Wednesday, 27 March 2013

The wind dropped eventually

I have finally got our internet connection sorted.  Farmer had spent some time balancing on the forks of the tractor raised over the old porch roof, to fit the new dish to the wall. He did that weeks ago. Then I finally plucked up courage to connect up the laptop and try and make sense of the very faded photocopied instructions that came as part of the Home Install Kit.  With a sophisticated message system between myself in the kitchen, Daughter outside the open kitchen window and Farmer balancing above the roof with a sledgehammer screwdriver, we managed to point the dish in exactly the right direction to maximise connection to Ka-sat.  Success - or so I thought.  

Suddenly the many internet connecting devices in the house started coming up with error messages and not connecting without a lot of irritating intervention.  Days passed.  Not surprisingly it didn't get any better.  In fact with the strong easterly winds it got worse.  We had been promised 18mb/s (10 x better than existing) but it didn't seem any faster - if anything a lot slower and more unstable.  

There hasn't been much time to look into it this last week, and I kept hoping it would get better all by itself.  But this morning I couldn't even load a page, it was like having dial up again.  Then the penny dropped.  We had had a warning email from Q-sat, our original provider, saying we were about to exceed our monthly usage. I was a little surprised because we were on a new satellite.. but I looked at their stats page this morning and saw that we had now used 100% - even though we were on the new satellite.  Or were we? 

Imagine my embarrassment and relief, after 9 days of difficulties and not being impressed by the new connection, to discover that I had mis-wired the router, and that we had still been using the old slower satellite connection...

A boat passing as the storm was weakening.
It has been a doubly good morning as Farmer had to calve a cow with a calf that was breached.   Thankfully the calving jack came into use for the first time and he was able to calve her, swiftly and without too much distress for the cow and calf.  The calf is now up and suckling. 

Blown away.
The hens were really struggling in the high winds but they are laying lots of eggs which is great and we will have some in time for Easter week guests arriving this weekend.  

The larches in the Langamull forest are much further on than the ones here because we are so much more exposed.

Farmer in the garden shed

Matt Baker's sculpture Maura (maquette for The Passage, Isle of Cumbrae) 

Need to start gardening

Silver sea towards Tiree

The warm renewable glow

Sunset behind the trees 

The team has been working hard.  Only Shian and Duill to finish now. Bathroom paint in Duill drying as I write and Shian last minute touches will be finished by tonight.  I hope to photograph them tomorrow! In the meantime here are some photographs from Studio and Toechtamhor. It will be interesting to compare the energy consumption on both cottages - before and after their eco-improvements.

New doorway into bedroom, Studio

New wood burning stove, Studio

Gallery bedroom, Studio

From the garden

New door, Toechtamhor

The original fireplace, Toechtamhor

Twin bedroom, Toechtamhor


View from the kitchen sink, Toechtamhor
Farmer has been on sheep work again this week.   Gathering on Monday and in the fank on Tuesday.   John, who helped gather and in the fank, said he had never seen the hill so dry. There is such a risk from accidental grass fires now.  
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