So the days are getting shorter and thoughts of cozying up for the evening is appealing. As is usual for Orkney we seem to go from Summer to Winter, with the leaves blasted off the trees rather than turning to beautiful shades of orange and floating gently to the ground. However there are still dramatic landscapes and skies and of course incredible seas to photograph during daylight hours. Come the evening, whatever the weather throws at us, there is nothing better than listening to it on the windows while watching TV, listening to music, or playing pool, maybe with a glass of G&T.

We built our house in 2009, having designed it totally for our way of life and also so we could build it ourselves.  We did get a local builder in to put in the founds and waste water system then it was up to us. We built a big shed and then made some sections. We have open plan and vaulted ceilings so only parts could be sections the rest needed full height  posts and could only be done in situe. Michaels ex-work mates from the tugs helped for a day, in early spring, with these sections and later for some very large windows (cheers guys) and we had a brilliant summer with the weather, managing to top the house off (wind and weather tight) before any weather set in. The winter was spent working on the inside and we finally moved in, in July 2010. We had great fun doing all the work (except plaster boarding ). We had a couple of professionals in to complete electrics, plumbing etc., but I can, hand on heart, say it’s one of the best things I have ever done, I love the house, it works brilliantly for us and I am very happy here (think Mr Orkwoodturner feels the same).

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We installed a couple of commissioned pieces during the build, but have tweaked a few things and collected other pieces over the last few years. Michael made our table and we commissioned 2 chairs from Rob Elliot in Selkirk   then complimented them with dining chairs from Indigo furniture   in Derbyshire. We have several pieces of local art @lorrainebruceart, Ingrid Grieve   Jane Glue, etc, including a slumped glass window made by Joan Holdsworth and there are a ‘few!!!!!!!!!!!’ pieces of Michaels work about the place.

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There are reminders too around the house of Michaels career at sea, ‘Porthole’ ‘Old wooden pulley’ and of my career with horses.

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Michael is a big foodie so the kitchen was very important. We had the units built and shipped a commercial cooker in from America (Mr Orkwoodturner would have liked a Wolf stove, but we had a budget, may be one day!!).


We have a cozy seating area where us girls can chat and drink fresh coffee, while the boys play pool.


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We have a snug which can be closed off with a curtain, but rarely is, where we can chill and watch TV.


We do have a few bits of ‘Unusual’ art, (Campbell soup tin canvas Andy Warhol 1968, Giant Fork & Spoon, Exit metal sign etc, which just make us smile.

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Our house is our home and business and it works really well for both. Feel so blessed to be able to have that – loving life