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Orkney and Heddle
Simon's Blog
Recent Entries 
7th-Apr-2008 07:16 pm - new
site no 2, land up in the hills is relaunched.

also contains a wp blog so i will post more personal stuff here, for those who want it.
26th-Feb-2008 11:43 am - hiccups
Some minor hiccups with the orkneycrofts site, mainly resolved but having a coder sitting in Czech is not ideal.

Hardcore birdy walk last sunday, walked across sandwick in gales and hailstorms, though interspersed with some sunny bits. 5-6 miles heavy going, felt it the next day. Highlight was 40-50 skylarks and 50 twite hiding from the wind in a turnip field. Pleased to have done it even with harsh weather.

Became a Great Uncle last week. Jack 3.5 lbs 6 weeks premature was born in Aberdeen Hospital. Hope his somewhat blighted stars turn out to be good for him in the end.
7th-Feb-2008 05:01 pm - well
So, february already. Time goes so fast.

Ma seems to be recovering well and has almost given up the zimmer; we bought a new car which should be here next week. Not sure exactly about letting her drive it though.....

Had an interesting bump on the track; visitorkney refused to take the orknerycrofts.com link advert coz the site had one reference to this site (the main site not this blog). They don't like my icons here, apparently; removed the link and is ok now but i was a bit surprised.

Land up in the hills is going to get a major overhaul soon and i will have to consider the butts, but they are a harmless appreciation of the female form i think they will stay...

The next phase of worry (East Heddle) will start in about six weeks, some things still to be resolved but i think things are under control, sort of.....

Tom has moved out, maybe for the best I suppose thats up to him i have done all in my power to help. Working very hard on the orkneycroftys site which i truly believe will be fantastic when fully functional and content rich. Using Adwords which is interesting; will have a bevvy when the first booking arrives.

Very Fat. Fattest ever in fact. Difficult to break as i have to cook for Ma but somehow i have to; running out of clothes which fit !
28th-Jan-2008 08:13 pm - orkneycrofts.com
check it out.

my new baby, virtual and real

the reason i havn't posted for a while.

hope all is well with you.
3rd-Dec-2007 09:15 am - Festive
stuff has started, bah humbug.

Ma's leg was broken in the accident; took them a week to diagnose and she's been in hospital since. Cast on full leg, may be home in another week, doubtless many bridges to be  crossed in the coming weeks/months. Day by day, only time will tell how badly this will knock her. Car written off by insurers.

Byre is due for final completion before Xmas, if everyone does what they have promised. Tiling the kitchen, sorting the porch and some joinery; 2-3 days work for three people. Moved furniture in, shower room awesome. Floors finally sorted and look great. Bed due to arrive this morning. (Kingsize French style sley bed)

Funding in place for East Heddle; Brian critical component and at present still unreliable so a little concerned but subject to his state of mind next year should be exciting culmination of all the years of grinding.

Quite a few beautiful days interspersed with some course weather, bird walks splendid, seen little Auks and Snow Buntings. Tree planting on schedule, got over 200 done, 300 to go, plus maintaining those already in the ground - grass control mainly. Probably got around 1000 healthy specimens now.

Christmas is coming, in case you hadn't noticed.

bah humbug.
8th-Nov-2007 11:57 am - Well
today brings us the first Winter storm, gusting Storm Force 10, (80mph) driving rain squalls with possible Snow later. One of those days when the duvet is hard to leave.

Last leg is here. Water is ON, tiling is DONE, cleaning 75% completed. Working on the flag flooring to try and create the finish i want then FURNITURE.

Hooray !.

Actually still quite a lot of niggly stuff to do but I will be sleeping in the byre next week !

Ma had an almost serious car accident two days ago, she has hurt her left Knee and is in a good deal of pain but it is not broken, she should be ok in a little while, but always dodgy to injure yourself at her age. Car badly damaged, as is the vehicle she hit. Failed to see oncoming vehicle when turning into the main road in Finstown. No one else hurt and no poeleese, so just her premium will be battered.

Started taking sodium diclofenac for AS. WonderDrug ! Last week no discomfort or pain at all ! Hope it lasts !

Tom is in Aberdeen with Fiona. She has had the operation and all is well, they will be back next week.
30th-Oct-2007 09:22 am - Well
the last three weks has seen about 2 of the five days work left in the byre done, so maybe another two weeks  (?) before its all finished. Shower room is the main item, tiling nearly completed, loo and sink about to be plumbed in.

Brian remains off sick, hopefully he will be back in a week or so.

We had the best October weather I can remember, so lots of good things achieved outside. Started winter tree plantings, hazel, hawthorne, swedish whitebeam, alder and broom, about 500 or so in total.  Bulit second raised bed in veggie garden, moved, divided and planted lots of herbaceous stuff for next year.

November seems to be returning to expected cold and wet conditions but a few more good weeks would be of great benefit.

Quite well generally. Tom is becoming a question mark; not really sure what is going on in his head. Great bird outing last Sunday. Weather blissfully beautiful, Burray and South Ron, fantastic.

pipi pip for now.
8th-Oct-2007 09:19 am - Sorry
for the long delay in posting. Much has been happening and much has not been happening since my last post. In no particular order then;

  • byre staggers on. So close, but so far. What is left ? Tiling the shower room (tiles arrive in about 10 mins from now Time out... Just arrived !) lost my tiler, found another. Problem with the Electric supply caused by severe mistake by the architect in the original loading application. Hopefully will be sorted this week but could become massive problem if the Hydro are not happy.
  • Cannot connect the heating or water until this is done. Cannot plumb in shower stuff until tiling is done, cannot turn on water until both are sorted.
  • Some joinery and some decorating still to do, some light fittings still to fit.
  • Then it all has to be cleaned spotless and the floors sealed.

All in all ? maybe 3/4 days work to complete. Yes but three days I have been trying to get done for five weeks. Hard to explain coherantly why. Not helped by Brian apparently being in the first or second stages of a nervous breakdown/mid life crisis. He has become quite ill, not fit for work and many of these fiddly finishing jobs were down to him.

Frustrated ? Pissed off ? BIG TIME.

East Heddle is in limbo until I get two new quotes from builders, due in a couple of weeks; the Project is now delayed with completion not due till spring 2009. Can't re-organise the funding until i get them so the bank situation is a little messy right now. Suffice to say I am going a lot further into the myre than I ever intended, will certainly go through more than 350k before spring of 2009.

Worried ? a bit, but it will all be ok, eventually. May be quite old and grey by then though.

Otherwise Tom varies between useful and helpful to useless and lazy, the tendency falling somewhat on the lazy side right now. I think he is ok and seems to be looking forward to his impending fatherhood.

Ma is somewhat easier that in the past though we are both suffering in our own ways due to the painful time delayed finishing off of the byre.

The winter Bird walks have started again which is a very good thing and the biggest bonus has been the past two weeks of weather, which has been the most settled and bonnie since April. Summer was a total disaster, coldest wettest and windiest in the eight summers I have lived here. But some recompense is  being gained by a lovely few weeks right now and I am getting a lot of structural stuff done in the garden.

I battle on.
6th-Oct-2007 11:10 am - Cutting the Grass

you can see some more of this HERE.
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