Tuesday, 21 October 2014

The End of an Era

We have an Australian family staying upstairs just now. They arrived yesterday, and will leave on Thursday morning, and as they go, so will end our little 'Bed and Breakfast With A Difference' business here at the Barn.

I have been looking forward to this day for quite a while now, but Sue has very much enjoyed welcoming and chatting with our dozens of visitors over the last seven years. She has never complained about the work either, though it has all been a bit high-pressure at times. As for me - I have never really come to terms with having strangers in our garden, their cars on our drive, and all the quiet creeping-about we have had to do, while trying not to disturb our visitors. No longer having to obtain and organise the breakfasts, and not having to do endless turn-rounds with the associated laundry and ironing will also be features of the job that I certainly won't miss.

We are now entering a period of change, while the Barn is re-converted from two apartments into one house. The builders move in at the beginning of November, and will be pretty-much rebuilding the entire interior of the place. We have already begun the task of packing-up all our belongings and getting them out of the way of the builders, but Sue is now down in Kent visiting her Mum, friends and family, so I have much of the job to do alone.

Here is my 'study' right now - it's not quite as bad as it looks, as the cupboards are all empty. There's just a lot of stuff to shove in boxes and get moved out! This room will be split into two, and the window in the picture will become the window of a ground floor ensuite bathroom. The other part of the room (which also has a window) will be our 'utility' room, housing the washing machine and a large new cupboard for all the cottage linen.

This is the current ground floor kitchen, which will all be going, as will the wall behind the cooker, then a new kitchen will occupy the larger space which is created. It will still be open-plan to our living/dining room, which will not change much, apart from becoming a bit bigger.
Here is the current ground floor bathroom, which will all be going, and the space will become part of the new, larger kitchen.
The new stairs to the first floor will start from just inside our front door  where the coats are hanging just now.
The new stairs will arrive on the first floor when the present front door stands (the door is currently at the top of an outside staircase, all of which will be removed). The landing will have two large windows, and twin glazed doors (replacing the existing door seen here) opening into an upstairs sitting room.
The biggest change upstairs will be the removal of the existing kitchen and the door and wall from it into the current bedroom beyond. This will all become the master bedroom, with a large mirror-fronted wardrobe filling the space seen here on the right.
The existing built-in cupboards will also be removed - this will make the room much bigger, giving us some proper space at last!
My aim is to keep this blog updated with reports of the progress as it happens, so watch this space!

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Skye getting quieter, but we're speeding up!

Autumn has certainly arrived here. As I took Cupar for his morning walkies earlier today, grey clouds, torn apart by the wind,  raced across the sky, some of them still mean enough to let a scattering of raindrops fall to the ground. The bracken is golden, while the moorland green is gradually turning to its winter brown. Leaves from our nearby trees scurry about the garden until they find a place to rest in an untidy heap. The roads are much quieter now. There are very few camper vans or hire cars still creeping about and pausing in the lay-bys for visitors to grab yet another photo of yet another stunning view.

We have a few autumn bookings in the cottages and here at the Barn, right up until we close at the end of October. But we have made a start on the big task of packing up everything we own and finding places to store it all while we move to Loch View for the winter, while our builders undertake the job of creating our new house inside the old walls of the Barn.

Our sale of Aird View and purchase of 7 Roag is still underway. We hope to have more news on that little venture very shortly.

I'll be back with some photos soon.