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Thursday, 23 December 2010

Christmas B&B.

Due to the New Year cancellation we are running an offbeat B&B at Inshriach from the 26th December to the first full booking towards the end of January. It is £70 per night for a double or £40 for a single over a minimum of two nights. For a few days either side of Hogmanay you can expect breakfast to be late / self serviced and there may be a certain amount of compulsory / unavoidable party involvement so don't even ask to stay if that's not your bag. The house is as good as full for those 4 days anyway (unless I know you well in which case I will probably squeeze you in somewhere), even the yurt is already booked out. We are going to the Old Bridge Inn to see Insider favourites the John Langan band stomping their way to the bells.

In January the slopes will be empty of the holiday crowd and it could look like it did yesterday...

I can only take bookings pretty late in case the whole house rents out and I like to talk to people on the phone. Please look at the website - if you expect mini tea and biscuit facilities in your bedroom you are in the wrong place. If you want a quirky, creative, relaxed and atmospheric apres ski, give us a call.

Or if you have finished digesting your Christmas enough to marshall your family and friends you could take the whole house for a long weekend in January for £1500 (plus a chef if you want to keep the festive indulgence rolling).

Monday, 13 December 2010

Another New Year Cancellation.

With only a fortnight to go we have had another New Year Cancellation, concerns about snowy travelling conditions from the far end of the country being cited this time. If we don't get a full week rented out by the end of this week (the 20th) we will have our own private B&B party. The Inshriach New Year parties have become the stuff of legend, we just fancied a year off to go to the Old Bridge Inn...

Sunday, 28 November 2010

It looks like snow.

Due to popular demand we have continued renting the yurt into November (and beyond, it's already taken for New Year and the start of January). The snow came in hard yesterday with the best part of a foot falling during the day, then the temperature dropped to minus 8 overnight. Last year this sort of weather didn't arrive until well into December. The yurters who arrived 2 nights ago weren't expecting it, not a thread of goretex did they have and yet they assure me that with the woodburner going and the candles lit it was a cosy mini adventure, insulated by snow and wine.

Meanwhile Davie Cameron at the smithy has run up a new snowplough for our ancient Massey Ferguson. The plough happened to be ready yesterday morning and it already looks like I might spend a lot this winter trundling around the place backwards.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

There's been a murrderr...

For the murder mystery fans amongst you we now have this bedroom plan of Inshriach House courtesy of the lovely Henry Ryder. Next up - adapting the ground floor plan (which is pretty much exactly like a Cluedo board anyway) into the game itself. Uncle Arthur, in the library, with the French Maid etc etc...

Monday, 15 November 2010

New Year cancellation.

Its a beautiful frosty morning, the ski area opened at the weekend and we just had a cancellation for New Year which means we are going to offer the week from Monday 27th December to Monday 3rd January for £3500 rather than the usual £4000. The week over Christmas is also available at the same price and if you fancy grabbing a bargain week on the slopes there are still a couple of weeks available either late December or in January at £2000 per week or £1500 for a long weekend.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

The Backwoods Bonfire.

Went off with a bang. 120 odd folks came along, Dutch Indie band Moss and The Levee Strollers entertained, we had an enormous bonfire with a spectacularly priapic guy on top and we set off fireworks from the Backwoods bar. Huge thanks to Richard Muirhead and his crew for coming all the way from London with lights, PA and everything to make the party possible.

Thankfully Metcheck got it wrong and it was a crisp and clear night.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Bonfire Night.

This Friday the Insider presents bonfire night at the Backwoods stage. There are buses to and from the Old Bridge Inn and we are being joined by the Dutch band Moss plus Tom Stearn and Louis Linklater from Admiral Fallow and guest DJs. The castle bar will be open for business and we have a spit roast and mulled cider on the go.

Metcheck are predicting prevailaing winds of 287mph gusting to 344mph and it's going to be dark so it wont be at all like this picture taken at the Insider. Wear plastic trousers.

Monday, 1 November 2010


We seem to be attracting the more alternative weddings to Inshriach, there are 6 already in the diary for next year. If you are thinking of getting married here are a few suggestions. One wedding is taking place at the Backwoods stage and another is a humanist celebration in the garden. One wedding is going to use these fabulous tipis from Highland Tipis and another is using this 42ft yurt from our friends at Red Kite Yurts.

We had amazing results from Helen Abraham on the photographs for a couple of weddings this year, and she has been back up to take photos of the yurt and the Insider.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

For weddings.

