Whilst I do not exactly remember our early years at Eriska but all is slowly becoming clear. We used to close in early September and basically hibernate for the first 3 months then work on the house for the season ahead and open in time for Easter. If Easter was late then we had a bit longer and if Easter was early then we simply had to limp through after the busy weekend until the May Bank Holiday. As Easter weekend was normally our first busy period with a new team on board My brother and I were farmed off to vist my Grandmother in Oban- although we were sold teh concept as a "holiday" whilst my parents benefitted from being left to cocentrate on Eriska without the distractions of us . I remember this part vividly as this always entailed an early morning walk up to an open air church service on top of Pulpit Hill and then back to my Grandmothers for breakfast.
However I cannot be sure whether we were "farmed out" for a day, weekend or even a week but it must have been a constricted period as whilst the hotel was opening and we had many new faces in the team, all learning the ropes, we also had many regular visitors who often helped keep the team newcomers on the straight and narrow- great for consistency but not ideal if you were trying to develop new procedures! Anyway among the regular faces were a wonderful couple from Leamington Spa who always insysed come rain or shine on having afternoon tea on the front steps, whilst this was on an occasion a very short lived and well wrapped up event on most it bwas a day like today with sunshine, daffodills and little wind.
It would therefore be remiss of me at this time not to stop and reflect on the Montgomeries who would have enjoyed tea on the libaray steps today. No coat, gloves or umbrella required but maybe sunglasses! Incidentally among the many things I learnt from them was the ability to multiply by adding up - regrettably this art and skill has been lost by me over the years but it was useful when I was at school and maybe now I will investigate it again as it might help get my budgets under control for the stables extension!