Late last year Cailean suggested that he, Cathleen and I go to Uist for a long weekend in the summer - something we hadn’t done before and something that he thought his Mum would particularly enjoy as she hadn’t been back to her home territory for a few years.
I found what I thought looked like a very nice little cottage to rent and made the ferry bookings and on Friday we arrived at the Stone House in Loch Eyenort which was every bit as good as we had anticipated.
However when we walked into the lovely open plan upstairs room with wide picture windows looking both north and south we found , sitting on the table by the binoculars , a copy of a book of old photographs with a sticker on the front which told guests that the house they were in featured in two of them.
The book was my second one on Werner Kissling and it was a huge surprise to see it and to realise that I had chosen these pictures from Kissling’s widespread and uncatalogued archive only to find myself , almost twenty years on, staying in one of the places he had pictured a few years before the Second World War.
Morag who owns the house hadn’t made the connection till this morning but was delighted and has asked me to sign the book which I will do.
Last night I walked up the road a little and looked back to see if I could work out where Kissling would have stood with his little Leica (he always used they same camera, and always had his film developed by the same company in London) to get the first shot, of which the second is a close up (though separately taken of course as there was no zoom on the Leica).
The road has shifted position , and would only have been a track then. There has also been demolition and new build but I could vaguely see where the front structure was. I would have to spend a lot longer and try a few different places before I could be sure of course.
The Stone House has also been wonderfully reconstructed and I am still delighted not just at the serendipity but also at our lucky choice.
We will be back.