Yesterday began damp and misty (as usual!). However during the morning it gradually dried up, though the cloud level remained below the top of Dun. This enabled work on painting the gun to resume (again, a holding measure to last it through the winter). Christine and Laura set too with their tins of black bitumen and by mid afternoon, had finished.

Having emptied one crate of slates and ferried them up to the ammunition store to stack with the other box we had redistributed 2 days ago, we were asked to break up the boxes and put them in the wood store in Red Square (the wood remains available to us for the stove in House 1). Imogen and Christine dragged one of the boxes to Red Square and proceeded to release a tremendous amount of aggression in demolishing it. However staff on the base took pity on them (the boxes are heavy!!), and a rather large tractor rolled up to transport the other box to Red Square for them.

Lucy and Austin finished painting the rear roof slope of House 6, and moved over to House 4 to do the same thing. They also set out to paint the roof battens on the slope facing Village Bay.

Laura meanwhile spotted that the flap of felt which folds over the edge of the roof of House 5 was flapping in the wind. She nailed it back over with felt tacks and coated the place where the felt had folded as well as the nail heads. Phil finished fitting the drip strip to the base of House 6. It is a split door, and the end of 1 half had serious rot. We could not find new wood with a similar profile to match the other half, so, after taking advice, he made new strips for both half doors. These quite closely match the ones on other houses (they are all different). Work continued on painting the windows of the Church and also on the external woodwork of the Feather Store where Ed and Phil moved after completing House 6.

The Dry Burn is not “dry”, having had water running down it for the last 2 days – not something one sees very often.

The food is excellent – Malcolm (our cook) has 2 helpers every day (Gael and Stuart today), and they work away clearing up after meals and preparing the next meal. As always, once cakes (in this case flapjacks) are baked, the crumbs are very popular – Laura and Christine happened to be in the kitchen when the baking was complete.

It is interesting how in a Work Party, things become synchronised – a simple walk through Bonxie territory leads to excellent synchronised Bonxie deterrent.

THose who have visited Hirta when the weather is a little inclement (humph!!) will remember that the Soay sheep hide out in the cleits. Work party members appear to be no different – look what I spotted when the rain eased this morning – first a Christine popped out of a cleit, then a Phil, then finally a Stuart – they might have found one with a higher door!

Yesterday a helicopter flew round to the helipad (a very impressive sight as it circles over the village and took off the contractors. The base is now, literally at “base” level – 14 and ourselves. Tonight there is a quiz night in the Puffinn. To find out how we get on, watch this space!