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Damon & Renate's Holiday Cottages

Damon & Renate's Holiday Cottages: June 2009

Damon & Renate's Holiday Cottages

Beautiful stone cottages near Oban and on the Isle of Mull

My Photo
Location: Taynuilt, Argyll, United Kingdom

Saturday, 27 June 2009

Almost There!

Hopefully we are just about there now. The electrician has finished all the wiring and testing and outside the front of the house has been raised and tidied up with a digger and tractor. On the inside everything is done apart from a few minor detailing bits and swapping the old solid fuel Aga for an electric one. The solid fuel was fantastic through the winter as it did our heating, cooking and hot water but it is dirty, expensive to run, and really difficult to load and unload so now we have electricity it is time for it to go. If it could run on wood we would have been tempted to keep it but it can only take a certain type of manufactured anthracite which takes a lot getting in.
The photos show the living room which is finished apart from curtains and pictures for the wall, the sofa on the right is a built in version of the smaller blue one and will have a matching cover when Renate has time to get over and help fit it.
The outside of the house is a photo of Renate's mum who we managed to get over for a day when she was visiting from Holland. The house is proving to be right on the border between the sunshine of the low lying islands to the west (surprisingly they claim more hours of sunshine than anywhere else in Britain) and the orographic rainfall as the clouds hit the higher parts of Mull. If I look out of the front of the house there always seems to be cloud to the left (east) and blue skies to the right (west).
The view is looking up the west coast of Mull from the field by the house.

Now we just need to wait for building control to get over. How long that takes is very unpredictable and whether there is anything else they want doing depends on the mood on the day with old houses, so fingers crossed.

Monday, 8 June 2009


The Stag, common seal and kittywake.

Sea Eagles and Boats

Anja and I went on the seafari trip yesterday from the island of Seil.  We did the 2 hour wildlife and Corryvreckan tour, which was fabulous.  Great weather, although still cold on the boat and we were wearing several jumpers and gloves.  We were provided with waterproofs and life jackets.  They also hire out binoculars for £2, which are nice and sturdy and can cope with some spray.  I had my camera wrapped up in a plastic bag and in my rucsac, which was a bit of a faff to get out every time we slowed down, but well worth it.

The quantity of pictures speak for themselves really, they won't fit on one blog, so I'll do another one for the seal and stag.  A variety of birds, black guillemot, common seals which is the picture, but also some grey seals with their dog like faces in the water.  The common seal females, which is the spotted one, are all heavily pregnant and due to pup within a month.  Their pups are black and can swim within a day.  The grey seals pup in the autumn on islands like Mull (very near to Torr na locha) and are white.  They can't swim for 3 weeks until they lose their white coat.

The white tailed sea eagles were seen on the tip of Jura.  They are the biggest of the eagles in Scotland, and nest on the islands.  They are quite social birds, while the golden eagles up Loch Etive are solitary birds.

In the corryvreckan cauldron between Jura and Scarba, we found a small pod of porpoise.  The pictures did not work well unfortunately.  The stag was on a gully high up on Scarba.

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Saturday, 6 June 2009

Last week one of our beady eyed guests told me about an owl chick sitting by the swings in the back garden.  It was still there when we went back to look and with my tripod and camera managed to take some pictures.  Later on it was gone, but again, the same guest spotted it in a branch on the tree.

Damon has just come back from Mull.  There's a new hazard on the roads now.  I assumed it to be lambs, but no.... Photographers!  He had one lying on the road when he came round a corner.  He took the photo of the fisherman on Oban south pier with the sailing boats towards Kerrera from his iphone.
Torr na Locha is nearly complete.  The rewiring in the kitchen has now been done and Damon has been patching up all the holes and replastering.  The upstairs bathroom is now all complete, with the lovely walk in shower now having been used by a grubby Damon builder.   The central heating system is all working, and the whole house ventilation system seems to be doing its job.  We are still  awaiting the digger who has to level out in front and make a flat standing car park and gentle slope into the house for wheelchair access.  We are aiming to request for a building warrant completion certificate for the end of June.  However, it could be any time that the officer goes over, and there is likely to be a list of things that they want changing or adding, so we need to await that.  Only once we have the certificate are we insured and can take bookings.