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Progress Report

Otherwise known as 'things what we have done'..........

Well we have been living here in Scotland, on our plot for about 2 weeks now, so I decided it was time for a quick update on our progress.

For me the biggest step forward was clearing out our stock trailer and turning it into my kitchen - it may be very rough and ready but it's a massive step up from the picture above!

Those of you who know me know of my passion for good food so to be able to cook with 'proper' ingredients and have some favourite kitchen items around has been fantastic.

We now have all 3 shipping containers on site, all level and perfectly positioned. It was amazing to watch the guys delivering these massive metal boxes and be able to site them exactly where we wanted. We are now writing order/cutting lists for insulation, wiring, plumbing etc to fit them out. We should be ready to place an order within the next few days and aim to start the actual work towards the end of this coming week - so exciting and whilst I love staying in our camper van, I must admit I'm looking forward to a full size comfortable bed again and to be able to make my morning cup of tea easily!

Over the last week we have located the services for the house.

This was a very important achievement. We were given a location map for the electric and water services near our plot. However, these maps proved to be not as accurate as we had hoped, so we (well Andrew) have been forced to dig holes, investigate leads from locals and employ good old fashioned guess work - we even tried our hand at dowsing (more on this later in the week) which proved to be more accurate than anything else -and bottle of bubbly was opened to celebrate the evening they were located! Finding these services was really important. It has saved us thousands of pounds doing it ourselves and we need to save every penny we can to get this house built!

We now have a number of a number of trenches all around the area of our plot which will probably provide perfect traps for the local sheep - who have already become tangled in our string lines these last few days. Perhaps a stock fence or cattle grid should be our next project!

Over the last week or so we have started to meet up with some of the locals and very friendly they all are too (i'm not just saying that because .......well you know) and no they are not all sheep.......

We have got to know the guys who delivered the shipping containers and provided storage for us over the last few months - these guys now beep and wave when ever they drive by on another job which makes us feel very welcome. Some of our closer neighbours have dropped by - the local shepherd - who turns out to also be the guy who runs the local music festivals so he's a good guy to know, then there was the postman who dropped us off half a dozen eggs when he stopped to say hello and the best news of all was from the pub - it has just changed hands from a very grump antisocial barman who was tea total!!!! to a group of local ladies who will be opening in the next few days - the community is all a buzz with that news, apparently they have had to go far and wide to avoid the tea-total-publican. However, the best visit we have had so far was from some good friends, they travelled up from Oban on the day the travel restrictions were lifted, bringing iced buns and coffee - a very welcome gift!

Lastly, this week we have also registered our address with the Highland council, which will make deliveries easier. We have ordered our house name boards (well I say we have ordered, actually a very kind friend is making them for us) and we have made a notice to sit in the window of our van telling the world if one of us is on a zoom call - the sight of the local, water drenched shepherd leaning into the van behind me, in the middle of a meeting is not one we wish to repeat - it scared my colleagues!

So what's the plans for the next week - well we are now back in Gloucestershire to deal with a few unavoidable appointments - the van needed servicing and a bit of work done, we had paperwork to deal with and I needed to pack up more clothes for us in Scotland - who knew we would need shorts and t-shirts up here in April! So once that's all done we will be back up at the plot and ready for the next stage - fitting out the containers, laying the water & electric pipes and getting those services connected. I'm very excited I might get to drive a digger!!



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