Jonathan: This time yesterday morning it was -5 deg C outside; now it is +10 deg and all the ice and snow has gone. Instead everything is sodden and dirty; and the wind has picked up bringing damp air off the sea – which is the coldest feeling of all. Thankfully I’m working inside today!
Jonathan: The max-min thermometer outside recorded -5degC last night (and that in the relative shelter of the woodstore and near the house, so probably a couple of degrees colder). That’s a record low since we moved here eight years ago. Also the cold continuing day-on-day for nearly two weeks now. The night frost sparkles with starlight, and in the morning the cars are covered with the distinctive graffiti of Jack Frost. Now, at mid-morning, the sun shines wanly out of clear pale blue sky, but behind glass it has yet the power to warm and enliven. But in the shadows – and at this time of year and at this latititude the shadows are very long! – the ice lingers on.
Jonathan: Working at Carrick on the wiring a couple of days ago, I saw a once-familar figure along the road a little – the building inspector. I suddenly remembered that we hadn’t yet applied for a building completion certificate – it had been forgotten about what with certain items unfinished and me being away from home. I had a word with him about this and he said he could come and inspect now and I – unthinkingly – said ‘Great – strike whilst the iron is hot, as it were’. That has proved to be a big mistake: it was apparent that I was making changes to the wiring and additional heating had been installed, and so today I’ve had a letter from the Comhairle (local council) requiring new SAP calculations, electrical certificate etc etc, that will cost hundreds of pounds. What I should have done was get the completion certificate done and then made the changes. What’s worse is that I can’t go back to the original engineers/architects, as I dismissed both and demanded return of fees mostly because the heating system as originally designed was woefully inadequate and indeed fundamentally unsuitable. This build has cost us very dearly indeed, and there’s still no end in sight!