Being off work during the week is always more fun. I find I can stay in the ‘work mode’ mentality and actually get stuff done but at the same time, you also know that while everyone else is working, you can kick back and relax at your choosing. Today was a bit of both. Mary left on the 10AM ferry for her interview with a puppet theatre in Edinburgh on a potential show and I was left with a couple of projects- the main one being the shed.

This is it after tidying!

This is (one of) my Seanairs garages, and for ages now I’ve wanted to clear it out and turn it into ‘the workshop’, a garage-cum-studio for making art and storing/fixing vehicles & engines. It’s been a sort of spares and junk shed for most of its life, but it’s a great space with full garage doors on the end and also stuffed full of relics, from old engines and equipment to some of my great-grandfather’s tools from Fladda. My plan is to turn it into a workshop but also a sort of an art piece in and of itself, full of interesting oddities and things I’ve collected. It’s also a brilliantly atmospheric- I got the photos of my monster hunting kit in here and they turned out fantastic:

It’s also the set from where I filmed and painted the ‘MacLeod Cask’ that Mary and I made for the distillery:

It really was the perfect setting for the MacLeod Cask video, as it had such a rustic, ‘old workshop’ feel to it that really gave the video and scene authenticity. Despite the piles of junk, chairs, tables and spare flights of stairs(?!) in there we managed to get a good chunk of it cleared and packed neatly into the adjacent ‘tractor shed’, so I’m hoping to get some of my stuff in there soon. Plus by the time the Super Carry is back on the road, we’ll hopefully have a place to store her in the winter that isn’t taking up space in dad’s garage!

Workshop and “tractor shed”

We cleared a lot of junk destined for the skip, but we also managed to harvest a good amount of wood that we’ll be cutting up for kindling. Neither my folks nor I have a fire, but I’m sure Fiona and Iain will appreciate some extra firewood for their new house in Inverarish. As a perfect illustration of just how stuffed full of interesting things the workshop is, we used a couple of crates for the wood and looking closely will reveal their original purpose- tea crates! I thought they probably dated from the 1960s, but I was pointed out some of the wording: “Product of Bangladesh”, meaning we know it at least dates from 1971!

Interesting note: This photo looks like viewing a single crate from an odd perspective…

The Jimny has been just invaluable today as well, she’s been hauling wood and scrap up to the ‘mothership’ trailer that’s heading to the dump eventually and clinked and clanked some bottles over to the bottle bank with it too. It all sounds relatively trivial but having a capable truck and trailer makes things so much easier for pottering about the island. the only big thing left to do with her is probably all-terrain tyres, the current ones are just a bit too city-slicker for my liking, and I want the confidence to have her off road and for that, I need better AT tyres. I’ll need to start saving my pennies.

What I really wanted the towbar for though is probably the messiest job- seaweed fetching! We had a great season last year- potatoes, plenty of salad and veggies and it was just generally a great experience (and money saver!) learning to grow and produce our own food. This year we’re paring back the number of different things we grow, but expanding what worked- namely potatoes, kale and salad leaves. The potato patch is behind Seanairs, and this is the perfect time of year to grab some seaweed for a bit of nutrition:

It may not look like much at the moment, but last year we had this whole patch green and growing:

The slightly skewed potato patch, Greenhouse, Rhubarb and our rabbit-proof square

Very exciting. The next big thing will be getting the rotivator out of the garage and making sure it’s working so we can get this whole patch turned. It’s only February, but the season has officially begun!

2018’s attempt.

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