Wednesday, 20 June 2007

Progress. . . at last

Listening to: While My Guitar Gently Weeps (The Beatles)
Eating: Cheshire cheese and fruit cake.
Worrying: about everything.

Finally. . . It looks like we're on the way. Next month we're off to Westray come hell or (thanks to global warming) high water.

After such a long time hanging around waiting for something to happen, we seem to have movement at last. A very nice young couple have put in a reasonable offer for the house and seem keen to get things moving swiftly, while my wife Sal has put in her notice at work and finishes on July 13. So we've got to go really, or face living in a tent on Meole Brace roundabout, although that's very handy for Sainsburys.

I have to admit some major reservations about leaving and the bottom lip quivers a little when I think of two or three people I will miss terribly, but it's time to put on a happy face, whistle nonchalantly and get on with it.

After several weeks of relative inactivity and, let's be honest, boredom, I'm excited about clearing the five-year-old chicken muck out of the animal shed, cutting down eight-years-plus undergrowth in the veg garden and dividing the top field up into paddocks for the pigs.

Speaking of which, I hope to have the first inmates installed before the autumn, thanks to a breeder of British Saddlebacks based near Thurso, only a quarter of a mile from the Orkney ferry.

Of course, there's the small matter of the house to consider. The roof doesn't let in the rain, but it's made of corrugated asbestos and there's woodworm in the joists. The floors are basically flagstones laid on beaten earth - nothing so luxurious as damp-proofing - while the windows are rotten and the front door. . . less said the better.

The bathroom works all right, with the ancient Aga heating enough water pumped up from the well to fill the massive bath.

We've got a thousand and one plans for the place, some of which actually may come into being, but I strongly suspect the first task will be to stop treating it like a holiday and actually get down to some hard work.

We're under no illusions. . . this is going to be tough and we had a reminder recently when a friend sent pictures of his house in Pierowall (Westray's village) during the storms in early March. Apparently at the height, winds a couple of miles offshore reached tornado-speed and waves were breaking over the house - a fine test of the nice new windows Eric installed last summer.

1 comment:

Reg Pither said...

So, you're finally off! You're right, it is a wild and wooly place, a desolate, wind-swept and barren island.......but as you said youself, at least it's close to Sainsbury's.