.2 tons of timber from Harcross. Sarking boards and 6”x2” £568.50. So far caught three mice in house....evidence of mouse in awning too.

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Achey breaky legs!!

Legs protesting just a little bit today after the tri on Sunday, riding lesson Monday which seemed to involve an awful lot of time out of the saddle standing up and then jogscotland group last night. What sadist decided on 400m sprints........we all survived though and Toby and I had a very civilised swim at the Loch Fyne Hotel until we remembered that no one had recorded "Masterchef" and so we hot tyred it back home. Six piggies all doing well at present, the wee runt died overnight the night before last which was no great surprise but the others look okay and despite their Mother still having food as her main priority are doing well flanked by two aunties who take their turn at being the hot water bottle.
The “Then” blog. For details see entry for March 7th 2009. In brief the restoration of Claonairigh House.
Wednesday 30th September (Garret)
Rainy, no midges
Took down wall between the library and bathroom to be replaced with breeze wall, stripped lathe and plaster from inside bathroom. G went home to do job in Birmingham on Thursday. 6pm arrived home 10.25pm

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

More pictures

I was there too!!!

The “Then” blog. For details see entry for March 7th 2009. In brief the restoration of Claonairigh House.
Friday 18th 1992 (Garret) Nice weather, bit drizzle/sunny ints. Midges evening.
G, p and R started fitting new roof got ridge and spars and one hip out and fitted and wall plate fitted. Went to George for evening meal...lovely evening weather-wise. Harcross delivered floor joists and zinc ridge.
Sat 19th
Cloudy light intermittent rain
G, P and R cut and fitted last hip, Russ, Gail and Linda went home 11.00am ish. G and P cut and fitted 60% of jacks to hips.
Sunday 20th
Nice-Rainy-Nice A few midges lots of wasps
Finished fitting jacks cemented around the wall plate fitted sarking board to one section fitted gutter brackets.
Monday 21st
Beautiful day no midges lots of wasps
Fitted sarking felt to all of roof since sarking board will not be ready until Friday week. Went to Lhead to collect roofing laths. Opened bottom gateway. Fitted gutter
Tuesday 22nd
Nice day, a few midges and wasps.
Dug driveway wider round house. Prepared space for 2,500 slates. Strimmed grass etc at bottom gateway. Dug and concreted gate posts. Slates arrived 15.00hrs. Cost £1,100. Felspeed makes converts start setting in mixer!
Weds 23rd
Lovely day. Midges hungry 18.30 onwards
Fitted gate to bottom gateway, dug bottom gateway. Repaired Leany’s walk gate and fitted fencing and made stile.
Thursday 24th sept
Rainy (light) all day..No midges!!
Removed old floor joists in our bedroom and fitted new 8”x2” joists 6 in total done, 5 left. Fee arrived around 2200 after being booked for speeding in Dumbarton 56mph in a 40mph limit (such is life!) She just couldn’t wait to see me. After 2 months of living together things a little strained between G and P
Friday 25th September (Fee)
1x short sharp shower then bright skies. No midges
Fee wrote research critique for work. G and P removed remaining 5 old joists transforming them into firewood. Fee and Tess went to Inveraray for bread and a walk in the Duke of Argyll’s back garden. Peter left to surprise Linda for a long w/e at about 5.30pm. Fee tidied caravan. Went deer hunting with Tess but saw nothing. Returned to caravan for chicken pasta bake and elderflower champagne. The toast? Claonairigh House of course!!
Sat 26th September Cloudy but dry until evening,no midges
Lazy day. Not up until late. Enjoying the unaccustomed luxury of a double bed in the warm 9usually in the awning). F went to Lgilphead to get essentials...lemonade, biscuits, books etc! Found several references to Douglas water in fishing books including one from “salmon fishing” Which extols the virtues of the deep pool below the bridge. Garret continued to pull the lathe and plaster from the library walls with a short break for sandwiches and a bit of day-dreaming about maple flooring etc. F and t went for a walk along Douglas water. Spectacular view on the return of autumn trees with Claonairigh Smoke drifting above. Baked potatoes for supper- microwave installed in awning. G gone for much needed shower at caravan park. P reached home okay. Priced up Victorian suite incl gold taps £1,090 (and that’s half price!)
Sunday 27th sept
Wet during the night. Typical autumn day misty and moist
G obtained three old feed containers- heavy pot from the old cottages for future use. Generally cleaning rubble from house esp. lounge. Saw x2 young eagles wheeling above the house and making off over the forest (with hindsight prob buzzards 2009). T and f went for a very wet walk along river through the forest. Tess surprised some folk interested in the bridge on the way back...How dare they stand on her bridge! Rang Liz for advice re cooking Yorkshire pudds (my first ever) in a gas oven with only two settings...high or low.
Monday 28th (Garret)
Misty Morn, typical autumn day, lovely. No midges
Fee went home 9am with Tess (Sob, Sob). Home safely 4 ½ hrs later. G started fitting remaining joists.
Tuesday 29th
Fine day, light rain 7pm onwards. No midges
G finished floor joists, cemented all up and cleaned. Dad arrived 9pm...6hrs and a seized front brake.

