Digest>Archives> August 2003

Light Reflections

The Goldfish Bowl

By Sharma Krauskopf


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Living at a lighthouse is a fantastic experience and many people tell me how much they envy me. Experience has taught me there is no place that is absolutely perfect. Living at Eshaness is not an exception. The negative ingredient about living here can be summed up in one word - tourists.

I have gotten used to living in a house where someone is always walking around it, pointing and inspecting what I have in my yard, taking pictures from all angles and stopping me to talk just about every time I go out to hang up my washing on the line. Most of the time I do not even notice them. A true old saying fits this situation - “You can get used to anything.” I do become more aware of the activity when I have company because they are not as conditioned to it as me so they are constantly bringing my attention to all the people around. It is truly like living in what is a great deal like a goldfish bowl.

When we bought Eshaness I knew tourists would be around since our property is part of one of the United Kingdom’s most beautiful seashores. What I did not expect was that some tourists cannot read or just ignore warnings. On the two walk-in gates to the lighthouse station we have a sign saying ‘Private House - Keep Out.’ The previous owners put up the sign. When we first moved in I thought the sign was a little extreme and considered taking it down. After five years I realize the importance of the sign and if I could, I would put up a bigger one printed in bright red but add please to make it sound a little friendlier.

It is not uncommon to be sitting in my living room or as happened the other day talking to a friend on the telephone to look up and see someone staring in my window. I have to be honest it makes me livid. Eshaness is my home so I consider those people trespassers and no better than peeping Toms. What would you do if someone came to your house, pressed their face against the window and stared inside? More than likely you would call the police. I could call the police but it takes 30 minutes for them to get here and by then the people would be long gone.

I know everyone reading this loves lighthouses and most like to look inside the buildings. BUT, and that is a big BUT, if the property is posted ‘private’ or ‘keep out’ please do exactly that. The property is posted for a reason. It could be because you might disrupt something important, you might even be in danger if you enter, or as in our case it just might be someone’s home. If it is private home just ask yourself this question. “How would you feel if people were peeking in your window?”

This story appeared in the August 2003 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.

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