We’ve decided it’s time to move on. We’ve achieved so much since moving to Uist in 2002 – more than we could ever have imagined at that time ; but back then we were in our mid 40s, and now … Well, we feel we’re ready for fresh challenges in a different context, better suited to our circumstances. The truth is that, these days, when we’re thinking of the future, we’re not thinking of here.
So, next year will be our last in the business of self-catering cottages. Our last guests will wave farewell on or before 2nd October 2021. Even before we first told others about this, we were already well-booked for 2021, but as the news has spread, we’re getting a ‘second wave’ of bookings and enquiries for next year ; and for the coming winter months, too. So if you’re thinking about it, don’t just sit and think, go on and get it done!
Scotland’s First Minister has announced, this afternoon (24th June), that self-catering accommodation that is completely self-contained (and that certainly includes Carrick Eriskay!) can re-open 3rd July – 12 days sooner than had been expected.
At the same time, the 5-mile limit on non-essential travel will be lifted, as will the ban on staying away from home.
Calmac’s emergency essential-only service will end on 30 June, the new timetable to be published on their website 26th June, with bookings taken from 30th June.
Ferry services are to be increased, step-wise, until they’re more-or-less back to ‘normal’ in terms of routes and frequency. However, capacity will be limited by social distancing rules : for now that will still mean 2m, but we expect that to be reduced to 1m on or around 15th July.
We therefore urge all our Carrick guests who have booked with us for this summer – or are intending to do so, to keep a close watch on Calmac’s website, and be ready to snap up a place on the ferry as soon as possible ; and those who still have a booking made before lock-down should get their booking confirmed by email.
So, once you’re ready, and if everything’s steady, there’s just a short wait for the GO!
Carrick Eriskay : Painting the East Wing : First around windows and doors and thin areas
Carrick Eriskay : Painting the East Wing : Last – remove the downpipes and paint the boards behind them
The iconic blue paint on the larch cladding is nearly 12 years old and still looking good – from a distance, at least. It doesn’t flake, but wears away – and fades – slowly, with areas with less thickness (or taking more of a battering from the weather) looking thin first. It’s a very, very expensive paint (strictly, an opaque micro-porous wood stain) from Finland – where they know a thing or two about wooden houses. Being an eco-friendly paint, it’s water-based, and requires reliably dry conditions : we don’t get those until the letting season underway, making it difficult to schedule.
Funnily enough (well, not funny at all), the Coronavirus shut-down in April and May has provided us with the perfect conditions to get both the East Wing and Cross-Wing done : both the light blue vertical boards and the dark blue eaves. We had just enough paint still in stock – left over from the original painting, in fact – to complete this work ; which is a relief, because, with no income coming in, it would have been difficult to justify spending £300 plus perhaps £15-£20 p+p for a 10 litre tin!
We painted the West Wing three years ago – it’s more exposed and deteriorates quicker. In future, however, we want to have to paint only a small section of the whole house in any one year, so we will paint one ‘section’ (defined by corners) each year – which will be easier to fit in where there’s an odd day vacant between lettings in spring or summer.