Monday, 28 September 2009

A trio of triathletes

Triathlon day had been and gone again in an agony of testosterone (not me),adrenaline (definitely me)panic (ditto) and downright fear and trembling! The day dawned drizzly and deceptively still and we got on with the tasks that needed to still be done. We have prepared the night before well so just breakfast to force down into sickly tummies, the animals to feed, bikes to pop on the car and off we go. Now we will re-wind slightly to the animals to feed bit. As I was dashing off to get the bikes in-between mouthfuls of sawdust, sorry, weetabix I heard a shout of "I don't believe it...there are some piglets in the other field". Houdini has done it and produced 7 live piggies of a variety of hues. After the piglet admiration society had done their bit we managed to get everyone rounded up and in the car with all the paraphernalia necessary for a trio of tri-athletes. We duly registered ourselves in the race and the fact that Garret and I were in the next to last heat.....long wait! Toby set off with a fabulous swim in heat three, we saw him set off second out of the pool and confident for the 20k cycle. All too soon we were lined up for our briefing not feeling at all left out amongst the red and black Glasgow tri suits. My swim was good and comfortable with a PB at 8.59 breaking that 9 minute barrier that has so eluded me. Garret did not do quite so well as he struggled with the anti clockwise swimming in his lane. Still, did well enough as he entered transition as I left. There was a great moment when we heard via the commentator that Toby had just set off on his run having returned safely from the cycle and a cat and mouse chase along the course. All went well with Garret overtaking me a mile or so along the way as expected. I had a red and black suit in my sights when I tried too hard with the gears and off fell the chain...only ONE swear word later and I was off and fixing it and back on having lost a couple of minutes maybe and gained some very dirty hands.......the rest of the cycle was okay apart from a nice challenging stiff wind against us on the homeward stretch. The crowds and encouragement back at the pool was fabulous, and so tantalising for a few seconds until off once more on the run. Trying to work the suddenly seized up legs took a mile or so but then things were more or less fine for the rest of the 4 mile run out and back along the canal where I seemed to be consistently overtaken by the fast guys from the last hear and managed only one overtake of a heat 5 or 4 of my own.... and then into the waiting arms of family and friends. Toby did a stunning 1.14 and was first male jr and 12th over all, Garret was in the top 20 in 1.16 and I was NOT in the top 20 or anything like in 1.27 but was first Mid Argyll lady finisher . Garret got a prize for his very fast transition from bike to run so we all came away with a little something!

Thursday, 17 September 2009

BOTHER, Bother , bother..........

Very grumpy today as I have a sore right knee and we are ten days (and counting) to the triathlon. After past training performances I was pretty grumpy anyway so you can imagine the situation now! Not sure what is wrong apart from my magnificent professional (I was a nurse you know and so I can speak the speak and talk the talk when I need to) diagnosis of "sore, and a bit tender". It was a bit tender before jogscotland mid-argyll last night plus I also managed to fall during the session (over absolutely nothing.....cue to execute my well-practised swift roll and jump up in one seamless movement(!)but although the latter part of the group who were still round the corner did not notice I am pretty sure that the 5 or 6 running with me spotted a wee change in my pace) but am sure that the problem is longer standing than that. So, back to my friend the ice pack and a diet of brufen tablets PRN.......

The “Then” blog. For details see entry for March 7th 2009. In brief the restoration of Claonairigh House.
Wednesday September 16th 1992 (Gail)
No rain until late evening. Midges mega bad
Stag dealt with first thing. Tiles stripped from roof-took nearly all day. Sarking board very iffy. Garret could have gone through the roof at any time. Gail, peter, Russ and Garret went to camp site for showers as they looked like they worked down the pit. Linda cooked a delicious venison stir fry for tea. L and Gail were busy all day stacking slates from roof.
Thursday 17th
Showers, no bad rain.
G, P and R completely stripped the roof-found more difficulties than anticipated. Wall plates all rotted and wood wormed, had to be taken out before the real work putting new roof on could begin. First day we have had anything to eat other than something that had been swimming or running free up to a couple of days before.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

After the rains.... the sun (briefly)

Finally we have had some good weather and so immediately we jumped into the car and headed for our first ever family camping trip to Loch Lomond and our old stomping ground at Millarchy Bay. The memories flood back with that curious camping smell that never leaves your memory senses once a night under canvas has been experienced. The fabulous scenery, glorious weather and companionableness of all concerned (once the tent was up that is....) made up for the man snoring from 11pm until 2am in the next, far too close tent and an awful brush with a woman who objected to our ethnic origins with a very limited but admittedly colourful vocabulary. A great weekend indeed but I am now into the pre tri nerves with a lousy performance yesterday round the tri cycle rout when I was way too far behind Liz to even eat her had long since settled and Toby was beyond a dot on the undulating horizon. I also ran the run route and suffered with pains in front of my ankle all the way out and an amazing lassitude on the way back to the pool...ah well.......
The “Then” blog. For details see entry for March 7th 2009. In brief the restoration of Claonairigh House.
Weds 9th September 1992 (Garret)
Dry but cloudy am Showers pm.
Steve arrived 07.45 with fresh venison joints in the shape of a deer (red or Sika) so morning spent gutting, skinning and jointing. Afternoon on the mill roof felting where tiles stolen. Bambi Burgers for tea.
Thursday 10th (Peter)
Rain showers, dull, no midges
Garret returned home with venison etc taking a few days off with Fee at Hawes. As weather not too grim cleared lane at rear of house of grass and soil. Venison for tea.
Friday 11th September (Peter)
Unbelievable, the sun has got his hat on in between the rain showers. It is a pleasure to get wet then steam dry slowly. Hydro Electric connected the power to the house just after dinner. They had to cut down a small silver birch as it was too near the power cables. The foxes had cleared most of the 9deer) guts early this morning aprox 3.30am.. You could hear them fighting over the best bits, must put waste guts in sight of house windows, then on second night shoot the so and so’s, teach them to wake me up. Just got section of rear lane from door to gate to finish.
Saturday 12th
Rain showers (bright) Midges (slight)
Family arrived early in good form with fresh provisions. Rigged up temp electrical supply to van, generally lazy day workwise. Spare ribs in special sauce for tea...very good. Weather hopefully starting to improve. Heard Barn owl early.
Sunday 13th September
Rain showers (bright) Midges
Lazy day. General chores to do, went to inveraray. Gail and Russ went to jail but managed to escape. (Gail) We were going to fish for mackerel but unfortunately it rained-I take it this is no great surprise. Very nice roast venison for tea, another early night after discussing the downfall of the Royal Family.
Monday 14th September (Gail)
Sunshine and showers, no real downpours. Midges bad evening.
Peter and Russ cleared drive in morning-with linda. Gail clearing away the debris. Shotton management put hard core all the way down the track to the main road. P, R and G went fishing in the afternoon. Caught two mackerel. Gail used Garret’s rod to catch the biggest one. Had duk and mackerel for tea. Russ plucked and gutted the mallard which Steve bought in the morning. Linda went for a walk with Derby and fell into a bog-up to the top of both willies. Gail is not the odd one out now. (Peter) Roofing felt and wood delivered today, whilst fishing saw a seal and porpoise in the loch)
Tuesday 15th September (Linda)
Rain, very grey with sunny spells. Even too wet for midges, lots of sleepy wasps.
Awoke this am by Steve with another roadside fatality...a deer. Road works continued despite the weather. Deer attended to by steve again. 12.30 for coffee. 3.30 another visit from Mrs Tove Grey Stevens and 9 great Danes and all (?). Garret arrived at 7.30-Derby was very pleased to see Tess. Cleared tree from in front of porch. Russ and Steve went deer stalking-came back with large stag-antlers now in front of fire.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

