As the guests begin to depart back down the drive Christmas for another year is over and we start to look forward to the end of another year and the start of another 12 months of opportunity.
There are times that I am conscious that I am a glass half empty kind of person and at others I am a glass half full. Christmas and New Year always seem to pose such a dilemna for me. Whilst it is always great to look back and reflect on where we have come and how we have reacted to the changing landscape it is also important not to dwell too long on these and look forward to the future.
It is strange that the festive period at Eriska is so different. Christmas is one of my favourite times as the clocks seem to stop, newspapers are ignored and guests join us to celebrate and most importantly relax, unwind and recover. Whereas New Year is always a time where many see it as an opportunity for new beginnings and a chance to draw a line in the sand and analyse our predicament. Curiously this leads to a very different atmosphere in the house.
Christmas sees the house full of joy and laughter with few cares in the world but guests simply enjoying the moment, New Year sees lots of discussions and debate , great talks and deliberation in the library and whilst there is always an element of serious consideration there is also inevitably some fun as well.
This dichotomy of atmospheres does however show what a wonderful place and building, Eriska is, as it lends itself to both and allows our visitors and guests to benefit from whichever style they need.
As the guests leave this morning - some a little more tired than others- mostly self inflicted and brought on by the Scottish country Dancing last night, I hope they not only enjoyed their stays and the hospitality but feel ready to face the world yet again as they return to immerse themselves in this 24 hour life we now live in.
So On Saturday we will begin to welcome our next house party and try to provide the location and scene for them to get the most from their Highland Break, but for today its a chance for all the team here to take a well deserved break and catch up on much needed rest, a little Christmas cheer and hopefully- for me - a large pile of surprise form Father Christmas as his stop at my fireplace to fill my stocking was delayed a day or too as he has I am reliably informed , been quite busy elsewhere!