We had 3 weddings here in 2009, each in a different location, a smaller tent on the lawn, a bigger tent in the field, each reflecting the style and budget of the betrothed. The locations were all well and good but it has always struck me that if we could fit a floored, 100 x 40 ft marquee where the Henhouse stage for the Insider was that would make the ideal location. We have already done beautiful things with lighting the oak trees behind, we know where the loos and generator go, plus there is already a bar and barbeque shack there. An added bonus in flattening the field is that everyone would look less tottering drunk come festival time.

So another day another barter and Marcus MacBean from the local smithy was round with one if his collection of ancient catterpillars. There are already 3 weddings booked in for next year, none of which are lined up for this spot. Next step - lots and lots of grass seed.

If you want a wedding here our facility fee starts at £1000, you have to rent the main house as well (so make a holiday of it and get the family to contribute) but I know everyone you need to make it happen.

Saturday, 25 September 2010

News from the Workshops.

Another sideline that has grown at Inshriach over the last year is my status as charitable mechanic to anyone I like who is daft enough to own a classic British motor. Hot on the heels of the MGB gentleman's racer (finished but running horribly after a 2000 mile shakedown) is this 1994 mini sprite. It was put into dry storage with 5600 miles on the clock and I have recommissioned it with new brake and clutch cylinders, a carb rebuild, wheels, tyres and some other bits and bobs and once it gets its MOT it will be for sale. These little things are appreciating fast and this one is perfect, hopefully it can get to £6000.

Thankfully we now have a full time mechanic living at Inshriach. Kyle can fix your car too, for very reasonable rates, especially if it is a classic. Next up for us here is a 1958 Landrover. Then another MGBGT in for some attention over the winter. Then hopefully we can get onto converting my old Landcruiser FJ to a Chevrolet V8 engine. We might well go into classic car rental next year, time, funds, suitable cars and garage space permitting.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

News from the River.

The Page party who were here last week of August (and the last week of last August, and who have promised to be here for the last week of every August) had an extremely productive time by the river. This 5lb sea trout and 8.5lb salmon were the choice fish but they also had a 5lb salmon and a monster 5lb brown trout, plus a good hundred smaller trout. They also had Allan Heaney in to fully cater their entire holiday so the house was a scene of utter civilization at every mealtime. Jim Broadbent is one of our 21 season permit holders and he took a further 4 grilse during the second week of August and reports from further down the Spey suggest it has been a strong year all round for sea trout.

All of which is much more fishily recreational and relaxing than the epic window refurbishment currently underway on the cottages, all of which will look absolutely beautiful once we are done.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

The Inshriach Panther (part II).

Everyone thought I was joking but the BBC now say otherwise. Then my neighbour saw it snooping around his house and I'm reliably informed that a local photographer has got close enough to get a picture of it which I will post here as soon as it is released.

Now we have had a last minute spate of bookings through September. I don't yet know whether the Scottish big cat spotting community are closing in.

Friday, 27 August 2010

Bed and Breakfast.

I meant to mention this a while ago but we now have 8 weeks during which we will be running bed and breakfast in the big house. If you fancy it it starts at £80 per night for a double and £50 for a single, climbing a little if you fancy a four poster.

Very exciting news coming up on the fishing too, the party in the house right now have had a significant fish every day, an 8lb Salmon, then a 5 pounder, plus a 5 1/2lb brown and a 4lb sea trout. Pictures to follow.

Monday, 16 August 2010

The Great Wort Yank.

Spot the difference.

For some reason there is loads of Ragwort this year. Ragwort contains toxins that can build up in and damage the livers of horses so we are on a concerted mission to weed out all 100 plus acres of it. Its a repetitive, physical task offset in the agricultural scale by the pounds of wild raspberries, chanterelles, redcurrants, blackcurrants an cherries that are all in fruit. An epic simmering of jam is also underway.

Friday, 13 August 2010

The Insider.

This is a week for videos rather than words. Richard found himself sufficiently inspired by the Insider to put this together.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Monday, 26 July 2010

The Inshriach Panther.

Here's one for visitors to look out for. There have been recent sightings, as reported here by the Strathspey and Badenoch Herald, of a large cat believed to be a black panther. The last sighting was in the woods near the gates of Inshriach House. We deny it was anything to do with the entertainment for the wedding this weekend and our neighbours big furry cat Sampson denies ever coming this far from home but we will leave some food out and see if we can make friends. Watch this space for updates.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

3 weddings and the Heap.