When the cat is away the mouse will......

not sleep very well and panic over imaginary escapee pigs..
Garret has gone on a little holiday, he has been working hard and as a reward has two whole days and a night away with Freya...Oh, and 18 of her classmates. He volunteered in a weak moment to accompany the top two classes on an outward bound course. His kind offer was snatched up in the flash of an eye and off he went clutching packed lunch and over night bag leaving us here to fend for ourselves.
Toby, Liz and I cycled round the triathlon circuit after school, well we cycled our legs off and he free wheeled most of the way in front of us. This, combined with athletics club meant that we got back here at just after 9pm. The rest of the evening was spent setting breakfasts and then putting the animals to bed. It was fairly dark by this stage and so the girl pigs were jolly pleased to see me trudging out with my head torch on and yellow bucket in hand. No problems there, three happy pigs with a midnight snack...then off to Mr P and the goats. It strikes me that I have not written about Mr P for a while....he is slowly getting larger and with impending fatherhood (turns out he DID know what he is doing...)remains laid-back and chilled. He has however taken to re landscaping the field with the result that last night I fell almost head first into a hole that was almost definitely not there in the morning. Major earth moving is clearly on the autumn agenda. I did however discover that a handful of soggy Golden Nuggets scattered around makes him a very happy pig indeed. After that I chased around one goose that preferred to soften a bread roll stolen from the pigs in the muddiest part of the field to going into the run like a good goose. Putting the guinea fowl away when they do not want to was relatively easy after that! Roll on an hour or so as sleep was becking, the scene is set and slumber is just creeping up the covers when a gentle noise breaks through and alerts me. It sounded like a pig softly snorting (they do not really oink) whilst strolling along the back of the house. Then follows 1/2 an hour of "did I or didn't I shut Mr Pigs gate when I fed them...I have never left it open before, of course I did, or did I?? Big sigh.... off past the bemused dogs to check and yes of course I had, no pigs doing a midnight flit and then an hour or so to get back to sleep......Stress or what eh!!

The “Then” blog. For details see entry for March 7th 2009. In brief the restoration of Claonairigh House.
Monday September 7th
Early morn very windy. Rained drab, no midges
Fitted lintels above the library and bathroom windows, pointed round lounge door casing partly unloaded Harcross wagon and carried timbers and lintels into the house with the help of Davy Campbell. Patched roof above bathrooms as a temp measure.
Tuesday 8th
Rain showers, no midges
Rang Hydro up to chase getting power on, maybe this week? Telecom connected us up. We are now on the phone (Inveraray 2160 (04992160) NB NOW CHANGED TO 01499302160. Tidied rubble away, bought pack of breeze blocks in, finished building wall in kitchen and finished pointing around lounge doorway.

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Rain and more rain...

Indeed the comparisons between now and 1992 are striking, it is a wee bit rainy at present! After doing the rooms (lovely guests as per usual...old friends and maybe some new ones) Garret and I dashed off to Loch Glashan which has a convenient 10 mile track around it. The plan was to help pal Naomi who is in the final throes of marathon training and had a whopping 20 miles to do today. Liz and another friend Stella accompanied her round the first lap and then we arrived as she was scooping up energy gel stuff and whisked off for the second lap. The only hitch was the ever present rain that has cause the Loch to fill up and so an overflow channel was released big time over the path...we had to remove trainers and wade holding hands whilst Garret carried the dogs over!! He did offer to piggy back but hey...dignity!!! The rest of the ten miles passed in a blur of gossip and catching up...well, almost.......

The “Then” blog. For details see entry for March 7th 2009. In brief the restoration of Claonairigh House.
Sunday 6th August (Garret)
To say it rained last night is to say the universe is large! I actually felt sorry for any midge that was around.
Filmed the river in full GUSTO! Chopped a lot of firewood. Made door casing for in lounge and lounge door etc. Stripped lathe and plaster and ceiling from around the library window. Lintel ready to replace them.

Saturday, 5 September 2009

Shamefully long catch up from the past...will do better...honest.

