Thursday, March 13, 2008


The renovation is at an interesting stage now where the end is in sight, but the builder and plumber have started to blame each other for a variety of small problems and deficiencies -- 'It's not my job to dig that hole, it's his' --. It's like referreeing a football match between young boys. They clearly don't like each other very much and the solution is probably just to get the job completed as quickly as possible so that they can both go their separate ways. Wherever the responsibility lies, I've learned from bitter experience during this rebuild that I will end up paying in the end. In general, I've not been too stressed about this project so far, but it is beginning to get to me now, especially after the theft of the plumbing stuff, and I just want the workers to go away and leave me alone. A further blow is that the new bath and wash hand basin have both been damaged and none of the workers are accepting responsibility. It very much looks as if I'm going to have to replace them at my expense.
This final stage of the work is dragging on and progress is too slow.
As I write this, the South of England is under siege from poor weather and is in dire danger of being drowned by high tides. Well, for the last few days here, the weather has been bright, dry, sunny and warm. After weeks of sufficient rain to float the ark, it's turned out nice again. Most welcome after a long, harsh Winter.
I'm working in Uist again this week, which is always a pleasure. Went to the ferry terminal at Eriskay this morning for the crossing to Barra, only to find it cancelled because of rough conditions at sea. It's a lovely clear day today and a disappointment when the boat fails to sail.
Yesterday, I was able to tick off another sighting on my 'must see' list. Driving from Lochmaddy to Clachan near Langass, on North Uist, I saw an eagle flying towards me. As the bird flew over the car at about 50 feet, I got out and could see that it was a white tailed sea eagle and not the more usual golden eagle. It's small unplanned events like this in life that cheer me up and give the most pleasure. I later heard that this particular bird had been seen hunting near where I saw it for most of the morning and lots of people had spotted it. Still a very exciting sighting for me though.
Interesting fact of the week - I've discovered that the residents of the Isle of Barra -- population approximately 1300 -do not have to MOT their cars or lorries because there is no testing station on the island. Their vehicles can remain untested as long as they are not driven off Barra, when they would be subject to the same rules as the rest of us. Was quite incredulous about this little gem of information, but have checked and it seems to be true. The same rule may also apply to other remote Scottish Islands lacking testing facilities.

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