Sunday, 31 August 2008

Inside the Barn

It occurred to me that I have posted several pictures of the garden and outside at the Barn, but there's nothing to show our inside. (Inside pictures of the upstairs apartment are on ) .

So, here is a picture of our cosy lounge - and believe me, when we light the stove it gets VERY cosy!

And this is one end of the slightly cluttered study, with the mirror showing Sue at the computer. The display cabinet contains my Mum's collection of porcelain ornaments which we kept boxed in the loft all the time we lived in Newington. I bought the green chair (for £20) from an eBay seller in Carlisle, and collected it on my way back from Devon a few weeks ago.

Monday, 25 August 2008

Interesting weekend

We were taken somewhat by surprise by a booking we've just completed...

Sue took a phone call from a doctor in London who wanted to bring eight of his family members to Skye for a weekend. "Do you realise how far it was from London to Skye"? we asked. "Oh yes, we'll leave London really early in the morning..."

So we took the booking for four of the party - our first ever Bed and Breakfast booking - and Sue got on the phone to a couple of our local friends who operate B&B's to find beds for the other five people.

The group duly turned up at 11.00am on Saturday - eight adults and one 11 year-old. They had travelled overnight. The family all originally came from Goa, but are living and working in London. None had been to Scotland before, let alone Skye.

By late afternoon, we had them booked into a local restaurant for dinner. "It's OK if we all come back to Roskhill Barn for a sing-song afterwards, isn't it - we've brought a guitar...?" asked one of the charming visitors. Through slightly gritted teeth, we answered "Of course". They didn't keep us up much beyond midnight...!

Sunday morning dawned bright and breezy. We coped with breakfast OK, though my porridge was a bit thick... But the eggs, sausages, bacon, beans and hash browns all disappeared quickly enough.

By 10.00am, the Barn became the gathering point for the whole party, with all our visitors, plus me, Sue and Basil-the-dog all on the front lawn having our photos taken.

The visitors loved Skye. "We are blown away by the scenery" was one of the comments.

The evening brought another 'sing-song' upstairs, with dancing too this time. We were invited to join in, but declined. It's great when we know our visitors are having a good time - and they certainly knew how to enjoy themselves.

Then this morning, about 5.30am, after a buffet breakfast, off they all went back to London.

They said they'll be back - for more than a weekend next time... We will look forward to meeting them again.

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

A long job

When I decorated the outside of the Barn at Easter 2007, I knew that I had been a bit lazy with the preparation of the parts built of concrete block - the many layers of original paint were not adhering well, but I just painted over it anyway, to make the place look smart for the summer.

Now we live here, and I can do 'bits' when the mood takes me, I have started to do the job more thoroughly, and it's a slow task. Some areas flake off with little effort, other patches flake off with a bit of tapping and scraping, and some bits won't come off at all. What you see in this picture is the result of about six hours work. (Also - note our new sign...!)

Today, a very calm slightly misty morning has brought out the midges in huge numbers, and as I seem to be a particularly attractive target for the ones which bite the most fiercely, I am staying indoors!

Incidentally - the montbresia in our garden is just about at its best now, so here's a picture Sue took yesterday. As you can see - it was another beautiful day, and quite a contrast to the torrential rain which we know has been affecting so much of the country.

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Locals on the bench

A group of locals were spotted taking a break in the sun on one of our garden benches this morning. Two flew off before Sue got the camera switched on.

This is actually the first time we have seen house sparrows at Roskhill.

Friday, 8 August 2008

The garden's looking good

The weather on Skye has been calm and dry for the last couple of weeks. Now at the Barn, the montbresia is just coming into flower, while the fuschia and brilliant blue hydrangea are looking good too.

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Possibly the most uncomfortable experience of my life...

...a hernia repair under local anaesthetic...

It wasn't pain, as such, just VERY uncomfortable, being pressed, pulled and prodded.

Try as I might, I could not properly relax. I tried to breathe slowly and deeply, though instinct was telling me to hold my breath.

I wanted to close my eyes and let sleep take me over, but there was no chance of that.

A child on a car journey asks, "are we nearly there yet?" to be told "not far now". I was being told that the job was "nearly done" - though I could see a clock - another ten minutes passed, and I was still being
pressed, pulled and prodded.

At last the final sewing up was undertaken accompanied by the surgeon singing along to the Rolling Stones on the operating theatre CD player. "We haven't left anything inside" he joked. I was soon wheeled off to the recovery ward.

Now, some 30 hours later, I am back home and feeling unexpectedly well. I have very little discomfort, and am looking forward to being fully active again in a few weeks time.

Big thanks to David Sedgwick, consultant surgeon, the theatre team, the recovery team, and all the other staff at The MacKinnon Memorial Hospital, Broadford, Isle of Skye, for the cheerful and willing care I was given during my brief stay. The happy and friendly atmosphere at the hospital provides a relaxing start on the road to recovery.

Monday, 4 August 2008

Broadford hospital - try again...

I'm making a return visit to Broadford hospital tomorrow, hopefully this time on the right day to have my hernia 'sorted'. I'm only in overnight, so Sue isn't getting much of a break from me. I'm looking forward to being fully fit again very soon.