As this very complex design and build process draws to a close, as ever there have been hurdles to overcome. The roof, for example, uses a huge amount of marram grass, which is not grown commercially in the islands any longer. Getting the quality and quantity that we needed required some detective work, and Neil came up trumps with a great supply on a small island off North Uist called Kirkibost.
This required the thatching team to camp on the island, and for Neil to buy a boat!
Inside the house, the word "compromise" has been banned for some time! Almost everything is bespoke because of the curves of the building and of course the interior walls. Jane, our partner in design, has spent many days finding the right furniture, fabrics, and dealing - even making cardboard templates of complex things. For example, working out how best it get blinds and curtains to work on the huge floor-to-ceiling windows without impeding the incredible views in the day. Or how to make the TV glide out of sight when not in use.
Craftspeople and artists have been commissioned to create beautiful pieces to match the theme of each room, even though this has delayed our completion because of the lead times involved. Òran na Mara will be there for a very long time, and we don't want to spoil anything for the odd few weeks of delay.
As we come close to finishing, Jane has worked out a meticulous schedule to ensure that the team of builders, joiners, stonemasons, and our electrician, tiler, plumber and decorator can all work in harmony and not trip over each other.
At last, our dream is becoming a reality - and what a fantastic reality it is!