The House On The Hill

By Bernie Bell

It was a fine sunny day so we called by to visit someone, sitting outside, having a yarn and a cuppa, cuddling the dog.  It was the first time I’d been to her house, and on the plot of land next door there is a magnificent edifice or, it was once. 

It’s a big house, not all that old by the look of it – maybe built in the 1970’s or 80’s?  It’s now a shell, windows gone and birds flying in and out, nesting – swallows and pigeons – the pigeon’s cooing providing a soothing background to our talk.

The house has a blue  ‘approved’ sign for being a B&B, and I wonder what the story is – a thriving B&B, next thing an empty shell, full of birds.  The down-fall must have happened quite quickly. We were told that it used to have a lovely garden, the traces of which can still be seen – overgrown, but with the wild beauty of abandoned gardens.

The plot has been sold and this little piece of local life, the story of which is already being lost,  will be swept away to be replaced by possibly three or four smaller, new houses which will have wonderful views across the loch and the hills. The big house up there on the hill, and having added height by its structure, must have had stunning views. Folk staying there for  B&B would have been so pleased to have found this place to stay – so why and how did it become a bird-filled shell?  There must be a story there – there’s always a story.

From where we were sitting we could look down and across to two crannogs in the Loch  There was life there once, too – people going about their business, living their lives, maybe having folk to stay – not B&B, but maybe contributing to the household in return for staying?

And now, the crannogs are also given over to birds and wildlife. Nature has a way of taking over when we’re gone.

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