Jonathan & Denise >
Over the course of nearly twenty years here, in Uist, we’ve been very fortunate to have forged for ourselves, from scratch, a way of living and working that has (mostly) suited us very well. In doing so we’ve had to learn how to do a lot of things we’d never done before (some we’d always wanted to, but most we knew nothing about). We’ve learned to be self-sufficient, to stand on our own two feet ; and we’ve also learned to truly appreciate and value the time and talents of our neighbours. We’ve become more confident in our own capabilities, but also more conscious of limitations – whether our own or those inherent to human life – to all life. There are only so many hours in the day, days in the year, years to a life ; and we have but one of those.
It was actually quite a few years ago – even as life seemed so full of goodness – that we recognized that our time in Uist had reached it’s summer solstice. Holding hands, we stepped across a metaphorical meridian line, towards a new life elsewhere, as yet entirely unknown to us. But now, and after almost a full year of coronavirus wrecking lives on every front, the journey we’ve been on has not merely gathered pace, it’s become a headlong rush. The near future seems very nearly as real and certain as the near past.
Just three months ago we posted that, although we’d just sold Eight Askernish and would be putting the proceeds towards a new venture, we only had a vague notion of what and where that would be, and we genuinely expected to continue – for at least five years – living at the walled garden and running our croft and holiday letting in Eriskay. In not even 12 weeks, however, the new venture has made itself manifest in not only outline, but in detail too – in places and faces, and in numbers and neighbours.
Our time here is nearly up. We’re buying a small house in Ceredigion, mid-Wales – near to our daughter Becky. The real news, though, is that we’re getting ready to put both An Gàrradh Mòr – the walled garden where our home is – and our croft in Eriskay (and with that, Carrick – our remaining holiday rental property), on the market (separately), with a view to handover to new owners at the end of this summer’s holiday season.
A few have known about this for a little while – and we’ve already had informal (and credible) expressions of interest in Carrick with or without the croft. The two properties (and, previously, Eight Askernish too) represent almost all the cash we could save over almost two decades. They also represent the wages for countless unpaid hours of often back-breaking work in improving the properties themselves. The proceeds are what will provide us with a pension. The truth is that we cannot find any other way to work less, let alone actually retire, without selling up, and if we’re going to do that, we really want to make a clean break and start afresh elsewhere. But first, we’ve a number of maintenance/repair jobs to catch up on (due to last year’s hard lockdown), guests to welcome to Carrick, compost to spread and seaweed to collect ; and one last season (or at least some of it?) of fabulously fresh produce from the walled garden.
For more information about the two properties, please contact the selling agent :
Joanne Sennett, Bell & Ingram, +44 7917 192969