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.