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 for instantly accessible mobile phone torches.

As soon as we got inside Mac quickly cleans out the burner and lights a fresh fire using a quick light log and a slower burning one made of compressed wood chip. In minutes it’s burning and beginning to lift the chill of a week without company.

I light the candles and put the throws on the sofa… leather is cold on the skin in winter in Scotland.

Last week when we arrived we had no water and no one was around to ask why it was off. We heard the next day there had been a problem higher up towards the spring and someone was fixing it. Thankfully tonight the water is back on.

We have been planning to extend into the garden. I don’t care for grass and we would like more space for storage and visitors. A sketch is on our fridge in the other house.

The priority is to get the shower room partitioned off and the new gas shower fitted. We have a pump shower at the moment that works beautifully. You attach it to the leisure battery, submerge the pump in a bucket of hot water and hey presto, a proper hot shower with good pressure. But it’s a bit of a faff. The gas shower can attach to the wall and should give instant hot water.

Last week we brought in a double bed and were delighted when it fit perfectly into the second bedroom. I must admit I didn’t think it would. Once the shower room is built and the gas shower fitted we will have a proper second bedroom.

For now the room is warming up and although it’s blawin’ a hoolie outside the candles are barely moving in our cosy shack. I love this place.