The “Then” blog. For details see entry for March 7th 2009. In brief the restoration of Claonairigh House
Friday 21st August (Fee)
Cloudy am no midges very hot pm
G and F re-corded and treated library sash window whilst peter retiles the porch roof. Took Tess for a walk and had to carry the wimp over the river. G and P felted the mill roof repairing joists as they went to try to prevent it deteriorating any further. G and F went to Inveraray this am and by an amazing coincidence parked the car just in front of Tony Horrox (neighbour from Tockwith many years ago and father of a childhood friend) who had just stopped for a quick break on his way back from Crinan canal area. Funnily enough mum is going to their house tonight for supper (they now live at the delightfully named Blubberhouses).
Saturday 22nd August
Overcast am pouring down pm. A few very wet midges
In the morning G and I went to Lochgilphead to stock up on some joists (G) and some reading matter (me). Peter left at home tiling the porch roof. When we got back it began to throw it down so G and I began to pull the lathe and plaster from the lounge wall. I retired at 4.30 to have shower (camp site) and scrub the dust from my hair- rang Mum. Caravan awning holding up well to prolonged rain exposure- only one carefully placed bucket required. Hot Pot for supper-very suitable for a chilly August night. Tessie adapts well to the changing weather- if it is wet she sleeps-all day. G and P continue with the lounge attacking the ceiling the joists seem okay but as predicted the roof timbers are past it. A couple of very dusty men appear at 8pm and were dispatched to the camp site showers at ten past!
Sunday August 23rd
Amazing rain/hail/storms briefly interspersed by very bright sunshine. Midges +++ pm
Peter and I tidied the caravan and awning up am. In the afternoon Peter and Garret continued with the mill roof repairs and felting. Incredibly hail storms and torrential rain dodged whilst working. Tess and I startled a heron today over the road-beautiful graceful bird. After a particularly vicious thunderstorm with hail thunder and lightening the mill roof and aluminium ladders were abandoned. Post storm the skies cleared and the sun shone. G and I managed a short snowball-or hail ball fight (in august!). g and p then returned from such frivolity back to loftier matters-this time the porch roof. Gas gave up mid supper so Peter had to brave the midges to change it.
Monday 24th august
Blustery am and overcast. Clearer pm bright spells, no rain. Midges pm.
Today something had to be done about the mud bath that used to be our drive. P and G channelled out the grass in the middle bit of the drive and then dug out the gradient on the slope going up to the croquet lawn where the cars go. They filled the resultant space with large pebbles and the sand and gravel. I continued to (slowly) dig out the drive round the end and back of the house. Steve the tree feller visited for a cup of coffee. G and P finally finished tiling the porch roof and cut a sapling ready for the ridge. This was treated and then the lead flashing can be nailed to it. The plan was to go fishing this evening but the boat engine seemed to have other ideas. G and P saw a young eagle flying overhead today. 10.30pm went out for an hour or so fishing, very pleasant, calm loch with peaceful views and nice warming mulled wine(however the fish were not biting and we bought home only one measly mackerel between the three of us)
Tuesday 25th August (Garret)
am rain/ sunny intervals. Pm dry. Rain evening. Midges hungry after 7pm
Fiona left with Tess at 9.30am (home 4.40 minutes later). P did lead flashing on porch when dry. Removing lathe and plaster in lounge when wet. G bedroom window treat paint and glaze new windows, fit new sill, make up check plates etc. Telecom man came midday, going to bring poles over river and then bury cable up to house. Message on answer machine saying gate are coming tomorrow.
Wednesday 26th August
Rain heavy am no real midges
Gates came 8.30am. Fitted driveway gate. Finished bedroom window. Removed all lathe and plaster and tidied up in lounge. Acro’d and supported lounge roof. Measured roof timbers. Talked to Davy Campbell a local who has loved the house for years and if he wins the pools is going to make up us an offer we can’t refuse so he says. He told us the best time to fish is an hour before high tide to one hour after using a purple shrimp with two trebles (basically a shrimp or prawn dyed with beetroot juice). He also told us that the man who found the 5 penny blacks was from Auchindrain and that the old lady who sold him Clunary knew the letters were there but since they weren’t addressed to her never touched them (it takes all sorts). The local sheriff used to live here and the letters were to do with him. The biggest car boot sale in Glasgow is at the Barrowlands market on Saturday and Sunday nearish The Royal infirmary.
Thursday August 27th
Rainy a few midges
Steve came 8.30 with a red deer that had been hit by a vehicle on the main road. G and P butchered it in dining room using G’s butcher’s tools and chain block to lift it. Chopped it up into two haunches, two shoulder joints, chops, spare ribs and neck pieces and four fillets. G and P kept fillets, one haunch to Steve. Took three hours to cut it up and clean up, Dad went back to Yorkshire with rest of meat and to pick up more wine! G went to Lochgilphead, ordered timber for lounge roof, Coop, and architect, evening started on electrics.
Friday 28th August
Sunny/rainy intervals No Midges
Finished elecs (temp). Stripped wood cladding in bathroom. Found some graffiti under it from 1896 (the 7th Oct 1896 to be exact!) stripped last of lathe and plaster from our bedroom, found some very old cloth, maybe weaved here!!! Dad arrived back at 9.30pm
Saturday 2th august
Mainly dry during day, rainy at night. No real midges until after 20.00hrs
Went to Dalmaly show to pick up gate hinges. Watched how to make sheep horn handle walking sticks, watched a shinty match (a load of big girls blouses playing girl hockey! Nothing like as good as the man’s game of rugby!!). late afternoon I cleared rubble and rotting joists out of bathroom. Dad undercoated upstairs windows.
Sunday 30th
It bucketed it down last night and most of the day. Midges wet and scarce.
Made up bottom panels of front door. Stripped down rest of stud wall in kitchen, we finally reached the heights of lunacy. I found and fell in love with a 7 or 800 wt lump of granite. We “barred” it up onto round pebbles and then across the cottage and finally onto the trailer.
Monday August 31st
We are waterlogged. The hole under the skylight fills a wheelbarrow with rain water in about 8 hrs.
Finished dismantling stud wall between kitchen and utility. Chased out channel for new block wall and concreted the channel.
Tuesday 1st September 1992
Finally a bit of blue sky (of course it was surrounded by grey and pissing it down but nevertheless and definite upturn)Pm dry, nice evening. No midges
Started building interior wall in kitchen, rendered some more of porch inside and filled between some of the safe lintels. BT started putting some poles in so we may have a phone early this week or early next. Duck season starts today, so Steve informs us.
Wednesday 2nd
Rain am, dry pm. Ground starting to dry out. Midges biting down at T’mill.
Building wall in kitchen, set door in Kitchen wall, boarded up mill window. Telecom have fitted all poles except island pole. Watched the Heron walking very proudly up and down the path by mill (looking for frogs etc maybe). Venison, sauerkraut, new pots and ratatouille for tea.
Thursday 3rd August
Sunny/showers no midges
Building wall in kitchen rendered inside of porch, pruned damson trees. BT connected cable to house.
Friday 4th
Mainly dry and sunny. Drizzle evening. No midges
Removed lathe and plaster from lounge hall. Cut up old cottage roof timbers for fire. Made weather seal for porch flashing. Patched up the damaged harling finish on porch and rest of house, patched up cracks in harling, p removed moss from bottom of harling around the house.
Saturday 5th August
Clear Blue sky am, sunny and warm. Cold evening. A few midges....very hungry.
Rang up a demolition/ second hand dealer about building timber, maple and other floorings, gutters, chimneys, slates etc went to L.Head. Supplies from Coop. Went to Harcross to check if all our roofing timber had come in (it hadn’t). Man from Clydesdale bank came to check on our progress.. Cut up and cleared large branches telecom had cut off into river. Took the ceiling down in hall and replaced lintels over window in same.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

