Oh dear. After two weeks away visiting family, friends and working in the Southern Isles, I came back to find the house uninhabitable. The builders have been working hard in my absence and have laid new concrete floors, ripped out fireplaces, wall linings and ceilings. Unfortunately, they've also taken out the central heating boiler, the water supply and the cooker.I had planned to remain in the house while the renovation was under way, by moving from room to room, but now find that impossible. Not quite sure why I thought life could be tolerable during major rebuilding works.I slept in the house on Thursday evening and had to wash and clean my teeth with bottled fizzy water. Enough is enough! Realised I can't live like this for the next few months and moved out last night. Have now rented a flat above a restaurant in a very beautiful part of the Island and can sleep, keep clean, eat and have great views without moving very far.
It was lovely to see family and friends once more after months of relative isolation here. It's striking to see how much people change physically when you only see them every now and again. Number one son, his wife and happy smiling new grand daughter all very welcoming and hospitable. Could easily get used to being plied with good food and wine on a daily basis without having to make an effort myself. A bit sorry that I didn't have enough time to visit various other friends and two God Daughters.
Not sure yet where I'm going to spend Christmas. Hope to be back in my own home, but can't be sure that the work will be finished. It would be good to think that the house will be cosy and warm by then, but I'm not holding my breath.
The weather here has now started to become very wintery. We've had a couple of fierce gales recently and it seems to be raining almost continually. The sheep on the roads look miserable and I feel a great temptation to round them up, let them sleep in my shed and give them a good meal on Christmas day. Incidentally, a friend here has just bought a sheep made out of resin and is moving it round the garden every few days. Looks like it belongs, doesn't need shearing or drenching and costs little to feed.