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Saturday, 31 May 2008

Another foal.

Of the half dozen that are due over the next few weeks, and the sky really is that colour today.

I caught a little sea trout last night, a beautiful silvery fish, it was too small to eat and sadly it had gulped the fly too deep for me to unhook it alive. I then lost the same fly (a favourite sedge) to a tree just out of reach and fell in the river with my waders on, such is the way with fate.

Going green.

We have been thinking about a successor to the oil fired boiler. The cheapest to run would be log fired, but I'm not sure I can do daily fire duty (certainly if we ever get a winter holiday the pipes will freeze) and when the house is rented I'm not huge on the idea of stoking someone else's bath. That means a wood chip system with a hopper, the fuel is local, cheaper than oil and its cost not subject to the vagaries of world politics, plus the green aspect is very appealing. The only obvious downside is that it's twice the cost to install....

The ideal conclusion to this idea (as pondered in an oil fired bath) would be to be take the house off the grid altogether. We have no gas, our water already comes from a spring on the mountain (delicious and potentially power generating), its windy and we have a big flat roof suitable for solar. Only the AGA lets the side down, has anyone tried to run one on veg oil?

Suggestions on all the above would be very welcome.

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

George and Jeremy.

Im a bit behind here but congratulations to George and Jeremy on their wedding, it couldn't have happened to nicer folk. Jeremy has been following my musings here, it was he who told me how to Parma the pig and as a test of whether he is still following me on their honeymoon, this is an open invite for you and whosoever you may choose to come fishing.

Choc and Knock.

Three things of note have happened over the last few days. Tim White and Jonny Page completed their 6 day fishathon having caught an astonishing 103 trout (returning all but 3), 4 small sea trout and 3 salmon parr. Thanks also to Jim Cornfoot (who along with the late Hugh Falkus can be counted among the wise old men of the Inshriach water) for giving us a day of his time to walk the upper beats. It has been a lovely, educational experience having such enthusiasts here.

The Chocstar tour was another treat, Petra hit us with a rich fudgey pudding and we returned the favour with pheasant, venison and a dinner party to christen the dining room followed by breakfast of wild brown trout, then a monster of a walk and all topped off with a dollop of lock in at the tea room next door.

Charlie was headlining Knockengorroch with Capercaillie over the weekend so Molly and I packed for a field and headed for Dumfries. What a fabulous little festival, folky and funky and fun, followed by a visit to the Graffiti project at Kelburn, a night camping on the beach on Bute and now a wholesome gathering back at Inshriach that will probably last most of this week.

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

The Chocolateer

Petra's Chocstar secret supper tour of Britain is coming to Aviemore today Tim and Jonny are off to catch trout for our supper. Tim says a huge brown followed his minnow across the march pool this morning and rather than keeping the 30 odd under one pounders they have caught in the last few days they are holding out for the big fellas.

My mother hates this hat.

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

The week of the baby.

Congratulations to Ben and Kristen on the birth of a baby boy, to Gus and Pippa on the announcement of their pregnancy and to the white mare outside the kitchen which looks much more comfortable after giving birth to a foal this morning. The foal popped right in front of a fisherman, Tim White, who was bowled over, it is all legs and no balance.

Saturday, 17 May 2008

How to trout.

Jonny Page has returned. As with his last visit we hardly see him from dawn till dusk. Yesterday he caught 7 brown trout, returning all but the one he later stuffed with fresh ginger and baked. Today he caught 16, 3 of which were good eating size, before being joined by his godfather Tim and heading back out. The sun is now setting and while Helen, Matt and I are about to have a whisky and watch a movie, they are lurking at the pylon pool hoping for sea trout.

The orange in the background of this picture will form the basis of a later post.

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Some more firsts for the year.

Climbed a mountain. Henry, Dee and I climbed into the northern corries of the Cairngorms with the sun shining and the last of the snow still sitting in the shadows. In a few weeks I'm going to try for the ridge above, between the vertiginously named Lurchers Crag and the Cairn Lochan, which will have amazing views both into the Spey Valley and into the great Glen, the Lairig Ghru.

After hours we (mostly Henry obviously) built the Inshriach website. Not a first for Henry but amazing nonetheless.

Monday, 5 May 2008

A weekend of firsts.

Adding to our firsts today we have had...

Swimming in the river, the Feshie in this case, filled with meltwater from the mountains and ohmygawd cold. Video to follow.

Squash, first attempt was wearing hiking boots because we happened to be walking past, then Henry and I returned today with more suitable attire. There are quite a few chunks falling out of the business wall of the court (the one that supposed to be flat) so every now and then the ball goes somewhere totally unpredictable. For the time being if you expect your squash to be competition standard I'm afraid I have to recommend you find alternative accommodation.

Classic Cars and unsuitable boats.

The Celtic Malts classic car rally came growling past the bottom of the drive on Saturday morning, everything from 1920s Bentleys and Lagondas, via old Mercs, BMWs and Austin Healeys to 1970s 911s and Escorts, 120 less any retirees. The Inshriach leg was on the last day of a 2000 mile event so there were a few drawn faces in the less forgiving machines. This has stirred me for getting the MG finished (I hear a sigh of resignation from those of you who know the full saga of heap).

We have visitors this week, Harry, Henry and Dee. Henry is doing stirling work getting the website ready and then all of us are taking in some Springtime. We took the boat from the loch, a comedy Norwegian rowing boat, borrowed an inflatable canoe, dropped them both in at Kincraig and paddled home along the Spey. Never have 2 such unsuitable vessels taken to the river but we covered the 4 miles with only one near death / drowning experience and sploshed and squelched our way back across the fields to the house.