tattiehouse

August 30, 2012

A big step in the right direction

Filed under: General — tattiehouse @ 15:04

The subject of bringing superfast broadband to the UK’s remote areas has come to the fore recently. The government is talking about it and there are lots of articles in the papers and online.  Ian was contacted this week by BBC Radio Scotland to take part in a talk on ‘Good Morning Scotland’ about the setup of Rum. It was only a brief chat, and since there is a lot of interest in how we’ve done it on Rum I thought I’d do a piece for the blog to tell a bit more…

Ian knew when we took on Tattie House that one of his main priorities would be to look into the possiblility of getting a fast broadband connection to Rum. We both thought we would need something faster and more reliable than the existing satellite connection in order to be able to run a business of any kind or possibly work remotely. Somewhere down the line, he was contacted by neighbouring islander Simon from Eigg who shared his vision of improving internet provision for the Small Isles and together they formed HebNet (www.hebnet.co.uk). HebNet is a community interest company formed for the community’s benefit, and appart from Ian on Rum is run by a small group of people based on Eigg. After the initial set up on Eigg having proved a big success, it was then trialled on Rum – and very successfully too thanks to a handful of people who were willing to trust what Ian was saying and give it a go. Tattie House has been host to the HebNet dish since (the reason we haven’t been able to take down the second out house!). Our neighbour Sean has been a big help to the whole thing by being caretaker of the HebNet kit over winter and keeping the local side of things ticking over nicely. When we came to live on Rum in the spring the intention was to get the dish moved onto the hill behind Tattie House so that a stronger main signal could be established, improving signals around the village and allowing neighbouring island Canna to benefit along with the other isles from the new fast broadband. It took a little longer than initially anticipated, however the go ahead was given and the kit was finally moved up the hill last weekend. HUGE self pats on the back to the handful of people who made a really big old effort to get up the hill with the kit on Saturday and Sunday, in turn helping to improve the broadband facilities for everyone. The tracked barrow made the carrying of heavy items less strenuous, but as you will see from the photos it took 3 strong men (!) to guide it up the hillside and over the good old Scottish ‘ankle breaking’ ground (as I like to call it).  Now that the heavy kit is in place there’ll be a few little trips up the hill which I’ll be helping Ian with before it’s all wrapped up. (All photos (c) Sean Morris.)

This last picture saw the team give up on the barrow and carry the cabinet up the last stretch of hillside. Not easy!

Personally, I’m really quite proud of all the work and effort that Ian has put in to HebNet on a voluntary basis for the benefit of the community. I may be biased but I do think he truly is a wonder! It’s not only for us, but to improve life in general for residents of the Small Isles, open up all sorts of possibilities and opportunities to existing residents and maybe even help to attract new ones. We can download, internet shop, run businesses online, chat to our loved ones online, work remotely, offer tourists fast connection, and much more – all very comfortably. So well done to everyone involved for making it happen!!

August 16, 2012

Ahoy there!

Filed under: General — tattiehouse @ 12:57

We’re back at Tattie House again, after what feels like a complete whirl wind of a trip ‘back home’. A summary of the last week and a bit looks like this – an all night drive, a day to recover, a couple of days of niece-sitting and family seeing and job doing, a wedding, a mild hangover and LOTS of laundry to do, the big shop, making everything fit in the car, another all night drive and back to Rum. Another day of spinning heads and tired eyes and we’re back to normal.

We both thoroughly enjoyed our trip for lots of different reasons…Firstly, I got to spend LOTS of time with two of the little loves of my life, my beautiful nieces.

Ian arranged for his favourite toy to be transported from Wales to Mallaig. Not wanting to even try and tow this ourselves (after quite a few trips with caravan/trailers full, etc) we had a look through Shiply (www.shiply.com) to price up a haulier and found Three D Freight, who got the boat to Mallaig for us and were a complete pleasure to deal with.

We got to spend the week and a bit at Ian’s parent’s house, where we did dog and veggie sitting. Ian took the opportunity to take Tess and new collie Teddy for walkies up the Sugarloaf.

The sun shone for my sisters big day, she looked absolutely beautiful and very happy, everything went without a hitch – perfect. Congratulations Mr & Mrs. Scotford!

The bride with sisters, mum and nan.

Like mother, like daughter? i think so…

My dad (who spoiled all the girls with champers and looked all dapper in his suit) before setting off…

Fantastic day!

We stayed at Ian’s parents place while we were in Wales, they bought the house in a very similar condition to how Tattie House is at the moment and so could be thanked for inspiring us to take on our very own project and to believe that with a lot of hard work and dedication, we can do it. Over the course of the last 15 years they’ve made what was a delapidated house a beautiful country home and have worked hard on the land ever since to create a very productive vegetable garden. Being able to stroll around the gardens and choose from quite an extensive selection of fruit and veg was a real treat and has got us thinking about what we will be able to achieve in the future on the Isle of Rum. Here are some snaps of the veggie garden…

On top of this there are also orchards, a salad crop poly tunnel, figs, cherries and nectarines, all the berries you can think of and I’m sure things I haven’t mentioned. Like I said, an inspiration!

Here’s one of Ian looking quite proud of his boat

We’re waiting on the arrival of the back up engine, then as the weather allows will be out and about on the waters around Rum catching lots of fish and enjoying island life from a different perspective.

Whilst we’ve been away we’ve had a good hard think about how to tackle the rest of the work from here on, and have ordered up the next lot of materials which are now on their way. It has seemed slow at times, but being completely amateur at renovation we’re taking it all one step at a time and trying not to trip up. Now after our break, we’ve got fresh minds, a good idea of the direction we’re going in and a MASSIVE jobs list. I have a feeling the next few weeks are going to be very productive…

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