'A sense of humour lends you poise, it gives you balance and it helps you to bend without breaking'

(HH Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda)

Menootanabootagain - the Northern Explorer

Prior to heading up that way, I did a 'sticky beak' online of property and how it compares down over here on the West coast; it is more pricey even in the remoter parts - mainly because of a major arterial road (A9) and the only city of the North, Inverness, being within reach. Commuter reach.

It was sheer curiosity on my part, but I have to share with you the one which caught at my heart and imagination; it was but five minutes drive from Skelbo, in the wee town of Embo... Apart from the big caravan park by the beach, this once thriving fishing place is now a sleepy little nook which is positively idyllic. The beach is the main attraction now (more on that another time); but one evening Mac1 and I took ourselves down to have a mooch around 'Hope Cottage'...

We did not go inside (for a glimpse of that, look here), but we gave it a thorough external examination!

As you can tell, it is a faded beauty, a shabby-chic little gem, much in need of TLC and possibly some major surgery. Well beyond even pipe-dreams of the YAMster - but hey, can you blame me for ogling it???

What it did do, though, was cause me to go digging, as is my wont. The write up on the advertising spoke of a 'local poet and writer' who had been published. R J Mackay, though, seems to have been a person of variable reputation! One of his poems was put to music (listen here). Mainly, he was the shop keeper.

As you will see from the comment to the photo (HERE), it is debatable whether it actually depicts RJM. Additional info here... It appears that RJ was born in 1901, so just how recently he was actually the owner of Hope Cottage is uncertain - even allowing for a long and full life, one imagines that it passed from his care at least by the turn of the twenty first century. I cannot trace anything about family (though he was married). Certainly someone has been living here, as it is not entirely neglected - but it is quite likely it has simply served as a holiday home for a distant city dweller.

Through that local history site, a lot was learned about old Embo and its appeal only grew stronger.


  1. What a lovely and garden and the curb appeal is evident. Such good construction and 'bones' as they like to say here on the House Hunter shows.
    I wandered through the interior per link. How very quaint and in the right hands it could be returned to its glory with of course a major kitchen update. The surround on the fireplace was beautiful. All this the job for a young enthusiastic carpenter/architect/designer.
    It is charming
    Hugs HiC

  2. I would love to live in such a sweet little place too.

  3. Home looks so welcoming...Coffee is on

  4. oh the house and the garden... I wish it would be mine.... (hope the lottery fairy listened to me LOL)

  5. The house looks just adorable, although its proximity to other properties ruins it somewhat for me. And by the looks of it, it would need some serious financial input as well. Mainly decorating in the bedrooms/living room, but the kitchen could do with a bit of an overhaul as well. If you buy it though, I would be quite willing to come and strip wallpaper if you want...

  6. Hello, I love the cute cottage and the pretty garden. What a lovely place, I could live there. Happy Monday, enjoy your new week!

  7. The cottage and garden are a delight, little gems just wanting a bit of polish. Or not; shabbiness may have its own charm.

  8. It's beautiful! I'm glad you poked around.
    Good research. It's amazing how myths abound. Like our Oliver's Ferry, who purportedly murdered his hotel guests in (now) Rideau Ferry! cheerio!

  9. Lots of character. My hubby would be hitting his head all the time at 6'2".


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