It's never easy on an island. The simplest of plans can be knocked off course by sheep on the road or unexpected weather. Sometimes the plane doesn't arrive in or the ferry is cancelled and you realise how cut-off you can be. No newspapers, no mail, and no deliveries of any sort. That can be difficult when you are waiting for slates to build a roof in the middle of winter.
Things we take for granted on the mainland in our Amazon-influenced lifes just don't happen. A next day delivery to Islay almost inevitably takes 3 days minimum. You can try, but you'll never get it there any quicker. So, when you are waiting for bricks, or electrical fittings, or a front door, you can't rely on it.
Next challenge – being there. Everyone knows how difficult it is to tempt those chaps with the tool belts and power drivers into your house at the best of times. What are the chances that all this will happen when you are absent? Either that or you'll get an electrical socket where you didn't want it or a bathroom where the cupboard was supposed to be.
And for such a small island, it's easy to lose people for days or weeks on end.
But, you persevere, nag, plead and bully – all according to which individual personality type you are dealing with. And slowly, but ever so surely, the building starts to rise from the foundations. Stay focussed. Don't let those dark nights or freezing winds dampen your spirits. Finally, you'll be rewarded with a house that has views, warmth and a location second to none.
Time to sit back and relax – for a day or two anyway. There will be other jobs to do. A house is never finished after all. And so the cycle begins again.