Floods

Digging a land drain

Digging a dry well

We have been very fortunate with the weather this year. Lots of warm weather, dry weather, and even a mild autumn so far. However, there was a week at the end of July when it was very, very, wet. On the 25th, water started collecting around the Peerie Hoose, so S called our groundworks contractor who came and dug a dry well. This was a hole two metres wide on both sides and two metres deep, which was then filled with stones to give the water somewhere to drain. Sorted! Or so we thought…

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Pins, pipes, and un petit problème

Yesterday, we arrived back on site. It was great to be back, a warm sunny day, and the internet connection is now live!

We’re only here for a week, but there are a few key things that need to happen before we return at the end of June for the bulk of the work. First up, the surveyor returned and put marking pins in the ground to show where the walls need to be built. These can’t be moved until the stone wall is up!

Pins as far as the eye can see

Pins as far as the eye can see

This showed up a little problem – one of the foundations was slightly too narrow.

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Modern conveniences

BT OpenReach engineer hooking up our phone line.

BT OpenReach engineer hooking up our phone line.

When we moved onto site to start the foundations, we had no electricity, internet, or running water. We did have mains water to the site, but it required two people to fill up a 5 litre bottle – one to wrestle the 32mm supply pipe into the bottle, and the other to turn on the toby1, which is the main valve controlling the supply of water to our property. All cooking (and heating of water) had to be done over a fire. This was fun at times, but challenging at others (especially when it starts snowing early in the morning and we had not sorted dry tinder the night before). Charging mobile phones and computers or accessing the internet required a 300m walk to Wiston Lodge (who have kindly allowed us to use theirs). This might not sound like a big deal, but when you need to check something quickly or send an email in the middle of building works, it can be quite problematic. Continue reading


  1. Called a mains stopcock outside of Scotland – don’t ask me where ‘toby’ came from. 

Digging for water on the wettest day

Last Wednesday, on the wettest day for some time, I woke at 5:30 and went down to Wiston to be there for the installation of the water pipe that will provide this vital resource to our site and, eventually, our house. A trench was dug down the side of the lane and water pipe laid in it from our site to where the lane ends at the road. At a later date (when the council finally provides the road opening permit), the pipe will be ‘moled’ under the road and then connected to the water mains. Some months ago, I spent a considerable amount of time looking for non-plastic water supply pipes, but to no avail. When connecting to the mains, you need to use the blue plastic pipes.

After being outside pretty much all day, I was wetter than I’d been for some time, aside from swimming. But my feet were dry and that counts for a lot! It was satisfying to make some progress on the ground, and they also put in a wee passing place at the bend in the lane.

The digger

The trench

The pipe