September 29, 2012

Full steam ahead

Filed under: General — tattiehouse @ 14:53

Things are coming along at a quick pace now, we’ve pulled up half of the hallway floor and used the rubble as hard core for the kitchen floor. When all of the concrete is up we will compact, level off, install a DPM and insulation then re-concrete. Our steels arrived on Wednesday – hugely exciting because their installation will allow us to remove the old stairs (which will be repositioned to start in the hallway instead of the living rooms, freeing up LOTS of living space) and knock a double doorway between the two front rooms (dining and living). There’ll be a flow between kitchen and dining, then the option to open the dining and living areas up to eachother. It’s going to be an amazing space! We’ve designed new Tattie House so that she will hopefully always be able to earn her keep, be it as B&B, self catering accomodation or as one of the many business ideas we have in mind – or maybe as a mixture of any or all of our ideas. Dreaming about getting to that point is really important to us, because being first time renovators, just thinking of the scale of the job can be so massively daunting. Some of the jobs done so far have been exhausting and logistics have been challenging, we’ve dedicated blood sweat and the occasional tear to the house yet we still have so far to go. At this point in the year with so much still to do before we leave for the winter and life in the caravan becoming harder to enjoy, imagining the possibilities is what helps to bring our spirits up on tougher days.

Encouragement from our families helps us along too, Ian’s parents visited us recently and assessed the works so far – they are as excited as we are about us getting to the finished product and having done something similar themselves know that we have a brilliant shell of a house to work with. Despite the rubbish weather they managed to have a good wander during their visit, firstly for a trip around the North side nature trail followed by a wander up Coire Dubh then off to Dibidil.

In fairness they’ve probably done more walking on Rum than even a lot of the residents have so it was hard to know what walks to suggest as they’ve been to most places already! Being seasoned campers they were very happy to stay in one of Rum’s camping cabins (a new addition to the camping facilities for 2012) with dogs Teddy and Tess and found the wooden cabin very favourable compared to tent camping in the mighty winds we’ve had of late. My parents will be visiting in a couple of week’s time, staying at the castle hostel and I absolutely cannot wait to see them. The timing of their visit reminds me of what little time we have left on Rum this year; a week and a half after they leave and we’ll be hot on their heels heading South. The colder, windier, wetter and darker it gets here, the happier I am about that!

Other goings on recently have included the final thursday Sheerwater expedition of the season where the minke wales and porpoises gave us one last show. The rut is in full swing, with the BBC staying at the castle and recording deer activities for this year’s Autumnwatch. The hills are alive with the sound of stags bellowing away through the night and to add to that, the stars are also breath takingly beautiful at this time of year and on a clear night it doesn’t take long looking skyward before you see shooting stars. Yesterday evening was community engagement evening organised by Community Development Officer Vikki Trelfer, with Dave Thompson MSP, Cllr. Alan Henderson and several others here to explore the ways in which the community could be developed and improved upon in the future. There was a good turn out, the format of being in small groups and moving from subject to subject at 20 minute intervals made it easy to discuss issues openly and in a civilised and orderly fashion. I was particularly excited to have been part of a group which included a director of the IRCT and a former director, whose knowledge about various Rum issues we found insightful. The evening was really well organised and ended on a yummy buffet. What will become of the information gathered here I’m not really sure, but it felt good to take part nonetheless…


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