Storm Dennis is currently sweeping across all of the UK. In Shetland, at the fringe of the low pressure area, the storm barely registers over and above the normal state of windiness (much windier than here in the Outer Hebrides). It’s ‘down south’ (that is, from a Scottish perspective, in England and Wales) that’s getting a hammering.
J > We help to conserve traditional building forms and details by how we design and specify our own new buildings – not merely the renovation of old. The roof of the new shed on the croft, down by the shore, is being covered with the galvanized corrugated steel sheets that are a traditional feature of older (mainly agricultural) buildings in the Highlands and (especially) the Islands of Scotland.
The forecast for today was for cold but fine dry weather, so yesterday evening we prepared the motorhome for a rare long day out exploring. With a full day available, it’s worth travelling further, and short of taking a ferry, that means going as far as the islands connected by causeways) of North Uist, Baile Sear, and Berneray. We spent the morning walking with Tilly in community-managed woodlands in North Uist, and after cosy lunch in the motorhome with the heating on, we drove round the island ‘ring road’ to Greinetobht, where we parked up at the head of the beach and pulled on our boots and gear for a long walk around the Udal peninsula. Unfortunately, the clear skies and sunshine were completely obscured by dense sea mist and spray : we definitely needed our waterproofs on! The walk was cold, wet and windy, but it’s an exhilarating walk, and so we enjoyed ourselves all the same!
Jonathan > Back in September of last year – before I went away to Navarra for a couple of months, I completed the task of converting the old byre – in the field that runs from the public road (and Carrick) down to the shore – from hen house to housing for the sheep during prolonged stormy weather (especially if they have very young lambs). Nearly all of the materials (timber, screws) from the old nesting boxes, perch rails and feed troughs were recycled into a manger and a different arrangement of feed troughs. Some of what remained was worth putting into storage, with only a small quantity to be put on a bonfire along with damaged and rotting pallets.
Jonathan > The first day not taken up with building work, I drove up the NA-132 to the head of the valley, and at the summit, turned off to the north and steeply uphill again to the Sierra de Gerinda. Parking by the first turbine and set off along the ridge road through the turbines, and onward into the hills and forests. It was already mid afternoon when I set out, but it was so lovely to be up in the hills that I just kept walking for two hours and more – until the sun had set.
J > Browsing through our Google Photos, as a distraction from the raging storm outside, I soon found myself basking in the reflected sunshine of my trip to Navarra last October-November. To my surprise, I discovered a batch of photos I’ve overlooked in posting about that trip. It was the first Sunday in November, and as it turned out, the sunniest day before I returned to Scotland four weeks later. To be fair, it was a cold day : as in the Outer Hebrides, the clearest skies are associated with cold winds from the north-west. But it was sunny and dry, and I’m used to wrapping up against the cold. It turned out to be the best day out of my trip to Navarra!
Denise > I’ve got a stack of the new Beinn Stac and Hebridean Sock kits ready to take up to the Hebridean Woolshed’s garden shop (though they’ll just be put away in boxes of stock until we reopen at Easter for the 2020 season). That said, they are available immediately for online customers.