Seven years ago my husband and I bought a lovely little flat in Kilchattan Bay on the Isle of Bute.
At the time, I was in the middle of building a profitable business. Hours were long, and I often found it hard to relax when I had any time off because I carried so much work stress with me. Travelling to Bute and spending a couple of days staring at the sea from that tiny flat helped a lot. Just being on the ferry would bring my stress levels down. I was able to unwind in a way I couldn’t at home.
We had a great setup there. We paid a caretaker a small fee every year to keep and eye on the place and handle minor repairs, so upkeep wasn’t an issue. Most weekends, we’d find we were the only people in the building which meant it was incredibly quiet. We even had a tame blackbird who greeted us at the window when we arrived, and we looked forward to seeing him every time we visited. We always had a few blackcurrants for him, and he’d sometimes take food from our hands if he was feeling especially brave.
That flat saw us both thorough some hard times – the death of my mother, the death of my husband’s mother, and a horrible outcome of a referendum neither of us wanted. We spent a lot of quiet weekends watching the storms come over the bay, and walking on the beaches if the weather allowed.
As time passed, the flat changed. Our blackbird friend was killed by a predator, and the caretaker moved away. We visited less and less, and one day we received word that our flat had been badly flooded by a faulty washing machine in the flat above. The damage was quite bad, and it took months to be repaired, and once the flat was fixed and decorated, it just didn’t feel like ours anymore. We decided to AirBnB it until we knew what we wanted to do next.
The answer came a couple of months ago when a second minor water ingress occurred after a roof tile blew off during a storm. We put the flat on the market and it sold two days later. We’re both relieved and sad. Relieved not to have the expense of it going into the Brexit debacle, and sad to let go of the perfect little flat that brought us comfort and joy when we needed it most.