No, we haven’t bought for ourselves a boat ; and, no, nor are we even thinking of doing so!
So what’s this about a Boat Shed ?
We have a new building under construction on our croft, across the sea in Eriskay. It’s very close to the shore : in fact it’s less than ten metres back from the high tide line, and no more than three metres or so above it. The big main door – a motorized sectional door – opens onto a gravelled turning area, on the other side of which there is a low rocky slope down to the water’s edge – a slope that could be adapted easily to create a slipway.
So strongly suggestive is this arrangement – and the name that springs so readily from it, it’s as if that’s what we had intended from the very outset – which it certainly was not!
Though we have no plans for a boat (or, for that matter, a boat house), in the absence of any alternative name for the new building, The Boat Shed will just have to do!
The new shed will be used as a general purpose agricultural shed : first and foremost for accommodating sheep and lambs during extreme winter weather and for lambing ; and secondly for all the bigger equipment used with the croft : vehicles, trailers, quad-bikes, hurdles and crates. (As inshore fishing and creeling is generally considered an occupation that is ancillary to crofting, I suppose the shed might just one day be used for storing a boat ; but that’ll not be by us ! )
Here’s two ridge-line photos taken during roofing work on two different buildings we own, 14 years apart, but the same man on the roof : it’s Domhnall Iain, our neighbour.
It’s still a long way from finished. Bad weather and lack of money has held back completion of the concrete ‘skews’ (in-situ concrete slabs up the slopes of the gable walls) – and ‘harling’ (rendering) the walls. Internally, I’ve already installed lighting, power sockets, and the motorized big door is fitted and working. But construction started so late in the autumn, and has dragged on into spring, that the sheep have had to be put into – and are by now well accustomed to – the old byre (formerly the poultry house). So, for now, with no sheep in the new shed, there’s room enough in there (in addition to van, trailer etc etc) for another vehicle, namely …