July is the month of all things nuptial.

First up were Emily and Simon. They took the house for a long weekend and chose a humanist ceremony so everyone could wander out across the fields and they could get married here amongst the buttercups. Big Al (our favourite chef) fed everyone back on the lawn then we took off in glad rags and wedding togs to the ceilidh in Kincraig. They then spent a secluded and romantic wedding night in the yurt.

The second wedding was Richard and Marie's, old friends who have been coming to Inshriach for years. I was best man (Richard's stag took place at the Insider) and I needed suitable wheels to get the groom to Tiverton registry office, a small matter of 850 miles away. Long standing visitors will have met the Heap, a tweaked 1971 MGB that has followed me round the country untouched and in bits for the best part of a decade. A week of late nights in the workshop saw the Heap fail its MOT on Monday, slightly catch fire on Tuesday, pass a retest, then make the journey in one hit, in driving rain, without a roof.

Now I'm back and a field away there is a huge marquee set up in preparation for MP and Cristina's wedding, another tent on the lawn for the reception and the laws of physics are being twisted to allow all 185 guests to catch the action from Kincraig church (capacity 100)...

Friday, 9 July 2010

Since the Insider.

Thanks go out to the 800 odd people who made it along to the Insider, especially to those who played, worked so hard or tidied the place up. There are some fantastic pictures gathering on our flickr group and our facebook page. This is what the Scotsman had to say about it. There are further musical experiences in the pipeline for August.

Two weeks of tweaking and tidying later and things were normal enough for Simon and Emily's wedding. They went for a humanist ceremony in a field of waving buttercups. I will post a few pictures from that when I can.

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Best Boutique Festivals.

The Insider just had a very nice write up in the Caledonian Mercury and we have built this stage in the woods from scrap and Inshriach trees which I hope will be used for all sorts of fine entertainment in the future, like a hobbity Scottish Glyndebourne.

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Insider and the Yurt.

It has been a week of such activity I have been slow to spread the good press Inshriach and especially the yurt have achieved. This lovely article in the Times was the result of Tom and Catherine's visit last weekend and since then the yurt has been the scene of one fine party and one successful proposal. It also been in the Express. Some time this week it's in the Mail and rumour has it that Esquire are about to feature it. BA are running something about it in their inflight magazine, the Scotsman are heading this way soon

Since the Times article came out an Saturday we have confirmed the outstanding Daimh to headline our Sunday Insider Folk Session, following on from Macmaster and Hay and Charlie McKerron, and we are building an extraordinary stage in the woods.

For more details about the Insider have a look at the blog devoted to the festival, then book some tickets and join us.

Monday, 24 May 2010

Monty Zoomer and the Times.

The latest arrival here goes by the name of Monty Zoomer and is a pure Jocker Sprussel, sporting the head of a spaniel on the body of a Jack Russell. For the time being he is making a mess and trying to run without falling over himself.

He arrived just in time to be sweet and clumsy for Tom and Katherine Whipple who were writing a piece for the Times about a romantic and isolated weekend in the yurt. Its going into a camping supplement later this week. So much for isolation, it was a weekend of food and boats and walks and company, plus the ongoing Insider castle build. The yurt was resplendent with its pink doors and over the weekend they watched fascinated as a pair of wasps, seemingly oblivious to their presence, weaved a little nest in the roof, a papery shell with hexagonal compartments for eggs, which I have to now remove before the next rental.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010


St. John is a long time visitor to Inshriach and the face of the Inshriach fishing page. Yesterday he kept 4 beautiful brown trout. Maybe it's their diet, maybe the exercise from the constant current and occasional floods but the river trout taste far better than the fish from the stocked loch on the farm, firmer, fitter and with much more flavour.

We include fishing in the rental here but if you come fishing please bring your own equipment, we don't lend kit because inexperienced fishermen tend to lose or tangle it and experienced fishermen wouldn't want to use my quirky dated rubbish. Our stretch of the Spey is a shade under 3 miles, varied, scenic, technical but very rewarding once you get to know it.

Monday, 17 May 2010

Nothing like a deadline.

The first rental in the yurt arrived yesterday so this week has been a scene of frantic activity. We have carved out a bathroom in the farmyard for said yurters, had license meetings for the Insider and undertaken a major salvage operation on behalf of the festival (see Medieval Knieval). On top of that the Joe Acheson Quartet made an outstanding appearance at the Old Bridge Inn and to top it all off the yurt gained some cushioned, smoky pink velvet door liners studded with brass buttons.

