Jonathan: A milestone in repairing the great wall around the garden – An Gàrradh Mòr! When we first came here in 2002, there was a huge stone fallen out of the middle of the south-facing wall, so big – and extending almost half-way through the wall as well, that repairs there were a high priority, if not actually very urgent. But by the time I first started repairs back in 2003 it had become apparent that the big stone had fallen out a number of years before, and there was no immediate threat of collapse: so instead I started at the South Gate and and worked westwards – surely it would only be a matter of months before I got that big gap anyway? Well the gap didn’t seem to gape any more as the months went by – and neither did it seem any worse as various new presing projects and really urgent repairs monoplized the to-do list for 2004 , then 2005, and then after the great hurricane all our priorities changed. But a couple of months ago, as I walked past the big fallen stone with my almost ritualistic draw of breath and a murmered pledge to do something about it as soon as I could, I noticed another smaller stone on top of the big one, and on the grass around them a scattering of crumbling old lime mortar. Oh dear, a sure sign that things really have started to get worse – perhaps the deep frost of December was the cause, but whatever it was, I could no longer go on putting this off. So, today, for the first time in at least two years, out came the ladder, the masonry tools, buckets and hose pipes, a big bin of lime mortar (I’ve had half a tonne in store for about 6 years!) and a wheelbarrow to fetch shell sand from the beach. And during the course of today I have repaired that gaping hole. Thankfully it was no higher than my chest, so despite its huge size I was able to lift it – I could never have got it up a ladder, and it readily found a position where it’s own weight (around 70-80 kg!) kept it in place without having to rely on packing. And despite the loss of so much original packing stone and mortar around and behind it, I found I was able to reach every nook and cranny to ensure a complete fill of the void. In short, it went extremely well. Assuming no great disaster befalls the wall in the coming years, this will probably be the biggest single stone I will have to replace in the wall, and to to think it has been lying there on the grass nagging me almost every day for the past nine years! So, with that milestone behind me, I now feel renewed confidence and commitment to repairing the wall. But when I will reach even the south-west corner, I dare not even guess, and as to completing the whole wall, I think that’ll be the generation after me.