As I stood on the steps of Balquidder with my hand raised to ring the bell after a 7 hour mad dash north to see the property before closing date, I turned and looked across the Gareloch and knew that we were going to buy the house.
We had hoped to move in and do the work slowly but a change in posting prospects for J meant we needed to let the house out and speed up the work Balquidder needed doing. Have prioritised the work and found a reliable builder – he started on the roof and worked his way down …..
David the builder found the hand made original nails were still in use and most of the tiles were original too. There was beautiful (if totally rotten) hand made fretwork around the roof edge but sadly we had to go for a simpler finish. As David said, 160 years ago materials were expensive and labour cheap, these days it’s the other way round.
The drive was so narrow that you couldn’t turn a car around (I may have got stuck and had to be towed out of our own front garden) so J turned to and dug out a turning area and a parking section. He shifted a total 30 tons of grass, hardcore and gravel mostly by himself with a little “help” from E.
One of the big jobs J had to tackle was the rear garden, it was very overgrown with not much light being allowed into it so he took down the off shoots and saplings and we’re going to see what comes up over the next few years.
Someone many years ago loved the garden, we keep finding all sorts of things like brick built flower beds, a bench set in a sheltered spot that once upon a time had a fantastic view over the loch
A labour of love and we’ve barely scratched the surface.