Minus five, bed moved beside the fire

It's been too long since we have been here. Busy Christmas with travel and work. Tonight it's minus five and there is snow on the ground. Not a lot, but snow still. El Shacko needs warmed up and the fire doesn't seem to be making inroads in the cold. We have moved a bed into... Continue Reading →

Blawin’ a hoolie

As we drove down the lane towards El Shacko we could hear the wind howling round the jeep. It was dark when we arrived this evening and there isn't enough daylight to charge the solar lights for long. It's dark by 5pm so by 8:30 some are faintly flickering, most are in darkness. Thank goodness... Continue Reading →

Weatherproofing.. when is dark oak not dark oak?

We hadn't planned to spend the day here as I was going to work but the weather was perfect so I arranged a last minute day off. I had already painted one side of El Shacko but that left three to do and the back wall is fairly close to a beech and leylandii hedge... Continue Reading →

Heating water off-grid? It’s not Iceland but this will do nicely

We now have a 3l stainless steel water heater with a tap and an enamel kettle, both of which sit on top of the wood burner. Just an evening of heat brings them up to almost boiling, so for a cup of tea before bed it's a quick 3 min blast on the stove for... Continue Reading →

A stuffed horse and his bottle of Southern Comfort

We brought friends to see El Shacko today, had lunch in the local bar and walked the mile up the hill. We walked around the site and explored a bit more. We met another two neighbours whose hut has been empty and leaking for five years. He was beginning to repair the roof and she... Continue Reading →

Solar power..in Scotland?

We brought the first solar panel here a few weeks ago and although we are not ready to fit it to the roof it's sitting inside a full length window in the porch. Mac figured it may as well be working so he hooked it up to one of the caravan batteries and hey presto,... Continue Reading →

Morning run and a maintenance day

Although it wasn't in a forest (my favourite) I went for a morning run along the single track road, a long uphill on the way which meant all downhill on the way back..result. Sheep and cows looked slightly bemused as I passed. It's a quiet road and I was only passed by a couple of... Continue Reading →

Backgammon and a roaring fire

It's been way too long since we have been here. Work and travel has got in the way. We arrived late this evening under a sky full of stars. We brought several bags of old paper to burn, got the fire swept out and lit and reminded ourselves how to play backgammon. The roof is... Continue Reading →

Rice pudding

A couple of weeks ago a sparrow was stuck in the wood burner when we arrived. No idea how long it had been there but we managed to usher it out after a couple of minutes. Tonight unfortunately another little sparrow wasn't so lucky. We went to light the fire to take the chill off... Continue Reading →

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