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.
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.
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.
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.