Changing location

Seasons change

It seemed a while ago since I was last up at the Small Mission Hall creating chaos. It had been important to visit at different times of the year.

Hopefully, I’d gain a much better understanding of the actual building (now the space was clear), the location and different weather conditions.

chilly winter conditions at the Small Mission Hall
chilly winter conditions at the Small Mission Hall

I’ve done a bit of winter on the Isle of Lewis, so what about summer? You do get summer in the Outer Hebrides right?

Exploring ideas through design sketches
Exploring ideas through design sketches

I also have to develop my ideas and thinking for the building design itself. Without this, I cannot proceed with the whole planning permission application. I was rapidly becoming the log jam in my very own project!

Take a chance

I had some remote work to finish off in Hastings, but then there was this two-week break between projects. Maybe this was an opportunity to head back up to the Outer Hebrides again?

Time to be heading north again
Time to head north again

I had previously had a phone line installed at the Small Mission Hall, but never actually had the broadband service activated.

Get the broadband turned on, take some bits up with me, and make a temporary work area, then I could see if remote working was a possibility up there?

Got to love a Glencoe waterfall
Got to love a Glencoe waterfall

That almost sounds like a plan right there. Time for another road trip then…

All change

Funny to be back again and see the space with all the blue-painted plasterboard removed. That and a bit of sunshine through the windows too is nice.

The bare bones space with the plasterboard removed
The bare bones space with the plasterboard removed

I needed to sort out and organise the remnants of chaos I’d left behind. I’d need space to sleep, to (remote) work and some practical workshop space too.

Designer lifestyle

Whilst rearranging stuff, I took the opportunity for a couple of upgrades to my living in a tent, sleeping on the floor designer lifestyle.

Extra storage with a floating pew kitchen shelf
Extra storage with a floating pew kitchen shelf

The kitchen area needed more storage, so I made a temporary floating shelf from some old pew timber and a length of electric cable.

All mod cons – my bathroom sink
All mod cons – my bathroom sink

Then adding to this fancy pants lifestyle, a French copper jam-making pan for my ensuite luxury bathroom washing facilities. I was truly living the dream!

No pressure

OK, to make this remote work idea happen, I’d brought a chair up with me. However, I might need just a bit more than that. Things like a desk to work at would be a start.

This was the first task at hand. My remote work project started in a couple of days, so no pressure there then.

Got a load of 25mm thick plywood offcuts for repurposing
Got a load of 25mm thick plywood offcuts for repurposing

Here’s a kind of a flat pack with a difference. Along with all the other various bits and pieces I hauled up with me this time, I brought a load of different-sized 25mm thick plywood offcuts I had managed to source locally.

My thinking was that from these I could hopefully fashion some sort of temporary work desk. My first little practical challenge started as soon as I arrived.

Design references

When making the work desk, I could have just used a large rectangular piece of the 25mm plywood. I liked that kind of aesthetic of a minimalist approach.

Work table making in progress
Work table making in progress

The sharp corners, however, not so much. I also wanted something a bit thicker than 25mm to fix some metal hairpin legs onto. What ultimately will be a simple solution, relies on these sorts of details for me at least.

Improvised design

It’s said that creativity is influenced by our experiences and surroundings. Not having a compass to mark out any kind of radius for the corners, it was time to improvise and utilise my surroundings.

I also wanted to add some extra thickness to where the legs would be fixed underneath. Mirroring the same sort of curved worksurface corner detail, I just needed a smaller radius on these fixing pads.

Step forward my favourite travel water bottle lid.

Corner radius inspiration from my favourite water bottle
Corner radius inspiration from my favourite water bottle

 

For the work surface itself, I needed a bigger radius. Well, my trusted Yeti travel mug provided the perfect solution.

Corner radius influence
Corner radius influence

When the need for something becomes essential, you are forced to find ways of getting or achieving it. Necessity really is the mother of invention

Our need will be the real creator
– Plato

Slowly but surely my 25mm thick plywood work table was beginning to take shape. Good job too as my remote work started the next day!

My 25mm thick plywood work table taking shape
My 25mm thick plywood work table takes shape

A bit of Danish wood oil and beeswax and it was good to go

Remote works

Big thanks must also go to Zen Internet for sorting out the broadband. I might be remote, but I wasn’t isolated. I was getting the same kind of speeds as I was used to in Hastings. Happy days

Minimalist table details
Minimalist table details

So in this new interconnected world, I was now able to remote work in a building site in the Outer Hebrides, for an agency in London, helping to deliver the design branding and graphics for an international sporting event in Vancouver, Canada.

Location no longer needs to be a barrier to where you can work sometimes.

Forgotten something?

Ah yes, the other reason for coming up here was to do some more design work on the Small Mission Hall of course. With longer daylight hours being this far North, evenings and weekends allowed other things to get done too.

More of that to come…

So what do you think?

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