Going back to Mull

Let me set the scene….

Autumn is passing into Winter. Which is lovely, we have crisp, cold mornings, gorgeous sunsets, crunchiness underfoot on our morning walk.

Our renovations are progressing, the old kitchen is gone and the framework for our new extension is progressing well.

Back to that wintry weather…..

The temperature falls below freezing for the first time this year.

This is ok, we have a safety device which cuts off the water supply when this happens, to avoid burst pipes.

This device sits in a cupboard, in the kitchen.  The old kitchen.  Which is no longer there. The cupboard is.  But now it’s now outside the house….


Setting the scene a little bit more. MrS is recuperating from a minor op. Until we can thaw out the frost saver device we have no water in the house. The device also needs new batteries.  Strangely enough the outside tap is working so I busy myself filling buckets and kettles. This cold snap is set to last a few days.


A flurry of packing, some phone calls. Off we go.



It’s dark when we arrive. We settle in have supper and bed down for the night.

Next morning we can see where we are. MrS rests and reads. DogStarke and I explore. Over the next few days MrS gets stronger,  we walk, read, go to the beach. DogS makes friends.



It’s still cold when we get home. But new batteries, a  hot water bottle and some padding restores the water supply.  We can flush, we can shower. MrS feels better every day.

It’s nice to plan.

It’s good to be home.

But sometimes, spur of the moment is just what you need.

Marina x

We stayed at Treshnish Farm

The beach is Calgary bay.

We travelled to Mull with Calmac Ferries


going back to the 70s

And not just the 1970s.

We’re having work done on the house, which means the electricity and water supply get cut off of longish periods. It’s reminded me of my childhood, when during the three day week of 1974 we would have restrictions on electricity. I was 10 years old and actually loved those nights. We had gas heating but it needed an electric pump to work so the whole family  used the one room that could be heated by  gas fire.  It maybe wasn’t quite as much fun for my big sister who still had to do her homework but I thought  the candle lit nights were exciting, plus with no electricity there was no TV so we all sat around and played cards or Monopoly.  Fast forward 40 something years and it’s a similar situation except this time the power outage is by day so I rush around doing all the chores that  need electricity, which includes any online tasks,  before the team arrives for the  day. And the rest of the time?  Old fashioned pastimes, reading, writing on paper, dog walks.

And why not just the 1970s? Well with the kitchen dismantled and soon to disappear altogether*  and the sitting room out of bounds we are confined to the “old” part of the  house, a typical two up two down highland cottage. We’ve built a temporary kitchen in the dining room and converted the guest bedroom downstairs into a  study come sitting room. But in true 1870s style we spend most of our time in the “kitchen” where there’s a cosy wood burner. We eat and work at the dining table and rely on a battery powered radio for news and entertainment. It’s not all 1870s  though, come the evening we come back on grid, online and have an electric hotplate and combi oven to cook with. We also have a make shift utility area which means we still have those 21st Century luxuries/essentials, a dishwasher and washing machine. I’d got really stressed wondering  how we would cope without a washing machine.

And of course, it’s just me, MrS and Dogstarke; back in the 1870s things would have been a whole lot more crowded. A friend who’s researched the area found 13 people living here on one 19th Century census. Now I’m all for having friends round but I think 13 in present circumstances would be pushing it a bit.

At the moment this new style of living is bringing back some  of that childhood excitement. But this isn’t a small project, we’ll be living this way for months, if it all gets too much we’ll have to go travelling. And that’s something  I like very much

So I’ll keep you posted

Marina x


*Update, old  kitchen is no more, just some piles of rubble.