Sunday, 13 September 2009
The BBC design crew took advantage of the beautiful weather yesterday and hired a 4 seater Cessna from Inverness Airport. Our friend and sometime colleague Jamie Morris teaches at the flying school there and he took us up over the Cairngorms, over Loch Ness and back along the Spey Valley for a low fly by on Inshriach (shown here). An absolutely beautiful and exhilarating day and if you fancy doing the same it comes in at around £200 an hour (you get from Inverness to Aviemore in 15 minutes). Give me a bell and I can arrange it.
Wednesday, 9 September 2009
Last weekend we hosted the first Inshriach / Red Kite yurt building course. Paul would usually run a one day course covering all the techniques required to build a yurt, steam bending the poles and crown in oak, building a door and frame and a bit of a lesson in the culture and traditions associated with these nomadic dwellings. We decided to run for the whole weekend and set ourselves the challenge of building an entire 16 foot yurt, frame, door, poles, spars, rafters and crown.
Paul arrived late Friday, by which time we had cleared the workshop of the stacks of timber I have built up for potential projects. Nitsen and Lucy from Spirits Intent, outstanding yurt builders (and true exponents of nomadic ways, living, as they do, in a pair of beautifully converted 4x4 Mercedes trucks), happened to be pulled up at Loch Morlich on a travel round Scotland so they joined us for Saturday and we took to our task with 6 students guided by 4 professionals. We steamed the poles and the crown, burnt the holes for the rafters with a red hot poker and if Ian and I hadn't got so carried away on the door we would have had it finished. The resulting yurt is a thing of beauty. We provided the food, mostly from the vegetable garden, and Paul brought a complete yurt which we set up on the lawn for folk to stay in. We made another little film which I will edit down when I get the chance.
The weekend was such a pleasure we are planning another and we had best get it in before the weather starts to close. Saturday 3rd October if you are interested, £75 for the day and you are welcome to camp here the night before or after, B&B available for anyone not ready for canvas. There are lots of not particularly brilliant pictures on our flickr page, I will try to add some that show the frame and the door.
Monday, 7 September 2009
Over the last year information has gathered on the internet, from many sources but led and obviously encouraged by us in the name of marketing, which communicates the ethos, the aesthetics and the experience around Inshriach. There are films, photographs, articles and reviews, credits in magazines and album covers and listings with agencies all of which paint a picture, in their small ways, of the experience that can be found here. Really the only thing that you can't do online these days is feel the beds. On the whole our guests do their research, arrive with their expectations and leave delighted and a year into the business we are settling into a cycle. Our latest party (experienced anglers) have booked for two weeks to catch both spring and autumn next year, they are among repeat bookings peppering the year and we are garnering a growing, varied and charming cross section of supporters.
On the flip side we had another group recently from whom we drew criticism from every angle despite our best efforts. My advice is this. If you take worn damask on a hundred year old sofa as a flaw and don't see why we keep the original Edwardian carpets (however worn) or you don't allow that occasionally an old house may ask of you a little patience or ingenuity, or realise that a bit of composting and some economy lightbulbs are probably the very least you should be doing these days, you may not see much magic here. There are plenty of other houses in Scotland you may prefer to choose (perhaps with lots of new furniture and a slightly taller aga).
I really recommend that anyone coming here reads this article in the Guardian, then looks at these pictures (or any others that those link to, feel free to rummage) and satisfies themselves that this is the place for them.
Attached above is a photo of Ed, a member of the group doing the double next year. He sent a selection of photos of their fishing here attached to an email which opened;
Just wanted to say a huge thank you for last week.
We loved the house and all the fantastic meals cooked up by Allen. The fishing was the best river fishing we have done to date and we loved every moment of it. I am missing it already...
I guess you win some, you lose some, and thankfully we win most of the time.