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Wednesday 7 May 2008

Old and New

Several folk have mentioned how different the house looks from when they first saw it just after we bought Sandside. It’s actually good to be reminded that things have moved on – sometimes it doesn’t feel like it! Getting work done on the isles can be a challenge. My current mission has been to find someone to paint the outside of the upstairs windows which, after several years of being sand and salt blasted by the wind, are back to the wood in some places. Fortunately I think I’ve found someone who is willing to come over and repaint them this year. I know real wood windows look great but at times I crave plastic windows – at least they require less maintenance!

Unfortunately the house is a “listed building” by Historic Scotland as it represents “vernacular architecture” – posh phrase for being a good (in their opinion) representation of local building during a certain phase (in this case about 1860). This would be A Good Thing, you might think. However in effect it means I have to get permission from Historic Scotland to make any changes to the exterior of the house, and must use certain materials and building methods. Add to that the fact I live on one of the isles and getting any building work or maintenance done is challenging! So fingers crossed for my window repainting…..!

Anyway I thought I’d post some “before” and “after” pictures to remind myself that things have moved on since I bought the house.!! And on a glorious WARM sunny day like today it certainly fair makes my heart sing to be living here :-)

Estate Agent's photo - my "des res", then...!

And for me the scariest picture of the rebuild..... (note caravan in garden where I lived for a year)!

And now.......!


  1. Hello!

    From an English 'girl' living in the USA.

    Just popping in to say I have discovered 'blog hopping' having started one of my own. I have never been to the Orknies but it looks so beautiful. Thank you for sharing so many wonderful photos. I shall enjoy coming back.

    All the best,

  2. WOW! What great "before", "during", and "after" shots. You had a wonderful vision.

  3. How well I remember. Was the roof off before or after I was there? It looks so warm and cozy now, I'd love to see the inside.

  4. Hi Denise, welcome to Orkney! Blog-hopping is fun - care to share your blog address? Glad you enjoy the photos! Sian

  5. Mary Z - yes the photos bring back lots of memories! I bought the house with a friend back in 1999. I loved the house because of the location and the seals. He had the vision for development, before deciding ORkney wasn't for him and staying back in London. However not before plans were drawn up and house nearly complete. Sian

  6. Mary - you saw it before any work had been done. You will just have to come and visit again and see all the changes!! Sian

  7. I do remember that "warm and cozy" were not words I would have used to describe the house when we saw it. I, too, would love to see it again. (Tried to talk walt into coming up to see you, as he is in London right now, but he didn't want to stay for 2 weeks, so not this time)