Both our own home An Gàrradh Mòr and Carrick Eriskay are now ‘on the market’ with Bell & Ingram.
Photos of the interior of our own house – An Gàrradh Mòr – here at the walled garden have appeared from time to time in these blog posts, but here’s a wee tour of the principal rooms, in no particular order.
This is a very significant milestone for us, in what has to date been a long and fraught journey without signposts or reassuring waymarks. We hope it becomes more straightforward as options narrow.
Quite possibly you’re thinking (you wouldn’t be the first) “Have they gone mad? From walled garden and croft plus holiday lets and a life unfettered by traffic and crowds, to a very ordinary and very modest bungalow on the main road from Lampeter to Camarthen …?!?!?!” Well, we’ve certainly asked ourselves the same, time and again ; and yet a very still small voice – and a very persistent one! – tells us that it’s time to let go of these things, to live and to travel through life more lightly. New opportunities – and challenges – that perhaps are better suited to our ages and circumstances, or the needs of our family – or, for that matter, the world about us, will unfold soon enough. And we will not have need of a large house, extensive outbuildings, or land.
Snow is very infrequent here : most winters we get nothing more than a light dusting on a couple of occasions. Jack Frost is, likewise, a seldom-seen visitor to the island.
True, many a winter we see the top of Beinn Mòr, Beinn Coradail or Thacla topped with snow and glimmering with ice on their rocky ramparts ; but that’s more than a fifteen hundred feet up and more than a couple of miles from the nearst roads.
The winter now well behind us was been no different.
So what a surprise, then, this morning, to wake up to this –
An Garradh Mor, Isle of South Uist : Snowfall in Spring! Our first ever Uist snowfall in April!
1st April we’re re-opening the Hebridean Woolshed’s wee shop here in the walled garden in South Uist.
So, when you’re ready (and permitted) to come, we’ll be ready to welcome you. Until then, let’s just enjoy the stillness and quietude, the wild primroses putting out blooms even amidst the chilly blasts of March.
Jonathan & Denise > Ciorstaidh [Kirsty] MacDonald and her older daughters Mary and Annie are making hay in the field below Carrick – which we refer to as Field 1 or Home Park. The young boy sitting on the grass is Alasdair Lachlainn [Alexander Lachlan – or just Alex] : as a young man he emigrated to Canada and made a good life for himself there. Here he is sitting back to back with his year-older sister who became a nun, being thereafter known as Sister John Vincent. The last time such labour-intensive work was considered at all worthwhile was during the Great Depression – when this old photo was taken.
Over the weekend we’ve been working on developing the interactive map of the croft. It’s still a work-in-progress, but already it offers a lot more than just showing where on the surface of Earth the croft is located! Judge for yourself :
J > The energy gained by the waters rushing headlong under the bridge – falling nearly two metres in just 20m or so – is not quickly dissipated, not by the weight of the weight of the seas that they blunder into, nor by the waves driving in from the west, nor even by the wind. Never, surely, did any attacking army break through the ranks of its sworn enemy with as much malevolence!
J > I’m replacing the fences (and gates) on the west side. The work starts with the gate into the Steading, then then a short length of fence. (These aren’t shown in these photos.) You’ll see here that I’ve installed one of the new square wooden posts for the gate into Carrick, and some of the wooden posts along the new alignment. The last post (and two before it) have to be galvanized steel, because bedrock is very close to the surface. The old fence was installed (not by me!) incorrectly – too far from the field access track.