Cowieswells is a derelict farm south of Stonehaven in NE Scotland. We were lucky enough to acquire the place in August 2010 when we were moving back to the UK from Norway and looking for something to match or even better our previous, fjord-side home. The farm house and steading (barns) command an impressive and exposed cliff top location with fantastic views across the North Sea. The buildings were constructed from sandstone in a traditional style and our goal in rebuilding it is to be sympathetic to the original design whilst creating a much larger house which is modern, efficient and maximizes the unique views.

Since we bought the place we have spent over a year working with architects, planners and generally doing stuff that doesn't make for interesting reading. This blog picks up the renovation process in late 2011 when work outside got started. Over the coming months it will be updated every week or so with pictures, movies and the odd bit of text. Like Grand Designs but without the suave sarcasm of Kevin McCloud.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Week 28

Site meeting with builders and architect. All going very well. They poured the floors today so we could not get inside. They have started slating the roof and all the windows are boarded up, so the place is effectively wind and water tight.  The lead work is amazing. It’s been noted that there is no way that you would leave that much lead laying around without security anywhere south of here. You have to love NE Scotland and its low crime rate!
Have now decided on the kitchen and bathrooms, internal and external doors, fires, lighting and electric plans, entertainment system. Just floor tiles to go and we are done. Feels good to be able to sit back and watch it going up 

Wind and water tight. The red cedar on the utility and upper part of the extension is also up 

Some very fancy lead work 

View from the SE showing the house and the bothy in the background. The two visible gable ends will be glass
Harvest time, the view to the north


The time-lapse camera is up and takes a photo every minute through the day and night. I typically then scan through the 500 or so that are taken after dark and then delete them to save on disk space. Whilst skimming through last weeks I came across a couple of very odd ones

There are three consecutive ones that contain some very spooky images. The four shots below show what the view looks like in the daytime, what it normally looks like at night and then the three shots with weird lights in. These were taken at 8.25, 8.26 and 8.27 pm on the 10th Sept at 1/15th of a second exposure. The first is just a blurred light in front of the camera and could easily be a bird or insect. The second is more weird, 5 bulbous lights in the sky. The third is equally weird with a vertical ray of light going up (or down) from the centre of the house.

Inspection of the ground reveals no burn marks or excoplasm, and the house is intact. I am suspicious though because the farmer just cut his corn so any evidence of crop circles would be been destroyed.
I am a scientist and a sceptic, after doing some reading around this and chatting to folk, Rich, my brother in law, suggested that 1 and 2 are “rods” which are quite common in UFO circles. Rods are formed from longish exposures of insects beating their wings. I have no explanation for the vertical ray of light beyond something on the sensor of the camera but it is strange that they all occur consecutively. 

Maybe Cowieswells is an alien landing site or maybe there was a moth in front of the lens that then got vaporised - you can decide what you believe

View from camera during day time 

Normal view at night
8:25pm on 10th Sept. A large white object in front of the camera. An insect?

8.26pm, 6 white lights above the house?

8.27pm a shaft of light upwards from the centre of the house.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Week 25

A late post from last week because I have been travelling again.
Things are still progressing. They got the trusses on the main house and Sid and Al, the stone masons are back to finish the tabling. Andy (the block bloke) is starting the block work on the extensions.

We have been forced to finally come to lots decisions on things we have spent too much time procrastinating upon. So now we have chosen fires, internal doors, door handles, external doors, internally lighting, tv points and got a pretty good idea on the stair case. Its incredible how many images a google search on "modern stairs" or "contemporary stairs" throws back, even more surprising how hideous 90% of them are, although I guess it's largely a matter of taste.

Anyway here are a few pics to keep everyone updated.

Main extension coming on nicely, note also the roof on the main house to the right

Al and Ian ponder a pile of stones, while it looks like someone has driven a tractor across our future lawn. Wait I think someone has driven a tractor across....

Main house from the south. Note trusses are up 

This pic may not look very exciting but it is significant because it's the front door and it 's the first time  it's been open