Saturday, 15 May 2010

The Insider.

The Insider is now 5 weeks away, the license and the line up just need a polish and we are about to hit the highlands with our motley PR campaign.

Get your tickets at

Friday, 23 April 2010

Dawn of the Shred.

Last weekend Aviemore hosted the Vans Dawn of the Shred snowboard comp, a spectacular end to a season in which more snow fell in Aviemore than for the winter Olympics in Vancouver. In fact it's snowing again today and Inshriach is available for the first 2 weeks in May if anyone fancies a last minute shred of their own. Thanks to my neighbour Woody for the pic.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

The Firewood Festival

The Firewood festival deserves a little explaining.

The Insider proper and its line up starts on Friday but we are sharing some of the infrastructure with the National Park to organise a Festival of Firewood, woodworking and renewable energy. Its a free public day with talks, demonstrations, some yurts, good food and a few tunes. We will have schools in until 3 doing mask making, storytelling and friction firelighting so unless you are 12 or part of our crew we ask that you don't arrive until 4, after which those activities will continue but you can try your hand at pole lathing, woodworking and splitting and we will have some serious and some irreverent solutions to heating with wood, plus Ord Ban will be cooking on wood, Henry from the Woodland Orchestra will be conjuring up some rhythms and Bruce Luckhurst (who makes amazing stoves) is doing a fireshow. Its a good cause. And perhaps the electric car will offset my belching Land Rover a little.

If you hold an Insider ticket you are welcome to camp Thursday night but we are required to close the bar at 10pm in accordance with our license. You can stay up late on Friday.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Pretty in tents.

Last week was a rollercoaster for the yurt and a learning experience for myself. We had about 5 minutes of deceptively decent weather during which Helen Abraham got some lovely photos and they went into this article in the Guardian. It was a bit of a hurried mocking up for the photos and despite looking lovely the yurt was by no means finished, no door latches, not even put up very straight, and despite a late night (maybe Thursday) of bashing in fence posts and roping down the crown, it was not very cleverly pinned down.

Throughout the second and third day the snow came. By day four it was drifting 2 feet deep in the gateways and up the back of the yurt. Friday and Saturday the weather gave us a vital break (see below) but on Sunday the wind came whipping along the valley, squeezing the yurt out of shape and knocking off a door. Yesterday the wind picked up some more and when I went last night the whole structure had slipped its moorings and jumped back on its platform, scattering crockery and Victoriana and leaving me battling in the wind and encroaching darkness to dismantle the whole thing.

There was no damage to anything but its dignity but by the time it actually opens I'm going to tie it down using every single eyelet, stake and fencepost I can find...

While this was going on we also had a party on. Against the odds we put up a 60 foot marquee and on Saturday night it was fully lit and dressed and catered and floored and staged and contained 120 people (of which more later).

Despite the storms we not only got the yurt in the papers (good PR, even if this honest little write up probably negates some of that) but cleared enough snow to get the marquee up and despite one more major casualty (our catering tent ended up getting mangled) I think we got away with it.

I apologise for the pun but I know some people who will appreciate it.

Monday, 29 March 2010

The Yurt.

Very exciting news from the front, the yurt is complete and has taken up residence in the woods. It is a tardis of a thing, being very tall and shaped like a Christmas cake it looks small from the outside but once inside it is spacious and domed and airy. We scratched together a Victorian double bed, a wood burning stove, a little mahogany table and all the other furniture so that Helen Abraham could take some photos for a possible press scoop next weekend. I just need to cut a hole for the chimney, put some slats in the bed and caulk the gaps between the boards and it will be a cosy woodland getaway (outdoorsy couples preferred) or alternatively I can move the contents for more managerial encounters.

You can see photos from conception to completion on the the Inshriach Flickr page. Many thanks to Paul from Red Kite Yurts for running the courses last year and for being such a good sport. Most of his yurts, including a spectacular 36 footer (this is a fraction under 16) will be along for the Insider, of which more later, and we intend to run some more yurt building courses this year so if you are interested get in touch.

Once we get this finished, other than a few bookings I already have through the house or for the festival, it will be in the capable hands of Alastair Sawdays new operation, Canopys and Stars, who will handle our publicity and bookings.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Tom's Stag.

