So the byre is almost done, at least to a basic level.

Once the stall walls were levelled and removed the floor needed a bit of work with a hammer to bring it level but it was ready to take the Harris Tweed loom at long last. There is still a draining channel that needs filled but most of the walls have been nicely whitewashed and I’ve made a start in treating the rafters with wood stain and they look pretty good.

We had fun and games putting my loom in. It weighs a ton and is so dang cumbersome to move. Usually it sits on two wooden blocks, held in by huge bolts but to move it requires jacking it up on a set of pallet lifters, removing the blocks and fitting castor wheels before lowering it again. Then its the simple matter of removing the seating, handles, chain, pedals and pushing it up a set of steep steel tracks into the back of a Luton truck. The truck we borrowed was higher than expected which left the gradient ridiculously steep, so much so that the loom cantilevered at its mid-point. It took four of us to wrestle it into the back with a few hairy moments. And that was the easy part as it was simply moving from a flat garage floor directly onto the ramps, the Ness side proved far harder.

To get to the new loom shed required backing the truck up a long steep driveway and then negotiating some gravel, a narrow gate, a sloping grass path and then a narrow door with 6 inch step. It took six of us, assorted bits of wood, levers, strops, lifters, blocks and brute strength to finish the job – all in clouds of the worst midgies of the year.

But the loom is in and looks great (and undamaged) in its new home. Phew.

Still got much work to do to the byre, a wood stove for heat, better lighting, some electricity points, workbench, seating etc. but all in good time…