4th NOV 05

This is very frustrating. The Finns got home and Aki's 12 week old boy has had to go into hospital, so Jari has been trying to find another worker to join him back in Scotland. Meanwhile I now have the most expensive log built swimming pool in the Highlands.

7th NOV 05

The Finns finally restarted work today (Aki has stayed in Finland to look after his kid and has been replaced from the subs bench - Jukka - see pic below). Meanwhile, Jari has bought his 16 year old son back with him for a holiday. I'm not sure a small village in the Highlands in November would constitute a holiday to many 16 year olds - but there we go. He has more metalwork in his face than the Forth Bridge and tattooed on his knuckles 'G O O D' and 'F * * K'. Why do I think he'll regret that one day?

And surprise surprise, starting on the roof coincides with 100 mph winds - due through the night, so I have just pulled the team down off the ladders to spend the afternoon securing and storing.

10th NOV 05

Just got back from another cosy 800 mile trip - no storm damage luckily. The house is starting to to look a bit like a house.



Evidently there are no health & safety issues in Finland.

14th NOV 05

The Finns decided to go walk about today. The 16 year old needed to fly home (more facial implants needed I assume), but instead of Jari taking his son to the local station, they BOTH decided to take him to Inverness (a four hour round trip). This really miffed me as not only is time short before the tilers and plumbers come in, but I had a couple of extra workers booked to help, who stood around for a couple of hours (in the rain) then left, having kindly informed me that they would be charging for their time.

Jari's mobile being suddenly permanently unavailable, I spoke to Viljar (the contact in Artichouse) and tried to get him to put some pressure on them to pull their finger out and get back from Inverness. Unfortunately, things got a bit lost in translation. What follows is taken word for word from his e mail to Nick at Sustainable Buildings...

"Carter was calling and telling that Jari and 2 other finns were in Venice".

The sign as you enter Inverness will never look the same.

21st NOV 05

After much stress, several dozen phone calls, some shouting, most of a box of Ibruprofen, copious alcoholic lubrication, a serious haemorrhage to my bank account and another 800 mile round trip - we are finally starting to get the place watertight.

Below, the 'sarking board' and waterproof membrane are almost on, and the roof from the inside ready for the main six metre upright - with appropriately dressed Finn attached (back from Venice, obviously).

Snow is forecast for later this week. I really hope it's the 'look isn't that pretty' variety, not the stuff that moves sideways at 90 mph.

22nd NOV 05

errr...remember this? "Snow is forecast for later this week. I really hope it's the 'look isn't that pretty' variety, not the stuff that moves sideways at 90 mph".

I just read this on the Met Office weather warning page:

The Met Office is forecasting a period of cold and very strong northerly winds to extend across the UK from Thursday to Saturday, with all areas at risk of seeing snow. Current timings suggests the onset of the very cold weather will be around 0600 Thursday in Shetland spreading south. Areas at highest risk for snow are northern Scotland, Northern Ireland and northeast England. In these areas winds will also reach severe gale force. Showers will fall as snow and local blizzard conditions are expected giving significant accumulations of snow with drifting.

Oh crap - no windows!

24th NOV 05

Two and a half tons of roofing tiles have just been delivered on a lorry that is too big to get to the site. The driver just phoned to ask me where he should put them... Now let me think.

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