Caroline causes chaos

Well, that didn’t quite go as planned.  Storm Caroline arrived earlier than expected, and after I got pinned against the field gate with two buckets of horse feed until the gusts dropped sufficiently for me to open it, we decided to abandon the idea of trying to get the coffee table into the car on health and safety grounds.  The electricals were loaded up and we went down the road, only to find that the power was off at that end of the village.

This was a problem, because (a) I still needed to hoover and (b) the sky was so grey that there wasn’t enough natural light to take interiors.  So we zoomed back home, rang SSE to report the fault (who, I have to say, have been absolutely excellent at getting it sorted and keeping me informed of progress) and then rang Annie, the Scottish Cottages area representative, to see if she still wanted to come up or whether it would be better for her to turn back.  She said since she was only 20 minutes away she might as well come on up and we could at least get all the paperwork done and do the grading.

So the upshot is that we’re all signed up, Ethel’s House will be going live on their website in about a fortnight (if I can take good enough pictures myself) and will be available for guests from 1st March next year (which gives me a chance to get a few friends to stay in it and tell me what I’ve missed), and I am the proud owner of a 4* (and apparently a high 4*) holiday cottage 🙂

Stick a fork in it, it’s done (nearly!)

Weather permitting (we’re due 70mph here with snow), Scottish Cottages will be here in the morning to take photographs and thankfully, after a long stint this evening hanging pictures and making beds, we have something for them to photograph.

The landscapers turned up yesterday and have made really good progress.  They’ll be back first thing with one final load of gravel and then we can put the old flagstone path to the front door back down.

That’s Dougie’s van in the first picture, he’s been here all day and as a result the final light is up in the living room, all the sockets are in, all the pendant lights are in and all the smoke alarms and CO2 alarm are installed and tested.

I’ve shopped like no-one’s business over the past couple of days.  Yesterday I went into town, paid for the carpets, spent £550 on plates, glasses, cutlery and kitchen equipment in Tesco, £370 at CLB (Caithness Livestock Breeders, our local agricultural store, who have a wonderful homeware and clothing section as well) on four wool rugs and four pictures, and a final £85 at Serendipity (local ironmonger/garden centre/homewares) on a log basket, fire irons and a doormat.  Today I picked up all my lampshades and cushions from Just Wright Crafts to add to my wonderful gin bottle lamp bases I found on Etsy and finally I think I can say we’re looking close to finished.

Still to do in the morning – take the coffee table, TV, microwave, kettle and toaster down the road, along with a selection of books for the shelf on the landing, bake cookies, stick some logs in the log basket, put the crockery on the kitchen shelves, touch up any really obvious bits of paintwork, hoover throughout and clean the downstairs windows.