Monday, 31 March 2014

Exciting Times Ahead...

The summer visitor season is just getting underway, and this summer will be the last opportunity for visitors to stay here at the Barn. At the end of October, the B&B sign comes down and the builders arrive.

When the Barn it was originally converted from a cow shed to become a dwelling, it was made into two two-bedroom apartments, one on the ground floor, in which we currently live, and one on the first floor, which we let as our Bed and Breakfast With A Difference (there's lots of pictures on the website). The upstairs apartment is currently accessed by an outside staircase.

It has taken Sue and I weeks of discussions and endless measuring and drawing, but eventually we formed a concept of how we could convert the two apartments into one house by adding a small extension enclosing an internal staircase, and then altering the internal walls a bit to give us, on the ground floor, a larger open plan lounge and kitchen, utility room and ensuite bedroom, and on the first floor, two bedrooms, study, sitting room and bathroom. Here's my sketches of the plans:

Externally, the appearance of the building will change very little. There's the tiny extension, which will be in the same place as the current first floor porch, but will extend a little further forward, and two of the the first floor windows will be enlarged a bit to make the most of the view, but mostly, it will look just the same.

We both get a bit edgy when we think of the chaos we are going to have to endure while the job is carried out. We will have to pack up the entire contents, and store it all somewhere, then move ourselves into Loch View Cottage for the duration. But we know it will all be worthwhile in the end.... I'll update here when anything worth mentioning happens, and of course, come October, I will be posting photos as the work progresses. 

Meanwhile, it's carry on with the all the turn-rounds and laundry...

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Where Have You Been...?

... people have been asking... I know, I know... It's been AGES since I last wrote anything on here. It's all the 'winter jobs' that didn't quite get done in the winter, and now the visitor season is almost upon us, and I still haven't done most of them - though we have completed an electrical upgrade and new shower at Rowan Cottage, and there's new flooring for the hall and bathroom on order. The allotment is OK, and seeds are ordered, I've bought a new lawnmower, and I'll be getting some external decorating done when the weather looks set to be dry for a few days!

The other big job that is taking much time, is the planning of the redevelopment of of The Barn. We are closing the Barn Bed and Breakfast at the end of this season, and converting the two flats here into one house for us to live in. We have drawn and discarded so many plans... but now, with the help of an architect, a final design is coming together, so now we have to get warrants and permissions applied for, and a builder lined up. Obviously, I'll be writing loads more on this in the near future.

In spite of all this, Sue, Cupar and I did manage to have a short break away from home - we stayed at Rowan Cottage, and enjoyed a couple of days of being tourists. There are so many places to visit on Skye and the nearby mainland that we have never been to... here are a few pictures of places in South Skye and on the mainland  just 'across the bridge' from Skye.

Cupar loves sandy beaches - this is Ord, in Sleat. It was a bit windy though, hence Sue's 'cover up' attire!
Dunsgaith Castle, Sleat
Eilean Ruairaidh, with the Cuillin across Loch Eishort
Duncraig Castle from Plockton
Duirinish village
Creag a' Chumhaing from Ardarroch
Loch Kishorn from Ardarroch
I also made time to have another of my regular trips to the south of England, where I spent a couple of nights with friends Sara and Rod near Southampton, and then a pleasant week or so with Val in Torquay. I also managed a visit to Hole Farm to see sister Sue. Just for the record - here's Paignton Beach... how VERY different to Skye!

Paignton Beach, Devon, England!