We have never been open at Eriska for the month of January and therefore as we enter our 40th year here at Eriska why should it be any different?
In truth Eriska has always been a seasonal property - not in the sense that we simply open for a summer season and close for the winter but in the sense that what we do and how we do it varies with the seasons. This is I hope not to say that the standards of service and products change but more that the house changes with the seasons, whether it be long days and short nights of the summer with windows open and daylight flooding in, the gardens in full bloom and the smell of freshly cut grass everywhere - or the winter with -conversely-long nights and short days roaring log fires and cosy times in front of them or time spent swimming in the spa, relaxing in the sauna or playing tennins in the indoor hall.
In reality the weather can be pretty interchangable and whilst this unpredictability is part of the charm of the west coast it is probably the legnth of days that varies the seasons of the year. Certainly as the south of the UK sinks under snow and rain and Eriska basks in sunshine - although its not exactly tropical- we could be excused for believeing that guests would not wish to venture to the west coast for a post Christmas break. Indeed that is one of the reasons that we are closed for business at present with the festive period behind us the team all needed a break away and well deserved too. So as they all set out to explore different areas of the globe or simply return home to visit relatives we set about our own work here at Eriska.
With the pool and facilities closed for a fortnight it is all hands to the paint brushes, and tools to get that work done which can only be achieved with an empty house and no passing shoulders to brush against paint or need for peace and quiet in the spa as hammers and drills go to action. At the same time it is also a chance to catch up on paperwork and chores that we have for the past 11 months ignored or postponed.
Normally at this time of year I try to escape and leave Eriska behind but this year for a number of reasons we decided to stay put and help with the chores. In short it has given us a chance to appreciate where we live more than ever and really enjoy Eriska as our guests do.
That said it still remains a wee bit earie with no one around at night and the house clothed in darkness as we walk round on our twice daily inspections to check that the old house is safe and well. 2012 was long year for us with so much happening both here at Eriska and outside in the real world and in reality 2013 looks like being no different as the world continues to turn and evolve. Indeed whilst it has been nice to step off the daily changing environment roundabout - and often in the summer we might wish we could do so more often -it is also time to start gearing up for the year ahead and make sure that we are all ready for what is in store.
As with most things in life whilstb you dont appreciaet them tioll they are gone it is teh fact that we change and can seek change that makes life so interesting and recharges us for the future. So less than two weeks form now Eriska will open it sdoors again and this yera more than ever we hope we wre ready for it - but as ever despite planning and preparation we will still have to react to everchanging demands from the 1st of February as ever before and nothing can fully prepare us.