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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.