Just back from site visit to Harris. Lucky to get home at all today, as all inter-island ferries cancelled from mid-day on: just Loch Portain to return to her home port in Berneray – thank heavens! Driving home through Uist buffeted about by violent squalls of wind and rain. Everywhere poor lambs sheltering behind their mums or anything higher than them – even a clump of rushes. For heaven’s sake it’s the 1st of June today!!! However the storm though violent has been short and cyclonic, veering round over 6hrs or so from NW round by NE and SE to SW, bring and end – for now, at least – to the constant bitter wind from the north we’ve endured for all but a day or two of May.
Denise: Today’s Aga Day – the day for turning the Aga off until late autumn. Varies from year to year, but usually the first really warm day after the clocks go forward. Typically the next day will be cold, and occasionally we put it back on again for another few days. This winter and spring has been cold and windy to the very last, but hopefully we can manage with the conventional hob and oven over the next few months. We’ll appreciate the Aga all the more when it goes back on in late October.
Jonathan: There’s a leak in the roof at #8Askernish that’s proving difficult to trace and fix. Indoors there’s a damp patch in the kitchen ceiling, that gets wetter and drips into the kitchen sink (thank heaven for small mercies!) whenever there’s a strong wind carrying heavy rain from the W or NNW. Outdoors – no obvious fault. The wind could be driving rain under the slates (the roof over the kitchen has a fairly gentle slope), but we’ve sealed the gaps between slates with special sealant, doing more each another storm has shown the previous fix to be insufficient: we’ve now treated all the slates in that part of the roof! The latest storm (still battering and blustering by turns) has wetted the ceiling again; but exploring in the roof void we can see how far the damp has spread on the rafters, but not where it gets in. Exasperating! We’ve another explanation and treatment to test, but it’ll need another storm before we know whether it has worked and whether we can put the ceiling to rights ; and we’ve already had more than twice our winter ration of storms!! At least the damage inside is not great, and won’t really affect guests if we can’t get if fixed for sure in the next fortnight or so.