I am still in the slightly unreal, un-anchored state that I usually assume when the children head back to school...I have sort of got used to having them around. Yesterday I did not really notice too much as I shot off to the Osteopath halfway through breakfasts, I did actually leave Garret to finish off rather than leave the poor couple with forks at the ready wondering what was going on. I battered my way through torrentially impressive rain to Helensborough for a bone crunching time and an amazing correction of a displaced thingy (a well known medical term, e mail me if I am too technical for you) round about my knee cap leading to tight hamstrings. he is the magic man!! Onwards to TK Max for me to not purchase any new sheets and to be generally very disappointed. I then hit Primark and had a hugely interesting time earwigging to other peoples conversations. It is a close fought competition between the mother and daughter flipping effortlessly between English and some other language mid sentence giving me tantalising glimpses into the conversation and a couple of women swapping tips on how to sneak out to meet a paramour (!) of a night without ones partner getting wind of it...apparently tonging or straightening your hair is a dead give-away "men notice these things"....... After I had been released from custody on the charge of stalking I made my way back through the rain to little old Inveraray. As life swings back into its normal term-time routine I was back at jogscotland mid-argyll for a 5 miler along the canal bank and some catch up gossip, then home for a wee glass of red and the breakfasts to sort.

The “Then” blog. For details see entry for March 7th 2009. In brief the restoration of Claonairigh House
Sunday 16th August
(Garret) Rain/sun intervals a few midges in the shade
Opened up dining room fireplace, removed rubbish and rubble from Kitchen and the dining room. Found old spit mounting eyes, some nice old fire bricks and 2 very ornate bricks which we’ve kept (obviously I have been away from Fee too long when i have feelings for bricks). Had quite a lazy day, really back in the caravan for 18.00hrs. Dad had a bit of a doze and I read The Oban Times. Had to re use the two catch plates and plane the porch door again for the umpteenth time. I swear the door or door frame is growing 1cm/day. In fact it is growing so much I am looking for leaves! Marjorie arrived 1900hrs, looked round house, had a cup of tea and I took her to the B and B. Walked Tess down to the campsite to phone Fee, phone u/s for the third night. I am falling asleep and Tess has got the best place on the bed.

Monday 17th August 1992
We have decided that Claonairigh is Gaelic for “Place of the trench foot” Rainy in morning, sunny afternoon. Midges few but hungry.
Started on last of the safe lintels over lounge doorway when the wagon from Bonawe Sand and Gravel came with 10T sand and 5T gravel which he could only tip in the gateway. 4 hours later we had moved it. Cost £122.70. Marjorie painted windows until 3pm. G and P then replace the lintels 3 type C and 1 type B 1,500m Didn’t get them all reblocked above the lintels as we went to the George with Marjorie, she had salmon and seafood cause, G had steak in pepper sauce (Tess had ¼) and P had steak too.
Tuesday August 18th
Cloudy/sunny Intervals
Midges 7pm onwards
Finished lintels over lounge doorway started on dining room fireplace. Had shower and rang Fee/ Linda at campsite. Saw two lads carrying about a 6lb salmon that they caught this morning.
Wednesday 19th august
Cloudy/sunny Intervals. The wee timorous beasties were out in force pm
Went to Lochgilphead. 3 bags of cement and provisions from the Coop and Harcros. In the afternoon had a delivery from Harcros, 100Ltrs of 5 star, 10bags of cement and two packs of concrete blocks £400.74. Patched up the dining room fireplace. Put warning notices on Mill and boarded doors “There’s trouble at T’Mill” Needs safe lintels repairing quickly.
Thursday 20th August
Changeable Midges 7pm onwards
Finished patch dining room fireplace. Started tiling the porch roof. Fee arrived 7.40pm.

Saturday, 15 August 2009


Thats it...that is the entry for today. In fact I shall say it again but louder this time..... ARGHHHHHHHHHhhhhhhhh

The “Then” blog. For details see entry for March 7th 2009. In brief the restoration of Claonairigh House.
Tuesday 11th August 1992 (Garret)
Sunny Am Rain Pm no midges
Went to Lochgilphead, paid architect, co-op, picked up 20 lintels and ½ ton sand, 2 bags cement, ½ bag dry pebble dash (strong trailer!) fitted mortise lock catch plate, removed lathe and plaster and ceiling around lounge doorway to reveal wooden lintels and mess of back filled walls...looks rather like a Victorian lash up. Gable end resting on 3 foot 2”x4”, load bearing on the 2” section which is woodworm ridden and rotten. Will have to be very delicate to begin with. Burnt last of porch roof. It is nice having Tess here.
Wednesday 11th August (Garret)
Rain, hail, cold, Midges gone South for the summer.
Patched lintel support where pieces of wood removed and voids had been left. Acroed doorway. Mark Page called (forest manager) to say road would be repaired in a couple of weeks and that they were moving the bottom gate.
Thursday 13th August 1992
Nice until 5pm
Nice Full moon
Evening Midges ate Dad while he changed the gas.
Fitted lintels to kitchen/dining room doorway. Fitted three lintels to hall/lounge. Removed lathe and plaster from part of library.
Friday 14th
Sunny and hot until 8pm, light rain. A few midges.
Went to Lochgilphead for four lintels and ¾ ton sand and 3 bags cement. Went to Inveraray for cash from machine and cheese from the Spar. Saw a piece of cloth in inveraray Church that was woven and printed over 200yrs ago in the mill (they call it Clonary) Dad began to open p fireplace in dining room and removed harling off of wall above the doorway (dining/utility hall) put lintel through above wood. Safe lintels to hold wall for tomorrow. Had shower at camp site
Sat 15th august ‘92
Raining all day (clear sky at night) when rain stopped midges started (bastards!)
Replaced lintels over doorway from dining room to utility hall. Diesel genny and petrol cement mixer are well worth their money. Acros have paid for themselves ten-fold already.

