Friends in high places

We’ve had a few weather hiccups with the wind making roofing difficult or impossible, but now a few days of proper winter weather – the kind we don’t usually get here. There is snow on Ben More and this morning Phil was out scraping a thick frost off the car at 6am before taking Isaac to his Monday morning bus for his week away at school in  Oban. It’s cold but not windy and the sun has been shining – good enough for roofing.

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Even with good weather it all takes a long time. Jim the builder has mainly only managed weekends with us in recent weeks. And there have been complications with tricky roof valleys and awkward Velux windows with obscure instructions. There are days when progress is visible and satisfying – half of one side of the roof finished in one day. Other days when progress is minimal and frustrating. Not unlike the rest of life.

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Phil doesn’t want me to go up on the roof with him – he thinks one of us should stay on the ground to avoid what a will advisor once described as a “family calamity”. To be honest I didn’t object too strongly. Luckily we have good friends who don’t mind scrambling around like mountain goats at that height.  And other good friends who have been able to help out from a safer altitude with putting in the huge, heavy windows.

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We missed our end of October deadline but, fortunately, the Croft House Grant people are minded to be supportive and have extended it again. They want the final roof covering on and all the windows in which is, surprisingly, beyond the usual definition of wind-and-watertight. It’s a good deadline to have anyway, with bad weather possible at any time and the tendency of Scottish island rain to travel at any trajectory and find any tiny gap. We’re nearly there.

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Huge thanks to Ash, Will, Lizzie, Darragh, Hamish, Guillam, Nick and, always, Jim. We couldn’t have got where we are without you.