We wouldnt normally take stag parties at Inshriach but this weekend was for our good friend Tom and we were assured that we would have 17, ahem, impeccably behaved gents coming to stay. Bar a generous measure of Balvenie and a fridge full of food we didn't over plan, on Friday walking the 4 hours from Inshriach to Aviemore via the Inshriach Bothy, Loch an Eilean, tea, cakes and gin at Ord Ban and onto dinner at the Old Bridge.

Saturday we were picked up by John from Full on Adventure and taken white water rafting on the Findhorn which was high and hairy and swollen with meltwater. Then in the evening Allan from One Pot Borrowed once again excelled himself by coming round and cooking our bedraggled and slightly whisky tarnished party another exceptional meal in the house.

All in lovely weekend and a privilege to have hosted it, congratulations Tommy, see you at the wedding.

Sunday, 14 March 2010


This time last year I was working on Neil Marshall's Roman epic 'Centurion' which was being filmed all over the Spey Valley, Rothiemurchus, Glen Feshie and up to the Falls at Foyers. This trailer has just been released which makes holidaying in these parts in February a very tempting prospect.

Hopefully they will show this in the newly reopened and very smart Spey Valley Cinema in Aviemore.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Yurty Old Man.

Going on 6 months from the first Red Kite Yurts course at Inshriach the yurt is finally covered. It has a Victorian bed in it (just in need of restoring), from which you can see the stars through the crown. It has a wood burner made from old gas bottles, a door from old floorboards and a floor from old scaffold planks still to be polished up. The olive walls and the bothy furniture give it a real campaign feel. Within the month it will be in the woods and ready to rent out.

Thank you very much to everyone involved, especially Paul, Lucy and Nitsen for knowing what they were doing and Ian and Laura for coming all this way to get it moving. An honourable mention has to go to Dan for securing me a new web address;

Monday, 1 March 2010

Fire by friction.

Malcolm Handoll from 5 senses in Orkney came down last weekend and ran a one day course on making fire by friction, a method used since the stone age. We had a forage in the woods for birch bark and bracken, made some bows and nests of (pretty damp) grass and dry thistle and then sawed away until we had made a tiny ember to then coax into flames. It was a simple yet strangely satisfying day and with luck the workshops at Inshriach will be pressed into service for this and other bushcrafty activities through 2010.

Thursday, 25 February 2010

ICA award for the Insider.

The Insider, the music festival we run at Inshriach, has been nominated in the best live music event category at the ICA awards. If we win we promise to drink lots of champagne and make a very silly acceptance speech (hopefully it is that kind of party) so please vote for us here.

To whet your appetite here is the facebook page for Insider 2010 - a full website is in the pipeline.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

The other Thing.

Petal (the mean looking grey Landrover which is our closest approximation to an estate vehicle) has not featured in these pages for some time, her summer of filming and adventure curtailed by steadily deteriorating health. Eventually it was the gearbox that let go, a crunch, a grind and a bang during a futile attempt to tow out a snowbound neighbour left Petal stranded in a ditch, apparently for the winter. Despite it being well into the minuses last week and Mr Light snr being on holiday he insisted on donning the overalls and getting stuck straight into an engine swap. Now I have just details to sort out before Petal rides again. Mr Light I salute you.

Monday, 22 February 2010

The Thing.

THE [NEAR] THING from danlight on Vimeo.

The Inshriach House / Light family Swede is showing the signs of becoming a fine tradition, having now happened twice (see last years Lord of the Rings). This year the Sound of Music was ruled out because of a heavy dump of snow so John Carpenter's 'The Thing' got the treatment even though it will be 10 years before any of the cast are old enough to know what was going on.

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Yurts and the Piano.

A couple of excellent developments have occurred. The most satisfying is that I have finally finished the yurt we started on the yurt making courses last year. It is 16ft of steam bent loveliness and the cover for it is being made as I speak. A Victorian bed, some lanterns, a chaise longue and a woodburner and we have a woodland honeymoon suite. A collaboration is underway between ourselves, Alastair Sawdays publishing and Paul Millard from Red Kite Yurts, Paul was so taken by the woodland idea that he has given me another 16 footer to put up nearby and both will soon be available to rent, initially in a basic form but getting more luxurious as time and money allow.

The next lovely arrival is this beautiful Edwardian burr walnut upright piano in the hall which is just a tune short of a tune.

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Courses in Spring 2010

Malcolm Handoll from 5 senses is coming down from Orkney to run a one day bushcrafting and natural fire making course at Inshriach on the 20th February. There are 4 places left on the course and they are £70 each. Drop me an email or contact Malcolm if you are interested.

