Blair House: plans, dreams and pretty things

I wrote in my previous post about the field centre, Blair House. Long loved and now in my possession and awaiting refurbishment, I hope that next year it will buzz with children, scientists, old friends, new friends, discovering the beauty and biodiversity of Glen Doll.

There are many aspects to the refurbishment of Blair House. One is that after years of talking about such things, I want it to be an example of excellence of an environmentally-friendly building. But another thing is funding it.

Perhaps I should have anticipated this moment by spending years learning to be a crack environmental property developer, but I haven’t, I’ve been designing Christmas cards and historical maps and writing novels. Now it’s time to turn all that creativity to good account because these are all available to buy, and all proceeds will go towards Blair House. They’re only small amounts, but all the little contributions add up and begin to make all the difference between impossible and possible.


If you have a Kindle, check out my new novel Ursula. It’s only £2.58, of which I receive about 70%, and it’s the best way you can support Blair House because I don’t have to do any work (eg posting it!), and because every sale boosts its Kindle ranking and thereby encourages others. Also, people seem to think it’s quite good. For example a slight literary acquaintance who wanted to support Blair House was surprised to discover it was “beautifully written and very funny” and (good heavens) his “book of the year”. Like me, Ursula is a bit difficult to categorise, you just have to read it and find out. I’d also be most grateful if you left a rating or review on Amazon.

Christmas Cards

I’ve always designed my own Christmas cards, and for the past ten years I’ve been designing them on commission and to sell, and now have around 25 designs here in my online Shop.

They are packed with references to Christmas carols, history, poetry, biodiversity and Edinburgh. There are angels dancing in San Gimignano, Father Walter Scott with mice, John Donne with a polar bear, Magi on bicycles, stained glass, choirs, spiders in santa hats, a whole series of very creative commissions featuring a spaniel, calligraphy, watercolour illustration, and Celtic and Medieval illumination. Each year there are a new designs, including this year one celebrating the conclusion of my PhD, featuring Christmas in Regency Edinburgh.

Have a browse.

Layers of Edinburgh

My final fundraiser is the historical map of Edinburgh’s Old Town I created in the year I decided to become a historian rather than an illustrator. It contains as much history, literature and pictorial jokes as I could possibly fit onto one A3 sheet of paper, folded into a postcard-size pocket-map. Can you follow the walking route? Can you find the unicorn? buy one — or to hell with it, buy five!

Blair House

Whether you like the look of Ursula, Christmas cards or Layers of Edinburgh, all these things will help to enable me to re-open Blair House as a warm and environmentally friendly field centre to inspire new generations in Glen Doll. Buy them – if you like them – and tell your friends. If you have questions or want larger quantities, Twitter @eleanormharris is always a good way to get hold of me, or email