Monday, 10 August 2009

Run rabbit run.....

Tidy up day with the Quinns coming tomorrow for a couple of days. Toby and I took time out for a riding lesson and a cappuccino (not simultaneously though) in the morning and I went for a very stiff run in the evening. Not stiff as in difficult but stiff as in "Ooooo me bones and joints...." Ginny came with me and danced around pretending to chase deer but did not actually go too far in case they were scary. No Lucy as she has had a limp for a day or so and needs to take it easy (er). Very nice guests in at present which makes life soooo much easier and nicer!!
The “Then” blog. For details see entry for March 7th 2009. In brief the restoration of Claonairigh House.
Monday 10th August (Garret)
Sunny 4 midges....all bit me!
Fitted mortise lock to front door, rendered porch outside, partly inside. Primed raw woodwork outside porch and porch door. A couple out walking popped in to chat a little, they used to play in it 12 years ago, he said it looked a lot better with new windows!! (they were worth the work). Pulled lathe and plaster off part of the hall and library to get at lintels. Measured for some lintels. Fee went home at 10am, walked Tess down to telephone at campsite, she chased some bunnies, I talked to a very lonely fee and Dad spoke to Mum. Dad is naming all the large trees, No, Not oak, beech, larch but Richard, Oliver, Raymond. Maybe he is working too hard or he needs more lemonade with his wine

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Naughty slacking blogger....

Oh dear what a bad blogger I am...a whole week without comment. Freya and I took off for Ayr on Tuesday for an unexpected break at a friends house after dropping Toby and Rosie off for a week on the Oceans wave sailing around Mull and Jura. They had a great time and so did we! At last we got to see Howard and Myrna's lovely house (so clean and tidy!) and had a very pleasant lunch with them. Back to B and B land now, full pretty much every night and as always with some very nice people indeed!

The “Then” blog. For details see entry for March 7th 2009. In brief the restoration of Claonairigh House.
Monday 3rd August 1992
Boy did it rain last night! Midges all drowned
Checked on oak logs in river, not only have both logs gone both tree trunks have also gone out to sea! Well this is hopefully the last night of powerless life (light is very useful when it is dark!) sorted screws, repaired porch window, cleared some rubble out of bathroom, dug driveway up to porch.
The “Then” blog. For details see entry for March 7th 2009. In brief the restoration of Claonairigh House.
Tuesday august 4th 1992
Showers, heavy rain no midges
Dad arrived 09.00 connected batteries to my car and caravan...POWER!! Unloaded Dad’s car various items. Lead and wine (home brew) most important. Dug up driveway to croquet lawn. Patched up kitchen roof, removed old porch roof. Found a large section of oak tree down on beach.
Wednesday August 5th
Showers, few midges (Garret)
Went to Lochgilphead. Paid in some cheques. Coop, 5 star and saw from Harcross, went to council and gave Mr Halliday the estimate. Fitted lintels and wall plates to porch burnt half roof. Mr and Mrs Milner came, showed them round the estate, seemed to like it. Fitted window locks.
Thursday 6th august
Fine and sunny no midges until 20.00 then there were clouds!!
Parched up the porch window frame made and fitted A frames and bricked up the gable end. Rang Fee worked until 22.30
Friday 7th August 1992
Fine and sunny clear skies
Arrived after 5 1/2hr journey-found one father-in-law but no husband. G was away visiting neighbours and sorting out Mum’s accommodation next weekend. Touching reunion between man and dog! Petere working hard to get porch roof covered before next rain. Tess ecstatic to be back.
Saturday august 8th
Fine am midges/drizzling pm
G and P had a ½ day off when we went to teh mid Argyll agricultural show in the Kilmartin Valley. Idyllic scene with marquees and animal pens scattered over a smooth green field. Over the normal show noises were the constant releasing of cartridges indicating the grouse shoot and the merry voice of the commentator which became increasingly more merry as the afternoon wore on. I went to the campsite to ring Mum and Linda on the bike only slightly hampered by the absence of a back brake. It took aprox 3 minutes to get there and about 20 to get back. All well at home, Mum reassured that she won’t have to suffer Chez corner just yet. P and G had their noses back to the grindstone pm emptying the porch which is half full of well-stamped down rubble. I am now pretending to prepare supper (Hare Casserole followed b baked bananas) whilst in reality listening to the Archers and tasting some excellent elderberry wine-what a life! PS Stand corrected-clay pigeon shooting!!
Sunday August 9th 1992
Shattered showers midges pm
Woke late 10am wonderful what hard work and elderberry wine (well, mostly the wine in my case) will do for you. G and P fitting casement and repairing the porch door. I started scrubbing the lime off the stonework on the house side of house wall inside the porch. Will look great when finished. Continued to extend the drive pm. Went for bike ride with Tess, or rather took Tess and bike for a walk. When one is of a nervous disposition the thought of hurling oneself off the edge of a small cliff with no back brakes is a bit daunting. The consequence of this is that I walk down the hills because of fear and then walk up the other side due to a lack of fitness. Had a wonderful shower pm courtesy of the campsite.

Sunday, 2 August 2009


A fabulous day today...with the drizzly morning it was touch and go..."G-Force" in Oban or bikes on Gigha?...well, judge for yourself which one won!!

The “Then” blog. For details see entry for March 7th 2009. In brief the restoration of Claonairigh House.
Sunday 2nd august 1992
Rainy, midges so-so
Had a sleep in until 10.30. cleared glass and large rubbish out of porch, took it to the litter skip on road. Removed lathe and plaster from our bedroom. Pulled up floorboards in our bedroom.

