6th Jan 2006
So, next week I have a meeting on site with: The site manager, the plumbers, the tilers, the electricians, the joiners and the architect, and they are all going to start work. What did that bloke say about hope over expectation?
The plumbers are working from these plans (page one of about twenty):
I have complete faith that they know exactly what they are doing.
Just a quick word in praise of Andrew the architect, who has been bloody helpful, and I'm sure goes above and beyond to help me get this blimmin' thing up and running. There have been many times when he has been the only one who has been at the end of a phone. (And one of the few that answers e mail).
11th Jan 2006
There is a God!
And he drives a red Fiat. Unfortunately, he left after 30 mins having told us the roof battens were not fitted correctly for the type of tile we are using.
So, the plumbers cancelled as the roofers told them there was no point in turning up.
15th Jan 2006
The tilers (bless 'em) have been asked to return on the 23rd January - by which time all remedial work will have been done and they can hopefully start what they were due to start in November, ... and December.
As there is (once more) nothing happening worthy of comment, I thought I would pen a few words regarding life in the highlands.
The first day we moved into our house my partner who had been out walking the dog ran indoors suggesting that I get the Land Rover and follow her as soon as possible with a tow rope. This is not the sort of suggestion one ignores, so I duly followed her to the top of our drive to find a car balancing perilously on the edge of the road (with a 70 foot sheer drop below). Think 'The Italian Job' and you'll get the picture.
Slumped over the wheel, fast asleep, was a local who had obviously drunk a full week's ration of single malt. This presented us with a bit of a problem, for if we took him out of the car the difference in weight distribution would probably mean that it would fall backwards over the cliff. Cue heavy Land Rover, tow rope, and reverse gear.
Finally extracting him, we asked where the keys were to the car (for they were not in the ignition) and through his drunken haze and strong Highland accent we established that, fearful of being caught by the local policeman (note singular) he had thrown them over the cliff. Bright move.
My other half took him down to the house to brew several cups of strong coffee, and I spent a cosy 15 mins trying to recover the keys (which fortuitously and strangely enough had ended up hanging on a bit of gorse about 10 feet down the cliff).
Having recovered and parked up the car and fairly happy with my good deed, I returned to the house and asked where the visitor was... "he's having a lie down".
Now envisage the shot of Rod Stieger on the beach in the film 'Jaws' where he sees the shark (you know the one)... I walked into the bedroom to find he had taken off all his clothes, dumping them in the middle of the floor (best Littlewoods string 'Y fronts'), and him lying half in - half out of our bed ... stark naked, snoring loudly.
Our new neighbour arrived at this point, and having told him our story he simply said "Welcome to the Highlands"
Even the sheep seem to have a novel way of entertaining themselves
25th Jan 2006
You couldn't make this stuff up.
The roofers and plumbers were FINALLY due to turn up (again) today, but the roofer's lorry broke down on route and had to be towed back to In Venice, and the plumbers... I quote:
"...crashed their van on the way today and are currently with the police trying to sort it out".
WARNING TO THOSE AT WORK (and shouldn't be wasting time reading this)... there is sound on the next page!