Progress! Not one, not two, but three pieces of good news to report.
Firstly, I had a recorded delivery letter from the Crofting Commission to say that my application to decroft the house and garden site has been granted. I am chuffed to bits that (a) it’s gone through in about six weeks (it can take up to four months) and (b) it’s gone through first time. Reading through the order, which is signed and stamped with a very official-looking red seal, it doesn’t come into effect until I’ve actually bought the land from my landlord, after which I send a form back to the Commission to say it’s been done and then the property gets entered onto the Registers of Scotland as freehold and becomes mortgageable. I’ve emailed SGRPID, as the representatives of my landlord (the Scottish Ministers) and they’ve forwarded my enquiry to the correct person, so now I just have to wait for them to get back to me on what I do next.
Secondly, Derek and Dougie have both been on site today and we NEARLY have a central heating system. It would have been up and running today but for two things – Derek wanted to double-check what we were doing with the drain for the shower and the flue plate has dropped off the boiler and needs welding back on. So he’ll be back tomorrow with a welder he knows and, fingers crossed, we should have a big switch-on tomorrow at some point. It’s looking good though.
Sitting room heating layed and covered for walking on.
One of the individual room thermostats. These can all be set to different temperatures and are programmable.
The manifold is nearly full and Dougie has fitted a master control panel. David’s going to build us a slim cupboard the length of the landing to hide all this – I was hoping to use the rest of it for spare bed linen, but I don’t think there’s going to be any spare space!!
Last but not least, the land is slowly being renovated as well. When we were making hay in the summer, John Angie told me that there was a natural well on the slope down to the little cove, but a landslip had covered it a few years back. He showed me roughly where it was, but I didn’t get round to having a proper look. Then a neighbour mentioned it again last night, so yesterday I climbed down and went in search of it.
I could hear the water running and soon found what looked like a shallow muddy puddle in the right place. I kicked a bit of the silt out with my boot and it filled itself up again – bingo.
So this morning I strapped a spade to the back of the quad bike and after I’d fed the sheep, I dug away until I hit rock, using the silt to make a dam at the front – John said he had a piece of stone at the front, but it got taken out by the landslip, although I think I’ve found a corner of it sticking out of the ground a couple of metres below the well and may be able to dig it out.
I left it to fill and when I went back down to the sheep this evening it had topped itself up. Add one old saucepan and that’s an end to the problems of filling water buckets all the way out on the point 🙂