Scotland (34)

Stone Cottage on Scottish Island

This is a restored “blackhouse” on the Isle of Eigg, off the west coast of Scotland, where we spent a week in May, 2016. Some time in the future, if I can get time off, we plan to go to Scotland and visit several of the islands. The Scots are the nicest, most friendly people I’ve encountered anywhere in the world.

Blackhouses were the dwellings of “crofters” or farmers on Scottish Islands, in the Highlands, and Ireland.

From Wikipedia: “(They) … were generally built with double-wall dry-stone walls packed with earth, and were roofed with wooden rafters covered with a thatch of turf with cereal straw or reed. The floor was generally flagstones or packed earth and there was a central hearth for the fire. There was no chimney for the smoke to escape through. Instead the smoke made its way through the roof. This led to the soot blackening of the interior which may also have contributed to the adoption of name blackhouse.…”

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Blue Whale Lunge Feeding

A drone was used to capture a blue whale swimming in Monterey Bay. Unique shots of whale taking mouthfuls of water.

Check out the photographer: https://www.slatermoore.photography

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Check Out Our Photos Now on Tumblr

Above: Caleb and Louise’s hand-built home near West Cornwall, Connecticut, in the early ’70s

Sean Hellfritsch gave us the idea of using Tumblr for good quality photos; he started it and now Brittany Cole Bush is continuing to put up photos, some old, some recent.

Click here: https://shelterpub.tumblr.com/

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Which Cover Do You Like Best?

Rick and I are in the final stages of preparing Small Homes for the printers. We changed the cover from an earlier version, which showed a small turn-of-the-century home in Santa Cruz (in this revised cover, it’s the middle image in the left hand column), because a single image didn’t seem to represent the diversity of images (120 or so small homes) in the book. Hence the collage.

Below are two alternatives, the same except for the background color. In the one with the red, it’s similar-looking to Home Work, Builders of the Pacific Coast, and Tiny Homes on the Move. Some of our savvy book friends think it’s too similar, and that another color would distinguish it from the other books. Hence the other with the dark green background.

Comments, please. Which do you like? Do you see any problem in this cover being similar to our other books?

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Back in the USSR

Driving for 10 days on the wrong side of the road in Scotland was really stressful,  I think partly because I’ve been driving since age 14, over half a million miles of doing it one way. Ingrained habits…

I picked up a car in Edinburgh and was immediately terrified in the “roundabouts.” Cars pouring in from 4 directions, weaving in and out. “Give way to the cars on your right,” said Diana, and I used this as a mantra in the roundabouts. I ended up driving the last 2 days in a part of Scotland (near Irvine) that was peppered with roundabouts. Sheesh! I got better with experience, but it was still stressful..

The cabbie on the way to the airport navigated them smoothly, hardly slowed down.

It’s such a relief to be back the right (sic) side of the road.

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Back to Book Production

On the road from Ullapool to Gairloch on the northwest coast of  Scotland
My trip to Scotland was an overwhelmingly wonderful experience. 30 days of people who were friendly, cheerful, and helpful—civilized society!

I shot maybe 1000 photographs, with three different cameras. I posted (mostly photos) on Instagram and this blog almost every day.
I could do a book on this trip, but the reality, the priority right now, is to get our new book, Small Homes, finished.

So I will be posting less for a while, and certainly not posting daily.

I had an epiphany, as they say, yesterday: I can reach a lot more people by turning out books than I can by posting things on my blog or via Instagram—at least with my present internet followers (about 500 people a day).

Plus the feedback from our books is phenomenal. Just about daily: people inspired, lives changed, abilities discovered.

I want to get this book finished and then try to get one new book published each year (instead of one book every 2-3 years, as now).

I’m thinking of three possibilities for the book after this one:

Trips I’ve taken over the past 40 years, with photos and text. Readers can ride shotgun with me.

• My favorite builders: about six or seven of them, describing not only their work, but their personalities. I just love all these guys.

Barns: a scrapbook of my photos over the years and reference to the many (not well-known) books I’ve accumulated on barns; we have over 3 feet of barn books in our shelves.

So it’s back to book making for me. I’m really excited by this new one. I’m gonna get oan wi it.

Check out https://www.theshelterblog.com/ for daily postings on building, homesteading, gardening, carpentry. tiny homes, small homes, and the like.

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Stone Cottage Overlooking Sea On Scottish Island

Everything here is perfect. It’s one of the buildings where I just say to myself, oh yeah!

The rounded, angled-out corners, the  proportions, the deep wall openings, the red roof.

According to an historical account which I read, some 14 farm families were forced to leave their land by landlords in the mid-1800s, and resettled on a more remote and less fertile part of the island. This is one of the dwellings; in its day, it would have had a thatched roof.

And with this I conclude posts from Scotland. I’m back in the saddle at home and back at work on Small Homes.

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