Buchanan-Smith 40th Anniversary at Isle of Eriska
We hope you've all had a fantastic June! It has been rather wet and windy at Eriska the last few weeks as we have come into July. As some of you may know, our 40th anniversary is this month and I sat reminiscing with my mother about when we first arrived to Eriska. Although me and Chay arrived two days later, my parents very first day on the island was quite a memorable experience looking nothing like the 5 star property it is today:
"1st July 1973... it was a rainy day and the rain seemed to get even heavier as we approached Eriska and more importantly opened a new chapter in our lives. The drive was overgrown and the bushed brushed the sides of the car as we rounded the bend and saw the 'Big house' before us. The lawn was waist high in grass and it looked, and more importantly felt, a very different place from the one we had viewed and visited earlier in the year. It was now in our stewardship to look after Eriska and we were so excited and full of anticipation but most of all dreams, for the challenges lying ahead of us.
Opening the large front door with a massive key, one's dreams were faltering and illusions changed as the house was cold, empty, and unlived but most surprisingly it did not feel unfriendly or scary, just a bit daunting! we set off for a look through all the rooms... the kitchen had not been used for 18 years but a stove had been placed in the morning room, now the dining room with the wallpaper hanging off the walls. Upstairs, only one bathroom was operational with running water - it was time to again reflect on what we had taken on!
We set about getting some furniture carried from Lilac Cottage, where we had been allowed to store it prior to our official arrival, to the main house. A bed, an electric heater and small table were carried to Kerrera on the first floor, then as the sun began to set, Robin took to his bed having arrived with a bad bout of flu and now forced to succumb. During the night, we had to place a bin under the light in the bedroom as the rain began to drip off the light bulb and the house began to feel empty - we realised we were very much alone!
Downstairs the Library, which was the only other room with a chair and the smallest room to try and heat, I pulled back the cardboard covering the fireplace and to my amazement uncovered four logs in the grate. I managed to light them, only for it to last 5 minutes as the wood was so dry, but the lack of smoke at least proved that the chimney was functioning. Thankfully, I then managed to find a store of logs outside in a garage and got a bit more heat from it, and certainly a more welcoming feel to the house, as well as the chance to think about preparing a meal which ironically due to the time and lack of implements turned out to be a picking in the middle of the floor with a hot drink for the patient upstairs.
So ended the first day on Eriska and so began both our new future and new page in the history of this wonderful island, and as if by magic, the next day saw the end of rain as the dawn brought bright sunshine with not a cloud in the sky and with it, the real work could begin."