Thursday, December 07, 2006
So we headed for Neist Point which is up on the north west of the island, on the Duirinish peninsular.
It poured with rain all day but we where so lucky because as we reached Neist Point the sky cleared and there was a beautiful sunset. However Neist point is one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited, there are the most incredible cliffs along the shore with waterfalls cascading down them. And as the sun went down all the rocks where lit by a golden hue.
The sea was rough as we expected and we stood on the rocks in front of the lighthouse watching the waves crash in until it was almost dark and we could stand the cold no longer.
If you're ever on the north end of Skye go and see Neist Point.
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Monday, December 04, 2006
We have never seen so much water coming over the falls, it was quite spectacular. The amount of spray coming from the falls made it like a heavy rain storm, even though at the time it was dry.
Even the path down to the falls was like a river.
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Saturday, November 18, 2006
Sunday, November 05, 2006
These photos are of us landing at Inverness on the way home.
Hopefully there will be some more progress on the water recylcing project in the next few days.
Been busy bottling home made wine today.
Thursday, November 02, 2006
We are shortlisted for the New Business category.
Full details at http://www.highland-tourism-awards.co.uk/shortlist.htm
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
I've also connected a copper pipe to the bottom of tank 1, this is where the water will be fed to the pump and then on to the outside tap. Bit of a challenge this one as I've only ever worked with copper piping once before and that was under instruction from my friend Michael, who's a dab-hand at this plumbing lark.
I was especially please as I managed to bend the 22mm copper pipe to the shape I needed (using a spring) and also solder the two lengths together to reach the pump. It's also connected to the bottom of the tank. Don't know if all these joints ae water-proof mind you!!!
And finally today I've connected the two tanks together, well almost. I've cut the holes in the tanks and have the joining pipe, but I need to tank connectors which I've ordered on Ebay today..
- All in all, it went well. Only problems I had where:
tank 1 isn't sitting flush on the ground, think I'll have to sort that out before I fill it up with water
- I burnt my fingers while soldering the two pipes together, ouch!!
Monday, October 16, 2006
Thursday, October 12, 2006
Thursday, October 05, 2006
We've been planning this since we found out about the Jacobite STeam train and finally this week we did it. We took the train from Fort William to Mallaig and back again.
Had a great day out, took lots of photots. Was great to see the Glen Finnan viaduct, frequently known as the Harry Pottery Viaduct.
Mallaig was a bit of a disappointment, few nice restaurants and a beautiful location, but the town is dominated by a very industrialised harbour which is very ugly and the harbour itself is full of oil, rubbish and traffic cones. In fact a friend of ours that saw the following photo said "Wow, you managed to make Mallaig Harbour look quite nice".
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
It has occured to me that if I...
1) install the tanks
2) connect the first tank to the utility room drain pipe
the next time the washing machines are used the first tank fills with water so when I go to cut a hole in the tank to connect it to the second tank..... big flood and I probably electrocute myself with the drill.
1) install the two tanks
2) connect the two tanks together
3) run a pipe from the first tank to an old shower pump and then on to an outside tap on the wall
4) connect an overflow from the 2nd tank to the main sewer (via a u-bend)
5) connect the first tank to the utility room drain pipe.
Now if you've had a look at the Pottery House web site you'll have seen the front of the house, the flowers and gardens, the view of Loch Ness from the house and even the bedrooms and bathrooms. Now I'm going to show you a view of Pottery House that guests do not see.
This is what it's like under the house, a maze of passageways with pipes, wires and plumbing. This is where I'm going to create my water recycling project (or maybe a big flood with two empty tanks sitting in the middle of it)!!
Do you see the white pipe in this photo. Now that's the all important pipe, it is the drain pipe from the washing machines in the utility room.
At least I think it is, I'm fairly sure it is. Maybe I should put one of the washing machines on a very hot wash then hold this pipe as the wash finishes.
This pipe passes through the wall into the next section, photo below, where it joins a main sewer pipe. It's the lower of the two white pipes in the second photo.
So ALL I have to do is
1) install the two tanks
2) cut the pipe in the first photo and put it through the higher hole in the wall (which is clearer in the second photo), into the first tank.
3) join the two tanks together with a section of pipe
4) Put an over-flow pipe from the second tank back to where the current pipe joins the main sewer.
5) Run a pipe, with a pump, to a tap on the outside wall.
Now number 5 is a whole issue all on it's own and I'm not even sure how I'm going to achieve this, the least of the problems being how do I put a pipe through a breeze-block wall. So I'll come back to that bit later.
My next problem is how do I cut a hole in one of my plastic tanks so that I can join them with a pipe and then seal it round the edges. Perhaps I can get a drill attachment, back to the DIY store me thinks.......................
By the way if your looking at this project thinking "Why on earth is he doing that" or "OMG: don't do this", please post some comments, I'm making this up as I go along, so I could do with all the help I can get.
If you've been reading my blog about my water saving project then you may remember that I bought a water butt for storing water under the house, but then found it wouldn't fit!
