So, 2019 had begun and I was planning on been even busier with The Wee Scottish Gallery, think on that I had just had the Gallery extended too.
Also, we had hired the local Architect and plans were finally underway for improving Tulloch, this plan, was always on the cards since we moved there and after nearly 3 years we had finally gotten round to it.
All unusual for me, as I rarely plan, have accepted the fact, that with my life, it is often folly to plan!
And as just mentioned above, I was, yet again, going to be proved why…
One day, Alistair walks into the kitchen and muttered something about a small Farm overlooking Loch Tay he had seen advertised for sale.
And? I asked,
Is it someone you know?
No he replied, but I have been thinking, Tulloch isn’t really big enough for the animals we have and well, think I would like some Cattle and I am going to need something to do.
Okay I respond, show me the details.
48hrs later, we were on our way to view a property!
Now, this is where I have to admit (Sorry Alistair), that whilst this Farm looked amazing, I honestly did not think that all this would amount to much. Plans for Tulloch were taking shape and it was going to be an incredible job.
But there we were enroute, snow was on the ground, it was cold to say the least, but it was a stunning day with clear blue skies.
We arrived at the. Property and the views did not disappoint!
It was during this visit, that I just stood back, watching Alistair walk around and take things in, I watched his expressions etc and it was then, that I realised this was exactly what Alistair needed after everything we’d been through in 2018 and that life was going to change again!
Now, we did not get that Farm and Spring was upon us, still talks of moving, but nothing was ticking boxes, until, we saw a place near Callander advertised!
Another viewing was arranged and another day trip.
Now we both fell for this property, it offered us everything and we had lots to discuss.
A second viewing was arranged and we took along a couple of very good friends with us, who we knew would give an honest opinion.
They loved it too!
An offer was made.
An agonising wait, as it went to closed bids.
We received the news the following week that our offer wasn’t successful. Gutted!
But as my Father always said, when one door closes, another one opens…
Another appealing property came to our attention and this time, we took a day trip down to Dumfries and Galloway.
This is pretty much how the next few months continued.
A property would come on the market and away we went on another trip.
We pretty much took in the whole of the Scottish Mainland.
Visiting some spectacular places and meeting some very nice people along the way, though you felt invasive at times, but many with a story to tell and some sad reasons why they were having to leave their homes.
We thank each one of them for their time, kindness and hospitality and do hope that they are happy with the next chapter in their lives.
Every property had something to offer, we had a couple of favourites, one near Glen Affric and one near Aboyne, both of us favouring them differently.
Basically, we just hadn’t found The One! Though we were trying to fit them into that and that just wasn’t going to work.
We did have quite a few requirements, obviously Alistair and his land and mine was pretty much, where can me Sheep go, Gallery and I would like a view!
And we both agreed, that we would like to restart the B&B again.
Through this time and realising we probably were not going to meet each requirement, I found myself saying that The Gallery wasn’t a deal breaker.
Come July, we were sat with a pile of brochures and pretty much still no further forward and we would need to think upon Tulloch, winter etc
We also decided to to go ahead with getting married, we just picked up with plans we had had for 2018 with that.
Alistair had the Farm to deal with, which was now under offer.
Sorting through those brochures, there was one, which we both for some reason had overlooked, why, how, just do not know, but we both agreed, that it was a must view!
The viewing was arranged, it was the most stunning day and there we are stood on a hill, yet again overlooking Loch Tay.
The agent met us there, opened up the property, we stepped on inside and THERE and THEN, we knew! We had found our home!
Only a few close friends knew of the reason behind our travels around Scotland and they said to us, you WILL know when you find the right one.
How right they were!
We left it a short while and then arranged a second viewing, just to make absolutely sure.
But now was time for the Wedding.
We didn’t have a Honeymoon, but, we did get an offer in our choice of home and it was accepted.
And we got a Puppy! Gordon the Terrier joined the Meikle clan.
So September was full on, we were told that Alistair’s Farm Sale was going well and we were looking to move to our new home mid October, it is about 1000ft up hill, so really wanted to be in before the weather turned.
Mid October came and went, the Farm Sale was to take a bit longer.
Our move would be. November.
November became December!
The farm sale was not going great!
The amount of stress we (Especially Alistair) were under was immense, never mind the fact that we were now close to losing our new home.
Also, during that time, the grieving process for my Father had finally caught up with me!
I thought I had been handling things okay, I wasn’t really, I was just on autopilot and had just kept going. Now came the the release. It was a pain I did not want to go through or admit to, but like us all at some point in our lives, I had to.
My GP and Alistair, were great and both said, it had to happen.
Then there was a foot issue I had been having, a swollen ankle for the last year and it had worsened dramatically and a fair amount of pain came with it. I couldn’t drive and was just hobbling around, so trips to Specialists began.
December was long and agonising in every sense. (Believe it or not, am cutting a long story short here)
We were stressed beyond words, each day and every time the phone went, it seemed to bring another problem.
We were snapping at each other, the dogs were snapping, Pet Lamb had become even more aloof, the skies were grey, I was pretty much housebound with said foot and the air was blue!
We got a call, that was pretty much telling us the Farm Sale was falling through, unless Alistair adjusted a couple of things (And WHY does everything like that always happen just before the weekend)!
Anyhow, Alistair and his Solicitor worked swiftly and turned the tables.
Okay, we will agree to those terms, on the following conditions…
The Farm sale was back on for completion on 20th December and we would move to our new home 0n the 23rd! And amazingly, the snow had held off.
Late afternoon on the 20th, we learnt, that we would again, not be moving to our new home on the 23rd! But, on the 23rd we did get notice of the Farm sale completing and that was a fantastic Christmas gift for Alistair.
Now, it is at this point, that I would like to thank the agent and previous owners of our new home for their absolute patience, faith and understanding in all of this.
To the buyers, solicitors and agents of the Farm, there are no thanks, just please, when you next proceed with another sale, think on how it affects people beyond the immediate ones you are dealing with. And communication is key! Honestly hope our paths do not cross again!
Anyhoo, Christmas Day, amid boxes was a quiet affair and we just chilled.
We needed to do that and now there was nothing we could do until people returned back to work after the holidays.
30th December we get notification, that our new home was definitely ours, that the move is back on and that will take place on 7th January 2020!
I also went down with a Flu virus!
1st January 2020 and Happy New Year and due to our wonderful first footers, I learnt that Gin, specifically our local Badvo Gin is an amazing cure for the colds/Flu etc
One glass and within the hour, I felt much brighter.
Come the 2nd January, it was like what Flu!?
Tulloch was in chaos.
My hobbling was getting worse.
6th January, the removal firm sent packers.
Tuesday 7th January 9am, I load the car with Gordon the Terrorist (As he is now known), Coffee, Cameras and other such essentials and I would drive for the first time in months.
I had about an hours trip ahead of me and I was going at a snails pace, so as not to aggravate the foot any more.
But FINALLY, with anticipation and adrenaline I pulled up outside our new home.
It was lashing it down and it was blowing a hoolie, but I got Gordon and the essentials inside and then just stood and looked out of the window.
There in the very distance, I could see the very first property we viewed last year and then looking out of the other window, I could see the hill and place where Alistair and I got married.
I was home and just had to wait for a few hours before Alistair would arrive, attempt to carry me over the threshold, to much amusement of the fantastic removal guys.
And that night, we slept soundly, which was probably the first time for me in nearly two years!
We are looking forward to sharing with you, our new home, Tombuie, the Hoose on the Hillside – Karen – x