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.