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Damon & Renate's Holiday Cottages

Damon & Renate's Holiday Cottages: December 2008

Damon & Renate's Holiday Cottages

Beautiful stone cottages near Oban and on the Isle of Mull

My Photo
Location: Taynuilt, Argyll, United Kingdom

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

A Mountain Rescue from 3 Perspectives

Micahel Tunney someone we rescued in 2006, who was quite badly injured, is kindly putting a lot of time into an event to raise money for Oban Mountain Rescue Team over the next year. He has written a description of his experience and asked us to provide a description of the rescue from our side.

So on his blog at we are now in the unusual position of having a rescue described by:
  • the person being rescued (titled 11/11/6)
  • me as leader of the rescue
  • Ross as a member of the first rescue group to reach Michael that evening.
Soon there should also be a description by the helicopter pilots from HMS Gannet who were flying that night and produced some amazing flying in horribly windy conditions. After they got back they discovered and 18 inch gash in the body work had opened up towards the tail rotor!

You'll see that they don't quite agree with each other, even on apparently factual events. Rescue's are always about minimizing chaos and if 30 people are involved there are 30 different versions of events afterwards.

Saturday, 20 December 2008

We had a greater spotted woodpecker on our nut feeder today.  But it was lesser spotted on the photographs!  It didn't want to be famous.  We've been getting the cottages sorted for the Christmas influx today.  Which also involved tidying up the reception which had 2 new beds in it for Etive.  As the stairs to Etive are too tight a turn for beds we have to feed them via the cherry picker through the window.  I took some pictures afterwards of the kids having a go on the cherrypicker, you can see the open window.  And while we were at it a sideboard that had been in our livingroom for 6 months went up to be a dressing table in one of the bedrooms up there.  So, it was yet again, moving beds from A to B to C.

We were all recovering today from the great Mountain Rescue Christmas dinner we had last night.  It was held in the village hall, and we had the local hotel doing the buffet food, and then the Strathspey and Reel fiddlers doing the Ceilidh music for dancing.. There was 20 of the group on stage, which is about half of the group.  We seemed to be dancing all night, and everyone here knows the country dances well enough to be able to cope, including the kids who are taught at school. At half past midnight we walked home, admiring the stars and picking out the shapes and the milky way.

Friday, 19 December 2008

Torr na Locha Update

I made a quick visit over to Torr na Locha yesterday to meet up with the el
ectrician. The weather was typical December weather with heavy rain (snow on Ben More) mixed with spells of fantastic sunshine and intense colours. It always seems to be pouring down as I drive across Mull but invariably dries out as I get further down to Iona and the Ross of Mull. Stood at the house in the sun we frequently look acroos to the other side of Loch Scridain and the mountains of the Burg peninsula covered in dark black clouds.

The stonework at the back of the house is now finished and the stone and scaffold are in place to finish the front early in January. Inside the livingroom end looks a proper building site but again the first couple of weeks in January should see it come together quite quickly. In such a remote location getting materials delivered and finding and organising people to help with the work is extremely time consuming and requires a lot of patience and for some jobs you just have to accept that you have to do them yourself. But hopefully by the start of February it should be starting to come together, though 3 months down the line we are still waiting to see any progress on the electrical supply.....

Friday, 12 December 2008

Aviemore and the reindeer

Last weekend we had what has turned out to be an annual visit to the reindeer herd in the Cairngorms. What 5 years ago was just the 4 of us has now grown to the extent that there were 20 children this time. The weather was fantastic with blue skies and snow and everyone had a great weekend skiing   (on the dry slope, the snow is only just getting enough for the real runs), tobogganing and going for a walk into the hills to feed the reindeer herd.

We came back to a flood in Rose as the shower pipe had come off just down from the pump and water had been squirting everywhere all weekend..... Several days later all is dry again.

Hydrangea has now been put back together after pulling the walls down in the two end bedrooms to insulate up to modern house standards. Hopefully in conjunction with the insulation we did in the bathroom a couple of years ago people should now feel a real difference.

Friday, 5 December 2008

Torr na Locha progress - ice skating

This week's work at Torr na Locha seems to have gone very quick.  Damon laid the wooden floor in the living room, and put the fire place with multi fuel burning stove and hearth in place.  The wood still needs to be sealed, which he should be able to do next week.  He knocked through the rooms upstairs and was delighted to find that the partition walls that were up not only sat on the timber floor, but were hardly nailed in, so very little work will need doing to get the floor looking good again.  The rooms upstairs are being changed from a long corridor which had 2 single bedrooms from it and a double bedroom at the end, to what will be a twin bedroom, then a shower room and staircase leading up from the living room, and at the end the unchanged double bedroom.
Today I iceskated along our drive.  I've been meaning to have a go for a few days and Anja has been keen, but she's at school now.  I felt a total beginner again, and skating downhill is really scary!  I'm sure that falling over hurts more as well.


Monday, 1 December 2008

Well. it did work, I've got my robin photos and others.  These three are probably the best.  Could you let me know which one you think I should use for our Christmas Newsletter? 
Thanks, Renate

Another lovely frosty day, several in a row now.  Maybe the large puddles in front of Airds Bay will be frozen again.  Anja and I managed to get some ice skating done on them last year, so I'll take the kids round after school and see.   
While doing computer work in the kitchen I've been popping in and out to take photos of the birds on the front wall. I could do with a frosty photo of a robin for our Christmas newsletter.  Unfortunately the sun doesn't seem to get to where I put the food out, so until now they are all dull.  I have just added some more food on the 'sunny' part. Fingers crossed. 
Damon just rang and said there is snow on the beach at Pennyghael on the way to Torr na Locha.  He's had to buy a disposable camera as our small digital one doesn't download the photos properly any more.  They are suddenly all sunset streaky sky. Very strange.  He needs to take photos on the progress of the building for building warrant.
This photo is from 2 days ago, and it looks exactly the same out there just now. This is from up the Balindor road by the mast, looking over Taynuilt Bay and north up Loch Etive. The hill on the left with the quary, Duirinish, as what we see from the front of our house.