Wednesday, 25 January 2012
Phase 2 (or is it phase 5) of our winter of renewables is now underway with the wood fired boiler. The slab for the hopper went in before Christmas but the blocks had to wait until everyone left and we had a day that was warm enough. True to form it was fully dark before it was finished and the morning revealed blockwork only a mother could love.
Then we needed a trench to the house through which a vacuum transfer system will draw the pellets, up the bank, past a tree, shallow at the hopper and at the house and deep where it crests the bank. This again was all good until I hit the foundations of the house that sat here before Inshriach, a Victorian farmhouse then known as South Kinrara. 5 foot of beautifully dressed stone were firmly mortared in my path. The trench got wider and wider as the blocks gradually worked free. Just outside the foundations I hit a seam of earthenware and old bottles, builders rubbish perhaps. I think I broke some with the spade before realising there were intact bits, then I came over all Tony Robinson, fished out these lovely little pots and chiseled the last bits of wall out of the way.
Next week we decommission the old boiler and strip the tanks, then have a mad rush to get the rest installed in time for the first booking.
Monday, 23 January 2012
Due to cancellation the weekends of the 10th and the 17th March are now available in the newly wood fired and solar powered Inshriach House. Long weekends for either of those dates can be yours for £1500, Thursday to Monday.
It might even look like this, in which case the solar panels definitely wont work.
Saturday, 14 January 2012
It happens earlier each year, the inevitable moment when the monster we call the Insider Festival starts demanding our organising attentions. This year is the year of the Olympiad and you can catch The Backwoods Sporting Societys Olympic rundown over on the Insider 2012 blog or you can get up to speed with plans over on the Insider Facebook page or sign up at the Olympiad event page.
This year the Insider is the 15th to the 17th June and once again we are weaving together a line up of Scotlands finest musical talent, only this year, if we are lucky, we may have as many as none of the countrys finest sporting celebrities.
Bring it on sportspeoples.
Wednesday, 11 January 2012
Thoroughly refreshed by the traditional highland New Year of wholesome behaviour, fresh air and long walks (ahem) we have hit the ground running in January.
At number 5 in the January DIY rundown are the new garage doors, they were stuck shut and all broken hinges before hogmanay and they now swing free and boast shutlines a BMW would be proud of.
Coming in at 4 is the back on the cottage woodshed. The roof lifted some time around hurricane Bawbag and the entire back wall fell out. Big thanks to Jack for helping lift the whole thing straight and to Dave for spotting someone disposing of a wriggly tin building and bringing it round before it even hit the floor of the skip.
Number 3 is all about the electrics, I wont include a picture of the new plug sockets in the utility room and the office because that would be too dull for words.
At number 2 we have fine Scottish kilowatts. The last of the solar panels have made it onto the roof of the barn and the garage so the farmyard is now a net exporter of energy (so long as nobody puts the lights on or takes a shower). The house (pictured) has been up and running a while but it was the winter solstice when we put them up, the sun barely gets above the chimneys this time of year, then it snowed, then the inverter tripped and we didnt notice so they have generated a total of £5.
And in top spot, move over Lawrence Llewellen Bowen, the house is getting a make over. So far that extends to transforming the big drawing room into a big pile of furniture in the hall and new curtains in the little drawing room and the housekeepers room but by February eagle eyed viewers will notice new pelmets and curtain rails here and there, painted soffits outside the house, new hinges on the oven, new light fittings in the library and a host of other small but tastefully implemented improvements.
These are filling the time nicely as the wood fired boiler has been delayed by a fortnight, leaving us, as seems to be the case with all renewable projects, starting work dangerously close to our first booking of the year.