Backwards thinking first

Mixing things up

It was fun mixing the regular day job during the week with designing and exploring my ideas in the evenings and weekends.

Taking time to understand what I wanted to get out of the project design felt like a real luxury. Design requirements are normally driven by cost and speed of turnaround. Amazing how inspiring a little space and time can be.

the inspiration of space and time
the inspiration of space and time

Being free of these constraints was liberating. I could fully investigate and explore alternative design solutions. It’s a rare opportunity I need to make the most of.

Outside in

Remote working full-time to earn money to live on can be pretty time-consuming. Some jobs that I wanted to get done, would either have to wait or get outsourced if I were to make any kind of progress with the Small Mission Hall.

It might seem counterintuitive to work on the outside buildings first, but there is a reason. With all the saved materials inside the Mission Hall for repurposing, I desperately needed outside storage first to free up the internal space.

my very own disused bus shelter
my very own disused bus shelter

Fortunately, I came across a local handyman who was able to help. I wanted to add some basic doors, windows and a roof to my very own disused bus shelter and funeral bier store behind it.

So whilst I was busy working inside during the week, by using his services, things could then also start progressing outside as well. A bit of a win-win scenario.

Reuse repurpose

Having saved as much timber as possible for repurposing, it was now time to have it put to good use. Some of the pew timber will get a new life and purpose outside. Its heritage and connection with the building will remain. I like that.

Timber from the Mission Hall pews to be repurposed…
Timber from the Mission Hall pews to be repurposed…

The bus shelter currently had no doors or windows. The funeral bier store behind it didn’t have a roof either! It had very definitely seen better days!

got potential as an estate agent might say…
got potential as an estate agent might say…

It ‘has potential’ as an estate agent might like to say! Having chatted through my ideas and sorted out some suitable timber for repurposing, the fun and games could commence…

Nothing fancy

First up, the pew timber was repurposed and made into doors for the bus shelter and store. Getting them a little more weatherproofed and ready for future use.

slowly getting made more usable
slowly getting made more usable

Time to repurpose a used double-glazed uPVC window unit in the bus shelter. It was good to find someone to work with me on my repurposing ideas.

Soon I had a fancy pants double-glazed bus shelter – how cool is that!

doors and windows sorted, roof to do next…
doors and windows sorted, roof to do next…

I had enough primer and satin black paint left over from my window colour experimenting to get the two doors painted as well. Nice to contribute a little to the ongoing work at weekends.

We also managed to source a few additional uPVC units at the same time. I have a future idea for these moving forward, watch this space…

Open Studios

Art is always a good way of getting inspiration or challenging our perceptions and thinking. My latest visit happened to coincide with the local Open Studios Hebrides event.

Time for some weekend inspiration then…

Open Studios was a great way of seeing artists work around the island
Open Studios was a great way of seeing artists work around the island

Open Studios was a great opportunity to see different artist’s work in the area. It was also a fun way to visit new and different parts of the Isle of Lewis as well.

As well as the work, it was interesting to meet and chat with some of the artists. There seems a strong artistic community on the island. Turned out that one of them was one of my neighbours!

HebCelt

There’s a bit more to life than work right?

Along with the visual arts, there was also a multi-award-winning Hebridean Celtic Festival (HebCelt) taking place while I was here.

Local band Peat and Diesel (whom I’d heard about), would be headlining the festival in Stornoway on Friday night, seemed too good an opportunity to miss…

Peat and Diesel live and awesome at HebCelt
Peat and Diesel live and awesome at HebCelt

Typically a last-minute, decision, but after work on Friday, I popped down to see if any tickets were left. Got there just in time with only 6 tickets left!

Peat and Diesel CDs for the road trip back home
Peat and Diesel CDs for the road trip back home

Glad I made the effort. Brilliant to see them perform live in their own backyard. As chance would have it, their recording studio (Wee Studios) is also just over the road from me. I got in contact and bought some CDs.

Yes, physical non-streaming music! Nice to be able to support local artists plus get some new music to listen to at the same time.

Non-linear progress

It’s good to have a plan and a direction. However, I don’t want to be so stuck to it that I cannot flex and make the most of opportunities that develop.

it’s a sign – a full rainbow
it’s a sign – a full rainbow

Progress is not always linear. Often there are a few wiggles along the way, that’s what makes the journey an interesting and challenging experience.

So what do you think?

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