We’d been doing a bit of exploring, looking at old ruined houses we had never seen before because usually the bracken has grown up and hidden them. The nice thing about a spring visit to Doune is that the flowers are quite different and the grasses and bracken are only just beginning to grow. It made walking so much easier! So, Norma had gone off to take a photo from the top of the rock behind her here. Suddenly I heard her call me. “I’ve fallen in a hole!” She’d come down to catch me up and her foot had actually sunk into the bog She didn’t sound too worried so I took a photo as I headed over to help her.
She wasn’t going to get her foot out of the bog with her welly-boot on, so I suggested she try and get her foot out of the boot first. Even that was hard, believe it or not, but eventually she did it, and I started to try and rescue the welly. It took both of us to pull it from the bog by which time we had both fallen over on the wet ground and were fairly soaked!
Anyway, wet or not, we were not prepared to go back to get changed so we carried on to look at the corn kiln, and now – having seen the one at Shawbost, in Lewis, last October - I was able to explain to Norma how it had worked. The black hole at the bottom of the photo was where the flue took the heat of a fire into the kiln built of stones, which you can see - if you use your imagination - above the large grey stones. Slats of wood laid across the top of the circular kiln held whatever needed to be dried. Of course our weather being rather unpredictable, the kiln would have to have been covered, so I expect a heather-thatch roof was somehow fixed above it. There are high rocks on either side that may have supported a roof. From there we continued along to the shore and the sheep fank (or fold).
Talk again soon.