The nettles had reached waist height around El Shacko and were making the place look unloved. Thank goodness for proper gardening gloves.

The nettles actually pull out easily and as long as you remember to pile them up in the same direction, t-shirt and shorts is fine. Scotland was enjoying an unusually hot and sunny summer and even gardening at 8pm was above 20 degrees.

The new wheelbarrow saw it’s first use, taking several trips to the fire pit at the bottom field piled high with nettles, docks and brambles. The sides of El Shacko were seeing daylight for the first time in months and you can pretty much walk all the way around now.

We found the septic tank and the pipes running from the kitchen into the soak away. Moles had been digging up the drive and various bits of garden but this made it easier to pull some of the weeds.

That evening a couple of neighbours popped round and we talked plumbing (sink needs a new bit of pipe), generators, solar power and Land-rovers. They are renovating one of their huts while they live in the other. They seem to be the de facto gaffers…they know what’s going on and although they try to be discreet they made their feelings known about some of the other neighbours. The ones who cut off the water supply from the spring for 7 months for the whole site, for example. The ones who party loudly most weekends and who seem to have acquired a motorbike that used to belong to one of the other residents, for example.

We came here for peace and to get away from town life and were quite happy when left alone again.

The silence at night watching the solar fairy lights was just bliss.