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  • Kylie Sprott

You may be right, I may be crazy...

What sort of lunatic buys a flat on the other side of the world, sight unseen, simply because it is in the same street that her Scottish gran lived in? Well, it turns out that I am just that kind of lunatic.

Back in June 2022 (2 short months ago), I visited Rothesay on the Isle of Bute, where my Gran grew up with her family. They left when she was 15 in 1920, bound for a completely different life in Australia. I had been there once before, 30 something years ago, for a flying visit with my then boyfriend. But this time I stayed longer and quite simply, I fell in love with the place.

I became fascinated with the life that my Gran led on Rothesay, and how devastating it must have been for her to leave and never return. The contrast between Rothesay, a Victorian seaside holiday resort on the Scottish Isle of Bute, and a farm on the Darling Downs of Queensland, Australia, could not be more acute. Is it any wonder that she pined for this beautiful place?

So, when my thoughts turned to what it would be like to own a little piece of Rothesay, I was completely delighted to discover an attic flat for sale in the very same street that she lived in - Mount Pleasant Road. It didn't take me long to spring into action. When I realised that a body of water surrounding the Isle of Bute was called "Kyles of Bute", I was convinced it was a sign! Madness, maybe...

I remembered something else too. I remembered a truly stunning interiors shop in Rothesay called "The Green", with a beautiful soul at its helm, Trish. I remembered how much I enjoyed talking to her and how I admired her sense of style. I decided that Trish would be my partner in crime on this journey - so I set out to make contact with her to see if she would be interested in helping me with the interiors of this flat. Luckily, she understood my kind of crazy and was just as excited as me!

So, with Trish (& her partner Shaun) fully enlisted, I bought my little piece of Rothesay, with the help of Gianna, Scottish solicitor extraordinaire! And within a relatively short period of time, I was returning to Scotland to pick up the keys to my new flat.

My family were a little shocked, but supportive. My friends were equal parts amused and excited. But most of all, I was completely thrilled at the idea of having a wee home a mere 100 metres from my Gran's house. I was also full of anticipation at the idea of finding out more about her and her family.

As soon as possible, I found myself back on a plane, bracing myself for the long journey back to Scotland. After a quick night of rest in Glasgow, I was on the train, heading for Wemyss Bay.

As soon as I landed, I walked to Gianna's office, and thanked her for her help. Gianna was as delightful in person as she had been on the phone and via her many emails. I thanked her profusely and then headed off to Bute Property to pick up the keys.

A short walk later, I was bounding into The Green and hugging Trish. After much jumping up and down, I managed to introduce myself to Shaun and the three of us made the short journey to my new flat.

And here I am! Looking as proud as punch - but perhaps also a little overwhelmed at the work that is ahead of us.

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