Telecommunications Update

One of the disadvantages of living out in the middle of a field is the lack of a telephone connection. We registered for a new connection with British Telecom (BT) back in July and have had a number of visits from installation engineers, most of whom told us what we already knew, i.e. that we are a long way from the nearest telephone pole and that we do not have a telephone line connected to our house. Things have now moved on however and BT delivered a drum of cable to Craig Cottage a couple of weeks ago. Since then we have been getting the cable installed along the 300 metres from the telephone pole to the house.
Our friend Nigel was conscripted into helping to tunnel underneath the dry stone wall up at the road and to unroll the cable:
Nigel and Phone Cable
This is the plastic ducting that protects the telephone cable underneath our gravel driveway.
Phone cable ducting
Here’s the digger burying the cable on its way down to the house.
Digger for Phone Cable
The telephone is due to be connected into the BT network on the 31st of December.

Frisky Weather

We have been having some fairly exciting weather over the Christmas holiday period with some high seas and heavy rain. Here’s the Pulwhirrin Burn that runs past our house carrying quite a bit more water than usual.Pulwhirrin Spate
The heavy rain also managed to get out of the field and overflow onto our driveway until John got out his pick-axe and spade to dig an alternative channel to drain the flow of water that was coming down our track.
Driveway Flood

Christmas Stroll

Christmas morning was fine and clear so we had a walk along to coast to Carrick. Here we are on Barlocco Beach with Ardwall Island in the background.
Christmas Beach
Gabrielle built a stone version of a Christmas tree.
Christmas Stones
Here’s one of the stone pillars at Knockbrex Harbour with Knockbrex House in the background.
Knockbrex Pillar
The view from Knockbrex Hill over Ardwall and Barlocco Islands was quite atmospheric.
Knockbrex View

Anna & Nigel

Anna and Nigel kept up their record of visiting us when the weather was not at its best but we still managed to get out to sample the bracing conditions. Here are Gabrielle and Anna doing a bit of welly-washing with some frisky sea behind.
Welly washing
Nigel provided some valuable assistance with running the cable for our BT telephone line under a dry stone wall up by the road.
Phone cable

Panto

Gabrielle was in the chorus for the Kirkcudbright Pantomime this year. There were three sold-out performances with plenty of the usual audience participation. The venue was the Kirkcudbright Church Hall which could have benefited from a larger stage area. Here’s a slice of action from the show:
Panto

Garden Update

It’s been mild right through November with only a couple of very light frosts so far. We patched up some grass on the edge of the patio with some grass seed and it has started to germinate so there must still be a little residual warmth in the ground. We have some tatsoi and rocket growing in the greenhouse and we have harvested a few potatoes that we had planted much later than we should have. The moles are still active and push up a couple of new mounds most days. We have also started to have problems with rabbits coming into the garden, digging up our mint and a few other plants so we now have the rabbit traps baited up and deployed. We recycled some of the old rafters from the original cottage to make some steps down to the beach which makes it much easier to get our kayaks up and down the slope from the garden. We now need to repair the wall and install a gate to keep the cows from coming in from the beach area.
Beach Steps
We’ve also made some progress on the upper garden pond. The hole is now dug and it’s time to order up a pond liner and a pump to circulate the water. Here’s how it’s looking so far:
Pond