John spends quite a lot of time pottering around in our old barn. Men and sheds - what are they like? Admittedly, much pottering is required in here, and, in fact a complete gutting out and replacing of all the timber, not to mention a new roof, will be happening before we go much further. Now that we have been using this space for several months, ideas and plans are beginning to coalesce and we have some notion of how it will be after the renovations.
Anyway - John is away to the spring lamb sales in Stornoway today, so we can have a little browse around. Want to come in? Come on then, lets have a peek inside.
The barn is divided up into 3 spaces. This is the first room as your enter. See - he has a little chair and his toolboxes stacked there, and I notice he has left his flask and a little pile of peapods he must have been snacking on - naughty! The concrete partition was originally where the calf was tethered, while it's mother was being milked.
An old metal bed base was stacked against the wall when we came - isn't there always? Now it has become a handy tool rack.
More tools hanging on some of these massive iron nails that have been hammered into the stone wall.
Old hay making tools that were in the barn already, and John's scythe lean in a corner.
This area was where the milking stall was. We think it will play the same role for us too, but all those timbers are rotten, so will have to go.
Above - sorry it is not a terribly good picture - but there is a hayloft. Again, we intend to keep the original usage basically the same, so a new hayloft we will have! Love those home made ladders too.
At the opposite end of the house is where the living space was.
In living memory, this was used as a weavers shed, and I have posted about it somewhere - oh yes - here. At the moment it is a store room for feed bins and our bikes.
We intend to renovate it as a basic kitchen space. Somewhere to pop the kettle on the stove and take a break from the farm chores. A table at the window, a dresser, maybe and a small cookstove in the fireplace there. Maybe do a bit of cheese or butter making when we get our milk cow thing going. Please stop me buying the curtain material now! It will happen though - hee hee.
Oh - and smoking too! Hams and fish and things like that, I mean. These holes in the chimney breast have iron bars set in them, so you can hang your produce up to be gently smoked! Isn't that wonderful? I surely think so.
The middle, and largest space - well we don't quite know yet. it has a low partition of the ubiquitous corrugated iron, and at the moment has various old kegs, rolls of fencing wire and sheep netting etc. There is a large pile of foam packaging that I don't yet want to move, as next doors cat has made a very comfy bed - just right for her afternoon naps when the sun slants in the window.
It will probably continue to be used as a storage area, so apart from the wood replacement, it will stay much the same.
Of course, there are lots of interesting bits and pieces dotted around. An old Ferguson tractor engine, for example. There are, in fact, several pieces of this old machine lying in various parts of the croft. Sadly not enough to rebuild it, but - well - you'll see!
See how clean and well oiled that engine is? I think John has been using the oil can again. I can see it must be nice sitting there, with your oily rag, bringing old rusty things back to life. The male equivalent of knitting, I suppose.
See what I mean? Something to do when the rain stops play for a while.
I jut love this home made seed - erm - can't find the word, but you tie it round yourself, - put the seed in and off you go, walking up and down the field, scattering the seed left and right as you go. A seed scatterer? Made from strong fence wire and an old seed potato sack. I will ask John to model it for you some time.
There are yards of this rope hanging around. Before baler twine took over as the main tying medium this was the business. It was referred to here as Tearlach's rope - (Charlie's rope) after the man whose shop sold it. Our next door neighbour exclaimed with delight when he saw this hanging from the rafters, it brought back some memories which we were happy to sit and listen to.
So there you have it - a wee tour of the barn. Hope you enjoyed it and come back again - for a cup of tea next time. I might have my lovely farm kitchen-y curtains up then too.