Phoenix from the Ashes - Book Launch at Lagavulin Islay

'Good will come of this.' I don't know why I said that... the fire crew walked back down the hill - there was nothing they could do. As we stood there watching the house collapse in flames, I put my arms around Linda, who was sobbing uncontrollably. All we owned now were the old clothes in which we stood, and an old car for which we no longer had a key.... These were the words of Justin and Linda (picture) who moved to Islay five years ago and who now live at Torrabus Farmhouse, on the road to Bunnahabhain.

After a fire destroyed their house, Justin and his wife Linda irrationally decided to build a 15-ton classic yacht, as complete amateurs - starting with the trees. Working under the watchful eye of local sheep farmers who gave freely of their advice, how could they possibly fail? Once built, they set off for seven years aboard the prettiest boat you've ever seen to search out the hidden paradises and wildernesses in Scotland, France, Cornwall and Ireland, meeting the quirky, sometimes odd, but always entertaining characters who inhabit the shoreline. Continue reading....

Justin Ruthven-Tyers wrote a book about their extraordinary story. Justin said "the book is mainly about our lifestyle; foraging for haute cuisine dinners along the sand at low water, and meeting the quirky, sometimes odd, but always interesting strangers on the shore."

Phoenix from the Ashes is published on Thursday March 1st by Bloomsbury and a launch party is being hosted by Lagavulin, in the Malt Mill building on the same day, at 7:30 - 9:30pm. Everyone is welcome - we'd love to see them. At the Lagavulin launch there will be a welcome dram, followed by a short illustrated talk, and signed copies of the book Phoenix from the Ashes will be available at £8.99. The book is also available via Amazon

BBC Radio Scotland will be broadcasting a live interview with us beginning just before 11am on the same day. And you can still hear their Radio 4 broadcast which went out on Saturday 11th February as a podcast here: (their audio begins at 10 mins : 15 seconds).