Glen then pointed out that next to the wood shed is a 25 gallon water tank that he was using as a water butt (which we inherited when we bought the house), and suggested I swap the two round.
Great Idea, and hence phase -1. Have to do this before I can start my eco project.
The new water butt has a tap at the bottom so you can fill your watering-can, so it needs to be on a stand so that you can fit the can under the tap. So today while I was in the DIY store I bought a stand and another 25 gall tank.
I could then replace the tank by the wood shed with a the water butt, and then I have two tanks for my construction project.
Monday, October 02, 2006
It started raining around lunchtime yesterday (Sunday) and it rained all day, all night and into today until around 3pm this afternoon.
The effect was that by breakfast this morning such a volume of water was flowing into the pond it couldn't escape fast enough and the pond was overflowing across the path and into the vegintable patch.
Probably only seen it flowing like this twice before in the 2.5 years we've lived here.
Loch Ness was also at it's highest point this afternoon since the great storm of January 2005.
Friday, September 29, 2006
This time we visited the south end of the Island, staying overnight in the very nice Achaban House just outside Fionnphort.
On Monday we took the ferry across to Iona, just for a short walk.
On Tuesday we took a boat trip to the Island of Staffa, which is one of the most amazing places I've been to in the world. I've known of Fingals Cave since music lessons at school when I was quite young, so to actually be there was quite amazing.
On Mull we saw sea eagles and otters.
A very enjoyable visit.
Thursday, September 21, 2006
Here is the final plan of our water saving project.
The idea is that waste water from the wachine machines will flow into the tanks under the house. We're using two tanks because we didn't think one would hold enough. We can't put one large tank in because of the limited head space under the house.
The water flows into 1 tank and then through a connecting pipe into the second. The second tank has an overflow into the main drain, with a water trap to stop smells escaping.
We went for this two connected tanks idea, with the water flowing into one and then overlfowing out of the other so that in the winter when we are not using the water for the garden there will always be a flow of water through both tanks which should help stop the water stagnating.
The tanks will be connected to an old shower pump, connected in turn to a tap on the outside of the house. Turn on the tap and in kicks the pump and out flows the water. That's the theory anyway!!!
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
It occurred to us the other day that we use quite a lot of water on the garden so it would be good to find a way to reuse household waste. We have a plan!!!
As Pottery House is built on a hill there is a large area under the house, through which the pipes and electrics run. We've had the idea of putting a couple of water tanks under there and connecting them up to the waste pipes from the washing machines in the utility room. We will then get an old shower-pump and connect the tanks, via the pump, to a tap on the outside of the house. Then whenever we want water for the garden we can use the waste from the washing machines instead of fresh water.
As we always use ECOVER washing products there shouldn't be an issue with the water quality.
Seems like a great idea, so we're going to give it a try. We where in Wicks the other day and saw a large water-butt which would be perfect for our needs, so we bought it. First hitch, the water butt is too big to fit under the house. So we'll have to go back to the original plan of 1 or two water tanks.
Will keep you posted on this mammoth project!
Sunday, September 10, 2006
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
The garden is still in full bloom, but for home much long I ma not sure. The current 5 day forecast for the area is for 3deg C tomorrow night and 2deg for Friday night. I expect that will kill a lot of blooms and start the trees changing.
Monday, August 28, 2006
Thursday, August 24, 2006
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
No dolphins, but to our amazement we saw a basking shark. It looked like a seal nose sticking out of the water at first, but then the whole fin can out of the water, in fact you could see two fins. We only knew what it was because we saw them on our boat trip out of Tobermoray on Mull a few weeks ago.
It caused quite a stir with all the dolphin watchers rushing down to the waters edge to watch it meander past. One gentleman told me that that was the first time in 37 years that he'd seen a basking shark in the Firth.
Sadly no photos as I didn't take my camera with me that day.
Cabbage whites and peacocks are frequent visitors, but the Red Admiral seems to be in abundance especially on the buddleia.
The only down side to this is our swedes and cabbages have been ravaged by caterpillars.
Monday, August 21, 2006
This year has been much better though. Our pots and hanging baskets are looking very good at the moment, as well as the flower beds.
And one thing I like t grow is standard fuschias, I start with 69p pots from the garden centre and by this time of year they should be reasonable sized bushes. But the trick to stunning standards is to keep them over the winter, they always look fantastic from the 2nd year on.
Here are a few of mine.
Friday, August 11, 2006
I wonder why?
This evening had a beautiful sky though.
This photo was taken from the garden at Pottery House across the Loch to Abriachan.
More sunset photos in our gallery at www.potteryhouse.co.uk
Saturday, August 05, 2006
It was 24deg and mostly sunny, so nice in fact that I went for a swim in the sea.
It's strange swimming at Nairn, because of the sand banks you have to walk a long way out before you find enough water to swin in. And then some way out the water starts to get shallower again.
The water was quite cold, took some getting used to.
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
However yesterday it rained and rained and rained. It rained so heavily at one point that it was bouncing off the roof, haven't seen rain like that for a long time.
Even Loch Ness has risen to it's highest level since late winter.