Tuesday, October 17, 2006
The roof, the whole roof and nothing but the roof...
'Let them have builders' is allegedly an ancient Chinese curse, but for us, having brothers Donald and Tom completely re-roof the L-shaped (and B-listed) steading in the grounds of the manse has been a pleasure and a privilege.
They came from Cromarty in the Black Isle, and in five straight weeks they removed all the slates from the two barns, demolished one entire roof which turned out to be beyond salvage, cut to size and rebuilt the rotten roof from scratch, including erecting new beams and sarking. All this for several thousands of pounds less than the cheapest quote we could get from any Shetland firm. And that includes flights, new slates, accommodation and providing them with a car (not a very good car, it must be admitted).
During their stay, Tom and Donald were adopted by our labrador Quoyle, who accompanied them all day, in the hope of lunchtime treats. Here they are on the second last day, finishing off the tiny sheep shed (which we didn't expect to get done at all).
'We were lucky with the weather' said Donald. 'And if we hadn;t worked until 7 every night, we wouldn;t have made it.' But they did, and we're grateful. The plan is to convert one barn into a broadcast studio, office and recording space, and the other into self-catering accommodation. Watch this space!