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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

The Three Princes of Serendip did it again!


They were always making accidental discoveries of things they were not in quest of. As did I when, just after I had read and watched Gavin Maxwell's book and movie Ring of Bright Water once again, I was standing in my favourite second-hand bookshop and serendipitously found myself gazing at the spine of a book that read, "Island of Dreams - A Personal History of a Remarkable Place - Dan Boothby".

Dan Boothby had been adrift for more than twenty years, looking for but never quite finding the perfect place to land. Finally, in July 2005, quite unexpectedly an opportunity presented itself to live on Eilean Bàn where Gavin Maxwell had installed himself in some splendour in the converted lighthouse keepers’ cottage after a fire had wiped out Camusfeàrna.

Dan worked for his rent – as warden, tour guide, curator, caretaker - and must've fallen in love with the island because he stayed for two years. His book Island of Dreams is an enthralling literary pilgrimage to the memory of Gavin Maxwell.