How long have you owned the bothy for?
It has been in the family for ages. My grandfather bought it in about 1950, when he was stationed with the army in Edinburgh. Whilst he was there he made friends with people who came from the north of Scotland. They would take him up to the Highlands, and as a result he fell in love with fishing.
When did you start renovating it?
We inherited it about 15 years ago. It had electricity but apart from that was really very basic. It used to be a fishing bothy that was part of a large estate. The ghillies would stay in the bothy, and there were also stables for the horses because the fishermen would be taken up and down the river in a cart.
Tell us about the renovation process.
When we first started, we dragged all the original furniture outside and painted a sign saying ‘For Sale’. We sold all of it – antique dealers came out of the woodwork and bought up everything. The only thing we kept were the fish trays which we now hang cups from in the kitchen.
With the money we made, my daughter and I set to work sanding the floors and painting the interior. When we ran out of paint we would have to drive down to south of Inverness, and meet a distributor on the A9 to replenish resources.
The whole project has been a bit like the Forth Road Bridge; the minute one thing is fixed, another thing breaks. It’s been a labour of love, but great fun.
Where is all the existing furniture from?
It’s all either been passed down to me, or I’ve picked it up somewhere along the epic 12-hour drive between Sutherland and London. The fishing reels, which are now hanging above the fireplace, belonged to my grandfather.
Jeanetta is an expert rummager and previously ran an antiques shop. She is now the founder of nettlescashmere.com, which sells vintage cashmere pieces that have been customised with antique lace and ribbon.
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