Friday, 26 August 2011

Tigh na Cailleach Rebuilt

Here it is the house rebuilt for the wee people of Glen Lyon. Using techniques which I learned in Slovenia,(thanks to the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust) we built a double skin wall with corbelling at the top to support a 300 year old chunk of oak which had a slope of about 5cms from front to back to shed water. On top of that we laid flat rocks then covered the whole roof with peaty turf which is quite acidic and will help to preserve the wood. The helpers were Alex and Ashley Dudley Smith who provided the food, Tom and Pauline Beel who brought the wood, and Mel O'Flynn who took some great photos. All carted rocks from the burn up to the site off and on for two days.
Just as we had laid the last turf in walked Sharon MacLeod, a Canadian living in Boston who is an expert in Celtic literature and traditions. She  sang a very moving and beautiful song of welcome in Gaelic. This was an amazing coincidence, a happening from the other side of the world from a lady who knew of the stones but had never seen them before. We all went home feeling tired and very happy.
Thanks also to Jamie Grant for some of these photos.
Only afterwards did we notice the face on the guardian rock in the doorway.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Tigh na Cailleach

Here is how the house of the wee stone  people of Glen Lyon looked before 6 caring folk made there way up to the remote site to repair it. We had to deal with heavy rain , poor tracks and hoards of midges but we managed and thoroughly enjoyed our trip. We finished the job tired but happy. No one knows when the house was built but we do know that we are helping to continue a tradition which has been maintained for thousands of years.The stone family, ranging in height from the mother ( Cailleach ) around 45 cms high to her youngest child about 10 cms, is taken out in the Spring and returned to their shelter in the Autumn.  This helps to ensure that the crops will grow again successfully the following year.
The next entry on 26th August shows the result of the repair and tells of a visitor out of the intermittent blue who knew about and cared about these remote stones from the other side of the world.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Another fine wall by Andy Loudon

This wall with the inset has the feeling for me of an modern artist's painting.
The post tomorrow is a problem.