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Saturday, 29 August 2009

Thunder in the Glens.

Once a year the various chapters of the Harley Owners clubs of Scotland descend on Aviemore for a weekend. Kilts, bagpipes, leather, sewn on patches, ponytails and big bikers everywhere. The town came to a standstill for half an hour this morning as the ride out took place, literally hundreds of bikes thundering up to Grantown, the smell of burnt petrol and bass boom of exhausts in the air, then back to Aviemore for rock covers and ale. The house is already booked for this week in 2010.

Going on the experience of people who stay here I have a couple of recommendations. A Belgian family came and went to the wildlife hide on Rothiemurchus where they put out food for the badgers and pinemartins and you can see owls, red deer and roe deer. They also went to the Rothiemurchus fishery and have promised me a photo they took of an Osprey taking a trout already hooked by a fisherman.

Both that party and the one here now (and others before) have employed the services of the chef Allan Heaney (One Pot Borrowed). He trained with Raymond Blanc and has been doing a superb job, not only making all the meals but baking bread with the guests in the afternoon and making the kitchen his own. I highly recommend him, he knows the area, the best local suppliers, and the kitchen is a scene of professional serenity when he is in it. He starts at £150 a day, more if he needs extra staff, but between 15 people that's conspicuously good value, I wouldn't go on holiday without him.

Friday, 21 August 2009

Yurt Building Course

Full details of the Yurt building course, September 4th to the 6th, are available here. Email if you are interested.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

The Ord Ban Insider Sessions.

Post Insider there is a new player in the Aviemore live music scene. Ord Ban brought the The John Langan Band and Woodenbox with a fistful of fivers to town and put on a great knees up in the restaurant with a strong local turn out, good food and ale and an excellent atmosphere. Here's hoping they do it more often, it's got to be good for Aviemore to have that sort of quality play here. During the afternoon Woodenbox came round to Inshriach and, in a bit of a break from our normal business, they recorded their next video by the river and a number of instruments met a sticky end, I have put some photos on our Flickr page.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Yurts and Strings.

Paul Millard from Red Kite Yurts came back last weekend, if ever there was a proficient camper he is it, arriving with a nest of Persian rugs and cushions and a gem of an 8ft yurt enveloped by burgundy canvas and beautiful oak spars. We came up with a few ideas. We are going to start by holding a workshop at Inshriach on 5th September covering the basics of yurt assembling, steam bending an oak crown and the spars, a bit of a history lesson, all probably washed down with an ale or two. The course will be £75 per person and anyone coming from further afield is welcome to pitch a tent. By next year we hope to have the necessary permissions to put three beautifully kitted yurts on Inshriach as an addition to the house rental. That will mean a compost loo, a camp kitchen and jobs for a few crafty individuals toward the end of this year...

Two weeks in a row I take my hat off to Linda Jolly and Carrbridge Arts, this time for The Dragon Strings ensemble at Loch Morlich. Not highbrow by any stretch but good clean fun, with this beautiful backdrop, and they went to the trouble of bringing a Cow Parade cow to stand in the loch.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Local and not so local news.

Two really entertaining things have happened in Aviemore recently. The soapbox race came down the ski road from the Cairngorms, only a little event this year, with around 26 teams driving everything from slick ecomonical little spaceframes to sheds, but there was good enthusiasm and sponsorship from an energy drink, GoFast, who gave me this picture because we (as Backwoods event bars and the Cairngorm brewery) were sat at the bottom and only saw the carts drift by the finishing line. Maybe next year, with some on track footage and a bit of entertainment at Glenmore it could be a good little event. It must be quite a rush that road.

I missed the market of Optimism put on by Carrbridge Arts and should have been there. I don't seem to be able to pinch a picture from their flickr page so the only thing I can do is to point you to their website or to Fergus Thom's excellent photos and let you draw your own conclusions. It looks like a lot of fun.

Only a small matter of 525 miles away I would like to congratulate everyone involved in Standon Calling, it's a bit of a journey these days but you moved the game on again. A good few of the people who helped renovating Inshriach House or organising the Insider were involved, about half the people I know were there, probably most of the people who read this, and it was an absolutely excellent weekend if you like that sort of thing.