We started. Alasdair and I rendezvoused at Micheal’s new house. It was Alasdair’s first visit to that corner of the island above the loch at Kilmoluag and the bright winter sunshine lit up the dark grey of the water and the rich brown plumage of the moor behind. Laid out on the grass were some serious lengths of wood. In turn, it was my introduction to one of Alasdair’s pride-and-joys: his blue Land Rover Defender. It was the first of many contributions from this faithful servant to this project. As we lifted the timber onto the roof rack, neither of us had any idea of the ups and downs of the next six months: the innocence of the present.
Alasdair, Ian, Robert, Jules and Dorinda then took a big step in building a long workbench down one side of the building that was to be our workshop/restaurant/debating chamber for some time to come: The Noust. Fisherman Neil MacPhail, helped by Stewart Cowling, kindly brought over a band saw and a table saw from the last boat building project that he had kindly been storing in his shed; they look as though they need some tender loving care before springing to life. They also brought three large joiners vices. We started to string up some lights for the night shifts to come. Alan Millar took lots of photos of the crew and the empty (but now rapidly filling) boat shed.
We have a kettle now, and Jo suggested that we bring (and take home again) our own mugs as there is no running water at The Noust. Robert did complain that there wasn’t as much chocolate cake as he had been promised in the brochure.
I have to say, as someone who can’t hit a nail with a hammer, I really enjoyed watching some expert tool wielders. Thanks to everyone for a brilliant first day. We are meeting again tomorrow at 10 am. The Noust is now locked (top secret combination ‘2018’ and then press the button underneath).