We are running a spoon carving course in conjunction with the National Park on the 28th February using local birch and coppiced wood. It's already sold out but we will see how it goes and probably organise another.

Next week I'm off to Callander to see Paul at Red Kite Yurts and get the beautiful 16 foot oak Yurt we made last year finished off. There will be various yurt activities on Inshriach during 2010, starting with another yurt making workshop on the 6th March, and a very exciting yurt camping scheme has just been put in motion. The course will be £75 for the whole day and you can read about our last one here.

Monday, 1 February 2010

Horndogs and birthday parties.

Last weekend the outstanding Horndog Brass band played for Ord Ban's second birthday party and this weekend sees the Old Bridge hosting three nights of musical entertainment, with the Horndogs coming back, King Arthurs Men, Woodenbox with a fistful of fivers and the official launch party for the Insider, only, in our true tradition of not planning very well, we forgot to do a mail out telling folk that's what's going on.

Check out the Old Bridge website for full details.

Sunday, 31 January 2010

Huskies, Sparrows, the Insider and Celtic Connections.

I have been away from the blog for a few weeks now, largely because there has been so much going on. Last weekend was the annual husky racing championship, being held on snow for the first time in 15 years. There were over a thousand dogs, 200 teams and I pinched this photo from Aaron Sneddon who (unlike me) was actually there.

I wasn't there simply because Sparrow and the Workshop were playing at the Old Bridge Inn and a session ensued that went some way past licensed hours. We have finally got round to incorporating Backwoods Productions (for producing and publicising events) and have focused our musical attendance somewhat because the Insider 2010 is alive. Last week Sam Lee, the promoter behind the Magpies Nest folk nights in London came to stay and has made himself very much involved. His current specialist interest (among many others) is the hereditary traveller ballads of Aberdeenshire so we may introduce a 'Balladlands', and there is talk of combining with the Cairngorms National Park to introduce a much greater firewood and renewables element to the festival. We are also going to start recruiting volunteers, stewards, waitresses etc etc, ideally from Aviemore, so if anyone would like a job please get in touch

Sam and I, and two lovely lady Morris dancers then headed for Celtic Connections to further our causes and catch a few of the potential bands. It put a smile on my face that the 2 headlining bands of Celtic Connections were Session A9 and Lau, who headlined for us in one shape or form last year. The Insider seems to have generated a ripple of goodwill through artists and their management and though we are going to have to put our tickets on sale without a full line up, trust us, it will be a belter.

So, next weekend at the Old Bridge Inn is the official launch party for the Insider, with lots of bands I have mentioned here over the last year including the Horndog Brass band, Woodenbox and a Fistful of Fivers and King Arthurs Men playing. The festival itself will be Friday 18th to Sunday 20th June. Watch this space for updates.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Conde Nast Traveller.

Here we are again, this time being Wintery in Conde Nast Traveller just in time to encourage people to come here in the Spring. Click on the picture and you can see the enormous icicles that surrounded the house a fortnight ago.

Sunday, 17 January 2010

More Snow.

There has been so much snow sitting in the trees that sometimes just the noise of a pheasant taking off is enough to break branches. The bigger trees give a biblical groan, creaking and cracking as they go. Only as the snow has thinned round the house are all the broken trees visible so a few days back it became time to dig out our elderly Massey Ferguson, gas up a chainsaw, improvise a snowplough, try to get the drives passable again and start an epic tidy up.

Two days of serious shovelling and sawing brings me to a recommendation. Just when I had totally tied myself in knots I cashed in a token I had been given for a massage from Sally Ann Westcott at Aviemore Beauty. I came out feeling like I was wearing someone else's shoulders, someone much younger, fresher and more lithe than myself. Whether you were in off the hill, had been cycling, canoeing or shovelling, or just fancied being a little realigned, it is a revelation.

The hill has been closed these last few days, it was gusting 70 plus miles an hour and there were 10 foot drifts blowing over the ski road as soon as the plough had past. It's a lottery you face by choosing Aviemore as your skiing destination. That left the Old Bridge Inn as the best alternative, Calum Wood and some of City City Beat played the last 2 nights and the pub was heaving with a great atmosphere and lots of friendly faces. It is going to go from strength to strength this year.

The breaking news is that we have quietly started planning the next Insider. It's to be the 18th to the 20th June, we don't know who will be playing yet so you are just going to have to trust us but there are some big names in the hat. Watch this space.