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Just an everyday kind of day

Weather pretty much the same as it was in 1992...apart from the midges. The usual guest scenario morning was interrupted briefly by the arrival of Toby's new phone ordered the day before yesterday after much agonising and a burning small coming from the money in Toby's pocket....we will all have the pants literally bored off us in the next few weeks about the marvels that this phone can perform. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!!! I dragged the girls away from books and computers and out for an 8 mile cycle this afternoon. I ran and they cycled and jolly grateful they were too as the rain blasted into their faces, the mud splashed them and the wind threatened to blow a gale from the first few yards onwards.....Oh and Freya's chain first came off on the first hill and then finally snapped just before the last one.

The “Then” blog. For details see entry for March 7th 2009. In brief the restoration of Claonairigh House.
Saturday 1st August
Warm and wet midges biting
Mum and Dad went home 12.00 left me with puffy eyes and NO BATTERIES (Not even in my car!). work stops one hour before the light goes. Tiedied caravan and cleaned glass up in house. Rang Fee

NB The phone calls had to be made from the Caravan Park a mile or so away, as did showering and using a W.C!

Friday, 31 July 2009

Gods don't like people not doing much work. People who aren't busy all the time might start to think.Terry Pratchett, Small Gods

No time for thinking here....busy busy busy but happy!!
The “Then” blog. For details see entry for March 7th 2009. In brief the restoration of Claonairigh House.
Monday 27th July 1992
Rain morning, sunny spells, no midges
G had the luxury of shower, shave with lots of hot water, brush teeth with constant running cold water and a sit down on a porcelain W.C. P and G windows:-small kitchen window, hall and made landing window out of old landing and old bed room windows. Used power tool off the generator which didn’t work very well at first because it was wet after being under a leak in the roof. Mum cleared some more and found 1918 Begique 20 cent coin and the large doorstep outside the porch. First mail delivered...note from Marjorie.

Tuesday July 28th
No rain! no midges!
P and G windows lounge, repairs to broken beads on utility and dining room. Visit from “Arch Duke Ferdinand” (some broad on a horse). Mum weeded and primed the windows, raided the cottages for 4 counter balances, one lock and one sash window must go back for four pullies.

Wednesday 29th July 1992
2nd day no rain and no midges
Collected timber and building materials from Harcros Lochgilphead £201.45 for porch, discount of 25-30% collected provisions from Coop. G and P windows utility and kitchen. End window. Mum primed and weeded.

Thursday July 30th
No rain Sunny!! No midges
Chasing slates, barn slates given to Mungo and Co by Mark Page. Must sort out with Diggers (Digby Guy). Went to Harcross and Ardrisaig to old distillery. May be able to buy some second hand slates. Ordered gates and 50m stock fence from Coventry fencing of Oban. Picked up safety gear for chain saws. G and P windows, Mum primed bak door and painted a window on some plywood. Dining room window.

Friday 31st July 1992
No rain Sunny!! Midges morn and eve.
G and P windows, bedroom and en suite and bathroom. All windows now glazed YEP-YEP Hooray!! Gleaned some slates and zinc ridges from the cottages and 4 pulley wheels. Mum finished weeding. Previous owners son came round. Used to be farm house 50 hill cattle, 4 milk cows, 1,000 sheep and arable crops before forested.

Monday, 27 July 2009

Fortunatley no pictures exist of the following.....

Fell running is, I believe the sport of running up a hill or “fell” as they are known in some parts of the world and then running down it again. Yesterday at the Luss Highland Games the assembled slightly damp crowd were treated to a new definition of the event as I most certainly put the "fall" into Fell riunning. As the result of a slight misunderstanding I set off with the four “local” runners up the nearest hill to experience a new event that has no marshals, no signs and no indication whatsoever as to which way you are supposed to go...there is a marker up the hill, you go touch it and then you come down. Simple. Hmmmm, strike one as I got lost coming through the farmyard at the bottom of the hill and ended up wandering along the side of the main road. Retraced steps eventually and returned to the correct path and finished to huge cheers and lots of jocularity. Strike two:- determined though I was not to take part in the “open” race in the afternoon, the one I should had done in the first place I was persuaded by Toby and a feeling of “hey ,what the least I will beat the guy in the clown suit!”. This race went all the way to the top which I managed okay but oh boy the down was something else. I was quite scared at times and managed to find a unique way down the hill negotiating rivers, barbed wire fences and the largest patches of bracken I have ever seen!! Bless the bracken tho as it managed to stop me from falling down small ravines several times as I clung on to it. Finally I got to the farm yard and managed to fight my way out the correct way to find some worried relatives and some cheering crowds, having to run round the track at the finish was a curious mixture of humiliation and pride. I looked as if I had had tough time anyway sporting bracken in my hair and bloody scratches on my legs, a shame the nettle rash that covered both thighs did not show up. As I came over the finish line “the doughty Mrs Corner...” Toby passed me on his last lap of the mile run which he came third in, he had had made a fourth in the fell run....and no, I did not beat the Clown......

The “Then” blog. For details see entry for March 7th 2009. In brief the restoration of Claonairigh House.
Sunday 26th July 1992
(Linda and Garret)
Showery but warm showers midges ok
Started the day tick removing (Darby’s Tail), bleeding quite a lot. Windows again , guest room windows. Fitted letter box. Mum cleared some more weeds from round the house.

Kilmore Games

And so the weeks financial take rises as Feya makes £40 odd at Kilmore, Toby £30 odd and Garret £2.50.......

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Refused my 10%.....

Rosie and Freya refused to give me my rightful cut of their winnings at the Inveraray highland Games this week. They had a great time collecting their little brown envelopes with cash inside them for the first three places in each event. Finally a point to all that exercise!! Toby found it harder as he was against older competitors but had the ultimate satisfaction of beating his Dad....worth more than gold. he did manage an envelope of his own in the last event..local mile 3rd place.

whoops catch up time!!!

