Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Winter in Scotland

Scotland was covered in snow this winter for weeks - weeks! I can never remember this happening.

Anyway, it was nothing short of amazing. But to keep this short lest I never actually post these pictures up, and never get time to catch up with everything else that's going on, I'm going to get on and talk about our igloo.

It all started with some mediocre sledging attemtps, which then turned into massive snowball making sessions. We rolled these lumps together and made the first wall. Never having done anything like this before we just gave it a bash, making each layer lean progressively inwards...

Pretty soon we had a couple of walls heading towards each other. Shawn's pizza oven design helped to understand how a vaulted structure holds together.

Nikita (principle architect and builder) and myself before the roof closed in further.

By this time we'd put hours into this thing, not knowing if it was going to thaw anytime (we needn't have worried. It stayed sub zero and covered in snow on and on).

But as the temperature dropped to -5, then -10 the snow became unworkable. It needs a bit of stickiness to it to work as a binder...

Nice spot for a winter home

Basic entry way done, we had our first guest - John, fresh from living in the Highlands in caves and bothies, was happy to give it a test fire, with a couple of sleeping bags and decent underlays.

John insists he slept like a baby, despite the gaping entry way and meagre tartan door.

So next warmer day Nikita and another crew of enlisted volunteers (shown right)

built a classic crawl through entry way... we then imported some raided straw from the local farm, carpet felt, a donated carpet (thanks Vicky!) built a few candle shelves and we were set up for the night. Cosy one we had too.

after which it became our external party house / meeting point. Wish we'd slept there EVERY night....

Team Traquair clearly taking over here:)

Parting shot, moring of departure.

all pics can go up on to picassa if there's any demand.