Changeovers had to be done at Haunn yesterday, and Farmer's Daughter brought her ipod with her, so took a few photographs of West (results above). It was a lovely spring like day, birds singing, heron flying overhead, garden sheltered, warm and sunny, quiet, and when leaving the cottage ready for the next guests (who arrived on bicycles) we both wanted to spend the weekend there ourselves.
On Thursday morning the Agenda papers were published for the 3rd of March Council meeting (Argyll and Bute). This revealed the list of schools the Council are hoping to close. No Mull school was on the list so we have a reprieve. Good news for Mull schools then, and a huge relief, but the Council are intending to keep reviewing the situation which means we cannot think it is over. Our hearts go out to the 10 schools who are on the new list, including Ashfield, a school similar to Ulva in size and with a long single track road journey from the end of their catchment area to the receiving school. One new school is on the list - Clachan - which was a receiving school in the last set of proposals.
Closer to home, the building work on the house continues with an enthusiastic team of local independent builders, who are racing through the work. We should be able to move back in by April 1st when Studio starts being rented for the summer, but we may well be camping.... The woodfibre insulation should arrive this week along with the various tapes and seals that have been specified round the replacement windows to make an airtight seal.
Toechtamhor filled me with dread in 1995 when we first moved here. It was dark, cold and had way too many beds. It always cheers me now when I go into prepare it for guests, that it is not like that any more. Over our first winter we started to banish the dark coldness and took away many of the beds, and I remember a frantic panic trying to finish off the hand built new kitchen for the first guests of 1996. When they arrived we had to advise them not to touch the still wet paint. Over the years we made regular improvements, but the dread memory seems to have stuck, long after the cottage undertook its last transformation in 2005/6 to being bright, light and spacious! Above are Farmer's Daughter's 3 pictures - looking inviting, and below the less inviting appearance of the Farmhouse at the beginning of the week!