May 2016: We’ve now installed the new big garden benches and table for the deck outside the sitting area windows. They were hand-built by Angus MacDonald at his joinery workshop in Daliburgh. (He’s now made for us a total of four benches and two tables.) They are very well made, and very comfortable. They’re the garden comfort equivalent of the sofa and coffee table indoors: even the same layout, but with a view instead of a wood-burning stove! We’re considering getting or making weather-proof cushions for the seats, though we find them comfortable even without. But we can sense questions coming already – so see the Qs&As below!
Q. Surely the garden furniture interrupts the view from indoors?
A. Well, no it doesn’t, actually: even sitting on a sofa in the sitting room, the garden furniture appears ‘below’ the sea and the glens and mountains of South Uist.
Q. Isn’t the colour of the wood a bit out of keeping with the house?
A. These are the natural untreated larch of the deck, and a primer on the new furniture. Deck and furniture alike will be left to naturally turn silvery grey, a process which occurs on exposure to natural daylight over a period of nine months to a year. Once grey the deck and furniture will blend in with the natural surroundings.
Q. Isn’t it a bit exposed where you’ve put them? Can we move them somewhere else?
A. If you’ve ever been in Uist during a big winter storm – or a summer gale that strikes out of the blue, you’ll understand why we’ve had to bolt all garden furniture to the deck! However the layout of the deck and positioning of the picnic bench, the garden benches and table, are all the result of careful study of the conditions at the house, and take advantage of the natural sunny spots and natural shelter (and Rhubarb the pet lamb managed to work those out on his first visit!). You’ll realize just how that works when you first sit down for a meal or with a coffee and cake and a book.