A Castle in the Sky

In March 2013, after years of talking about it we eventually sell up and move out of the city with our 2 year old, Gracie. We both grew up in the countryside and this is what we want for our daughter. So we swap a 2 bed flat in London for a small country pile on the west coast of Scotland that needs a lot of work. I've done a bit of interior design and my partner, Ed has a good knowledge of the outdoors – but we're on a tight budget and we've both got a lot to learn. It's a life time's project and this is a record of our adventure…

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Winter’s on its way (Sep 30)


We’ve had the fire on most days now for the last couple of weeks and although there’s enough wood on the land to chop for logs, it’s been one job too many – so yesterday we gave in and ordered a truck load (which will last us a couple of months).  They were deposited in a huge pile at the back door –  Ed ferried and I stacked.   It’s just taken us 2 hours.   How far away life in London now seems…

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Preparing for winter update (Sep 26)

The radiators arrived today.   9 out of 11 survived the pressure testing.   We went for gun metal grey and they look great.


The roof insulation is all in.   We have 7 different roof spaces but as half of them had no access  new holes had to be created to get the insulation in and then filled back up.  We now have a thick blanket of wool above our heads which has surely got to make a difference…

However the plans for the biomass installation  (See Preparing for next winter – Apr 7) have been seriously delayed.  The council planners said to estimate 3 months so I doubled it and crossed my fingers that it would be in before Christmas.  It’s tight.   The man from the council is coming next week and it’s a 5 week lead on the boiler….

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Vintage finds…(Sep 3)

All the time we were living in London we’d see stuff in auctions, junk shops and antique markets that we would fantasise about buying if we had a big enough house.   Now we’re here we have to stop ourselves from going too many auctions and markets until we’re ready…

Ideally we’d love to furnish the whole house second hand and nearly every room needs an overhaul; re-decorating and furnishing.  Coming from a 2 bed flat means we have very little furniture – and most of what we do have doesn’t really work.  In the long term the bathrooms and kitchen will also need replacing.

But we’ve got to wait.   Our budget means we’ll have to do 1 room at a time and until we have a clearer idea of what exactly we’re going to do –  it’s dangerous to start buying too many things – especially big bits of furniture.

So for now we’re sticking to generic or small at the cheaper end of the market. Here are some of our bargain vintage finds to date…