Urban cowboys in Kilcreggan
The first stop was a caravan - for sale at the top of the hill in the Auchengower site. We stood in front of it and looked over to the hills opposite with a dusting of snow and Ardentinny Bay with its multi-layered backdrop.
Belatedly, we got around to looking at the van itself. It seemed clean and in good condition - but who could concentrate on such fine detail with that view as part of the package.
Years later we were travelling home from the van to Glasgow when we took a wrong turn into a dead end. An elderly man came out of a cottage and said "you'll be looking for the ones for sale." We weren't, but we looked anyway.
It was a dank November night and muddy with it. The two tiny houses knocked into one were frankly dilapidated. But it had a little garden. And that view. It became our new weekend retreat and renovations proceeded apace...which is to say that plan A was almost complete by the end of the first decade and well on the way by our second.
Then one New Year we went out for a walk in an unfamiliar direction. Towards Kilcreggan rather than over the top road at Cove. We took a wrong turning up a road off the front only to find a For Sale sign in the garden of a neat Victorian villa. We weren't wanting a house. We had a flat in Glasgow, near to everything. Near enough to Marks and Sparks food hall to mean you never had to cook again.
But out of curiosity we got a prospectus. Then took a look. Then got so hooked that by visit two I wondered why that strange woman was sitting on my window ledge. (She still owned it, that's why.)
So we made the big decision to quit Glasgow and move to Kilcreggan full time. Our friends gave us six months. Urban cowboys in the middle of nowhere? They'll be back. Five, nearly six years on we're hooked. There's too much going on to get bored and geese waking you up in the middle of the night have it all over the number 57 bus on early shift.
The only problem is work. Not finding it, just trying to do it with that view, the birds wanting fed, the dog wanting walked, and the garden wanting weeded.
Gee it's hell. At least that's what we tell the folks we left behind. We don't want it getting too crowded round here.
Eyry House, March 1999.