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Saturday, 31 May 2014

The 2014 Challenge, day 2: Loch Aline and Gleann Dubh (6)

After a while the rain cleared up, and I went out and took some photographs of the views from Crosben cottage. What a wonderful place this must have been to live! Whether the estate will be able to find another tenant, even if they tidy the cottage up and replace all the plaster, is another matter, though. The access track was once, according to Mr Thornber, passable in a standard estate car. Now it requires a specialist 4x4 vehicle. There is no running water (you takes your water from the burn) and the sanitary facilities consist of a chemical toilet in the range of outbuildings. It is quite an impressive range of outbuildings, and the cottage is much more than a mere "but and ben". But all the same, I think that I may well end up being the very last person to have slept the night in that cottage.

After supper, I spent the evening trying to imagine what life at Crosben must have been like for the Hollick family. All the trappings of family life were still there. A pile of board games stacked up on one of the shelves. And the books included a "Look and Learn" annual from 1974, suggesting that the Hollick children must have been about my age or perhaps a little older. That would place old Mrs Hollick in her 70s or perhaps even her 80s - so Mr Thornber was probably right when he surmised that she was unlikely to return to the cottage. And the child's felt-tip pen drawing of a volcano which was pinned to one of the book shelves? That had either been there a very long time, or was drawn by a grandchild. Possible both!

As the evening light began to fade I read some articles from a copy of Reader's Digest which was older than me, then returned it to the shelf where I had found it and went up to bed. I slept very well in Crosben cottage.

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