Thursday, 19 January 2012

Let There be Light

Let There Be Light

Further work on the attic room today, namely wiring and plaster-boarding. I have some brave friends who will be attempting to sleep in the room on Saturday night, so the rush has been on this week to get things as habitable as possible beforehand. With just one work day to go, I shall be delighted if the plaster-boarding gets finished - though the schedule is pretty tight. In any case, the plastering proper will have to be for another time. Overall, working to such a deadline has been fun - the less one does the more one's friends have to slum it. It's win-win for me! :-)

My builder started to become very fussy indeed when electrical fittings appeared on the scene today. :-) I don't think he wants anything in bad taste to spoil his excellent work. The torchier wall lights with flambeau shades (pictured) were declared to be horrendous, and I must admit I bought them in a weak moment, when I called in at a warehouse full of lighting reclaimed during pub refits. However, I stand by my view that they give the attic room, largely devoid of character, a little lift and of course they have a suitable castley feel!. When we wired them up and switched them on (lower picture), he acquiesced that they looked better "on", and he had no end of fun at my expense: "Will the Mr. Whippy tune start, when you switch on the lights?". You get the picture. :-)

We changed the light switch 6 times, as the builder become concerned about possible non-coordination of  the brass fittings, and I wanted to make sure he was happy. :-)

The light switch in the first picture was plain white plastic (just to test the circuit) and after moving through both showy and plain antique switches, we settled on a repro brass one (£1.99) shown in the second picture - which looks fairly period but is understated and should fit in with modern brass sockets. The "Victorian" and especially the "Georgian" sockets you can buy on eBay, etc, most certainly aren't! :-)

today's plaster-boarding and wall light installation

the wall lights' grand "switch-on"

Elegant in Ermine

As I walked through the castle courtyard today, a stoat in its white winter pelt crossed my path and dashed into the wood pile for refuge. Whoa - this is the first time I had seen a stoat in ermine. :-) What a beautiful animal. I had been hearing a creature moving in the castle's loft during the night above my bedroom, and had assumed it was a mouse even though it had seemed a lot bigger and louder than usual. Mystery solved - it was the stoat. This would also explain why the mouse numbers have been down inside the castle of late - this is a good thing.

It was also in the mountains above Balintore, a couple of winters ago, that I first saw hares in their white winter coats. My friends pointed them out. Up to this point I had been thinking "Most unusual for sheep to be up here.". :-)

The Ugly Mystery

Today, I received a DVD through the post of the horror film "The Ugly". I did not order this and know of no-one who would send me this. I am somewhat concerned - ID theft or insult? :-( Did you send me this film, or know who did? The envelope was empty apart from the DVD - no documentation whatsoever. Even Sherlock Holmes would be stumped. :-) I will have to view for clues!

"The Ugly" mystery - do you know anything?


  1. Have you ordered off ebay or similar in the past? Looks like an ebay delivery which maybe was dispatched to the wrong address (or wrong castle ;) I'm guessing its an american dvd anyway re the Wal Mart logo so won't work over here. Does the label indicate what country it was sent from ?

    Anyway, love the blog and all your doing!!

    1. It's weird as I have bought nothing like this off eBay or Amazon. Both provide shipping notices in general - the DVD was shipped from Guernsey and no documentation whatsoever was supplied. I know DVDs are often supplied from Guernsey, for some offshore tax/copyright reasons. It's definitely an American DVD so it's probably a small "fly-by-night" independent operation that supplied the film.

      Anyway, thanks for the kind words on the blog.

  2. Hi David,

    Sorry I couldn't find any other way to contact you other than through the comments box. I stumbled across your blog the other day and was wondering if you would be interested in allowing us to do a piece on your restoration project for the local paper? If so could you drop me an email at

    Kind regards