More clearing out

As I need somewhere to store the hay I’m hopefully going to be baling on Thursday or Friday, this week I’m concentrating my efforts on clearing out the biggest of the byres, which will apparently hold 250 square bales when it’s empty.  It’s the one we’ve been storing all the wood we stripped out in:

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Behind that piece of framework is an old electric cooker, which I found a load of nearly-new muffin trays and casserole dishes inside, and behind the hot water cylinder was the carcass of chest of drawers – in the one remaining drawer, I found these:


I’m asking around to find out who they were.  It’s looking like the man is Hugh MacDonald (who I think was Ethel’s father-in-law and my neighbour Christopher’s uncle), but no-one has yet identified the lady.

Whilst shifting some of the wood pile, I found another dated board.  This was on the underside of one of the shelves we took out of the kitchen pantry:


And this week’s cake?  Well, on Monday night Pete announced that since a packet of Silk Cut had reached £10 in the village shop, he was giving up smoking, so I thought I’d better come up with something a bit spectacular!


I’ve had the quote through from SSE Power Distribution for moving the overhead line and it’s come back at a very reasonable £194.28.  I forwarded it to Dougie for him to check that they’d included everything he needed, and he rang back this evening to say (a) it was fine, go ahead and (b) he was nearly non-contagious again and hoping to get up to us for a day this week.

Budget Day

Not just for Mr Osborne, but I thought I’d add up how much I’ve spent to get here so far, as the solicitor’s bill arrived this afternoon.

The only two expenses I’ve had (not counting the running costs for my sheep – I’m keeping my crofting budget separate) are the interest on the money I’ve borrowed from my family and the legal fees, so the accounts so far look like this:

Difference between money borrowed and purchase price – £70.51
10th Nov – Interest – £96.68
10th Dec – Interest – £276.88
11th Jan – Interest – £276.88
10th Feb – Interest – £276.88
10th Mar – Interest – £276.88
16th Mar – Solicitor’s bill – £766.00
Total:  £2,040.71

So it’s cost me a little over £2,000 just to get the keys.  In fairness, that’s not bad – I had to sit down when I opened the solicitor’s letter, as I was expecting that to be four figures and possibly starting with a 2!  I shall drop in and pay it tomorrow and leave a large Easter egg for Jane, my solicitor 🙂

I had a call back from Dougie the electrician this afternoon – he was up the road in Melvich, could he come and have a look?  Sure.  The good news is that he’s agreed to quote for it, so I need to think about what I want in each room in terms of lighting and sockets (I don’t need to finalise positions just yet), think about where I want the TV and the phone, as he’s going to hide all the cabling currently tacked to the front of the house for those, and decide whether I want the power to the byre to be on a separate meter to the rest of the house.  He’s also going to move the position of and seriously upgrade the heating controls (it’s a cheap clockwork timer and the noise is really annoying) and move the meter and fusebox etc. – he’d seen that the main power cable into the house is chased into the harling down the outside wall and then goes through a wooden panel above the front door, which isn’t ideal, so since we’re getting the door replaced and we’ll have someone patching the non-harled bits that will be revealed when Pete takes the fascia boards off, it’s going to go through the wall at the height of the connection and all be hidden in a little cupboard on the landing.  Mick has suggested that we ask him to also quote for putting in outside lights, particularly one to illuminate the fanks (sheep handling system), and also for wiring in a back-up generator so that if we do have guests in and there’s a power cut, it’ll cut in and take over.  We actually have a generator here, but it’s not wired in, so it can go down the road.

Another two hours stripping out panelling and bedroom one is very nearly ready for work to start.  The priority over the next few days is to get the surfaces with the Veluxes/proposed Veluxes bare so that if Pete wants to start cutting holes in the roof next week it’s all ready to go.  I uncovered a MAHOOSIVE spider which I thought was dead, but turned out not to be.  Mick really Does Not Do spiders, so I had to dispose of it out of the bedroom window.