The “Then” blog. For details see entry for March 7th 2009. In brief the restoration of Claonairigh House

Sunday July 19th
Heavy rain interspersed by bright spells
What a weekend!!on Friday Garret and linda emptied the contents of two cellars and a garage onto an unsuspecting Swillington Common. I have never seen such an incredible collection of stuff. The van arrived at Stonefleet at 6.45pm and then went onto Russ in Micklefield. By the time we all converged on 8, Top row it was 8pm. By 11.30 we were beaten by the darkness and exhaustion too. Obviously the original plan to leave at 2am had to change. We fell into bed exhausted at about midnight. Saturday began very early. We had a false alarm at about 3am when my car alarm went off. As soon as it was light 4.30 we were off again until finally after much heavy lugging, discussion on weight and worries about distribution we were all set. It had taken us a total of 8hr to pack the trailer. Some stuff had to be returned to the garage until a later date. Garret and I went off at 9.30am with the trailer, Peter and Russ in the van began at 11.20. G and I had an uneventful journey apart from the glass sliding about in the back and so I spent from Glasgow onwards in the back with Tess bracing my back against it. We made Argyll Caravan Park by 4.45pm with peter and Russ only 2 1/2 hrs behind us. G and I cleared the rubble and wood out of the dining room and kitchen. This involved 1st moving the wood out of the porch into the living room to make room. All the wood is now in the living room. Unloading the van was a major undertaking and once again we were beaten but eh dark at 11.30pm. We have had a fire to burn some of the wood in the living room which the bats were not too keen on neither were the midge thank goodness! They were out in force waiting for foolhardy humans to bite. The caravan is in the driveway and we gratefully retired there for supper picnic style with Guinness and wine-perfect!! Russ slept in the van on a mattress and had a good nights sleep whilst Garret and I mused separately on the musical tome of Paters snoring in the caravan. The remainder of the van was quickly unpacked this am with ruse and Peter on their way by 12.30pm. There are several keen fishermen around this morning. Someone caught a 3lb salmon in the river yesterday.
Monday July 20th 1992
Clear morning, very wet evening
Today was a general cleaning and sorting day. Garret strimmed a pathway around the house and up to the caravan site. We lit fires in the guest bedroom and library-or attempted in the library anyway. Garret sorted out the nails etc and began to clear the bathroom. I dug out the remaining stumps from the back of the house. We started to try to get the caravan up to the site only to be assisted by Linda and Peter arriving just in time. The downpour that followed didn’t exactly help but we now have a king sixed bed base on a plywood floor.

PS Happy Birthday Peter!

Tuesday July 21st
Very hot and sunny
We now have water. After an initial hitch when Peter and Garret could not find the stop tap. They had remembered that it was next to a tree when they fixed it. Unfortunately we cut the tree down and I pulled the stump out yesterday. Linda and I have started digging the border at the house rear waging a war against the stones and tree roots that are ever present. Whilst working a tree feller up from Newcastle for the season stopped by only to be coerced by Peter into dropping a rotten tree. The tree was very rotten and has unfortunately fallen over the river which G and p are now clearing up with the aid of a chain saw and block and tackle. Derby (L and P dog) and Tess have been confined to the caravan which neither seems to mind considering the heat and their being very busy all morning barking at everything and occasionally nothing! We had to administer a spot of first aid to Steve the feller whose belt buckle broke and he slid down the tree burning the skin from his fingers.

Wednesday July 22nd
Hot sunny am.
Fiona and Garret left am today. Peter dug a temporary toilet pit today then we walked around the site to measure how much stock fence is required. Staked Derby at the back door. Peter started work on the dining room window. I am digging border again. We had visitors around 1pm. Margaret and her husband from The George. They came to ask if we needed any help at any time from her husband. Gave peter local news on fishing etc. Putty very hard, slow going, managed to sand and paint one sash. Started to rain this pm. Midges bad. Peter went to camp shop gas etc rang Garret.

Thursday July 23rd Raining very hard
River very high has washed some logs that took so long to get out of the water away no water fall just a strong force. Could only work in the house today, windows again. We had a fire most of the day. Worked until 8pm. Garret arrived at 10pm. He had trouble with the trailer near Glasgow. Too late and too midgey to unpack this pm. Derby very strange this pm. Then I found a tick between his eyes not able to get it all out (Ps fresh supplies of jam and dog food)
Friday 24th July
Showerey but warm
P and G unpacjed early. Went to Lochgilphead this am. Shopped at Coop, pet shop, went to Tom Grants (archeitect) with money for ABDC, Malden (Shiny black wheelbarrow), council offices (Mr Halliday) re grants sounds good! £9,450 should be available. Called at Husvana re protective clothes for chain saw strimmer. Garret ordered some. Back home. P and G gone to inveraray PO and bank. Mail to be delivered to back door if they cut a slot this weekend. P and G worked on windows all day I did some more weeding until the midges beat me. Peter came back at 9.20pm and said the first window was glazed and back in place, staring to look lived in again with one window frame that works (dining room)

Saturday July 25th
Raining very heavy
PG windows again slow but getting there. Watched a fisherman on the far bank pull out a nice salmon this am. Have seen another mink today we will have to make sure that no food is left outside. They are black and longer than I expected. It is even too wet for the midges today.3.45pm started to brighten, we have had so much rain the jockey wheels of the boat and trailer have sunk halfway in. Not looked at the caravan yet. Cooked my first full chicken today, 4lbs6oz took 2 and 3/4hrs second shelf up breast side down for half the time and then turned over. Using the last of the veg today except potatoes. Darby took 3hrs to dry from his morning walk that was taken at 11.30am. LARGE kitchen window finished. Did some weeding in the afternoon.

Monday, 13 July 2009

Riding and stuff July 13th

Like the proverbial bears Rosie, Toby and I had a bowl of porridge each in the tent this morning. That is about as far as the similarity goes as we had no chairs broken or otherwise and although my porridge was definitely cold and I pretty sure theirs was too. Rosie and I were merely guests as it is Toby's domain but wow...that "tent" smell is so evocative of holidays well past! After the memory lane trip we changed course and cycled off to the stables for a lesson for Toby and I and a photograhic session for Rosie.

The “Then” blog. For details see entry for March 7th 2009. In brief the restoration of Claonairigh House
Monday 13th July 1992 Stonefleet, Tockwith, North Yorks.
Finally it is all beginning. We are house owners once more and paupers to boo! The money has been transferred from our account and now it is really down to counting every penny. Our new address is:-
Claonairigh House
PA32 8XT