Highland short break- special offers!

sgath an tighe, bluebells

Sorry to go all commercial, but regular readers of this blog will know that this year we opened some of our house as a bed and breakfast. We are half a season in, and have really enjoyed sharing our house with guests from all over the world.

In these difficult times, we are well aware that many folk are looking to make their hard earned cash stretch as far as they can, and so have decided to offer a couple of special offers- one of which is an exclusive one to readers of this blog!

Through the Visit Scotland ‘Surprise yourself’ , people who book two nights in our B and B are entitled to a free pottery taster session in our pottery;

netta potting

 

However, if you mention ‘this fragile tent’ when you book a couple of nights, then you will get a 10% discount of the cost of your stay too!

The weather has been beautiful up here over the past week or so- temperature in the 20′s, blue sky above the mountains and lochs, space, quietness and peace yours for the making.

We are closer than you think, on the edge of the National Park, near Dunoon;

sgath an tighe

The next generation of garden grazers…

…and try as I might, I can not resent them for the plants that I know they will destroy.

I looked out of the front door a few minutes ago and there were two tiny fauns on the driveway, still covered in their lines of camouflage spots and speckles to hide them from the wolves and lions that no longer frequent these parts.

They are young Roe deer, around 2 or 3 weeks old.

One was shy and skipped through the hedge almost immediately. The other one lingered, perhaps curious about whose garden this was that provided such good eating.

Even when she wandered through the gap in the hedge she did not go far- watching me as I watched her. Here she is;

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Three stars!

B&B 3 STAR

 

And here they are!

Yesterday we had a ‘secret visitor’ in our B and B- from visit Scotland. We knew that we would get a visit at some point, and we had our suspicions about this particular guest (which made for some nervous moments!)

As it happens, she said lots of lovely things about our service, the rooms and the general feel of our B and B, and more crucially, awarded us three stars!

Three stars signifies a B and B of ‘a very good standard’. Realistically, we will not meet the criteria for 4 stars because of our location, the lack of lighting on the driveway and the fact that our rooms are within a family home. Overall, we are delighted with the three stars, particularly so early into our trading.

So if you would like to have a stay within our three star B and B, taking in the wonderful views, and perhaps trying out some pottery as part of your stay- take a look at our website!

family room

Michaela talks about the Timebank!

I am very proud of Michaela- and so here is a chance to show you some of the things she does in her day job.

Recently she was speaking about a local project she has been working on- a local Timebank. (You can watch her whole presentation here.)

The bloke from the NHS talking on the video seems to have totally missed the point- the emphasis is not on ‘services saving money’, or ‘sick’ people doing something to make them better- rather a Timebank is a level playing field to allow everyone to build community connections- where everyone can contribute.

We joke in our family that the first ‘exchange’ of time in Dunoon was a few years ago when Michaela came home with a rusty Shopper bike and told me that I was to make it work again. And they were off! It has become a really great local programme, with some fantastic stories- including a whole wedding- flowers, photography, cars, catering- all arranged through time exchanges! People have some amazingly diverse skills to offer- translation of a document from Russian? No problem. Fix a computer? Easy. Proof read a document? When do you want it finished? Others have involved an older lady who learnt how to write properly using her handwriting skills on certificates, or another person teaching woodcraft skills. It is great.

Michaela would never agree that a lot of this is down to her- she would point to all the others who have worked so hard to make it a success- but I know different. She is just one of those people who makes other people feel safe and included, and by her own dedication makes other people stick in there.

 

Creative breaks…

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Work is progressing on our second B and B room (although this is a photo of the first!)  Just carpets and curtains to sort out now, and then we can get everything put together.

We are hoping to offer some weekends of themed ‘creative breaks’ over the next few months. These will be a chance to escape to lovely Dunoon and make something beautiful. It is amazing what we can achieve when given space to do so. This bowl was made by Issy in our pottery a couple of weeks ago, on her second ever attempt at moulding clay;

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The idea is that we will be setting out a list of creative weekends people can book in for, but also guests in the B and B, or our holiday cottage, will be able to get creative too- making some pots, or a range of other activities.

More info to come!

Quiet weekend- step away for a while…

We are just planning our first ‘quiet weekend’ using the new accommodation space at Sgath an Tighe. This will be from Friday evening the 11th of January to Sunday the 13th.

These weekends are intended to allow individuals and couples to set time aside to reflect, pray, meditate and share some evenings around a fireside. Our starting point for entering into meditation here is Christian spirituality- of a generous open kind.

The spaces at our house will allow for three double bedrooms, one twin, and one single, and it would be lovely to fill these.

Our first weekend will cost £200 per person, including accommodation, all meals and activities. (We cook simple but lovely wholemeal vegetarian food.)

We will divide our time into periods of silence – where guests are welcome to use prepared spaces in the house, the garden, or to take walks along the shore – and times of sharing.

There will be an opportunity to be part of morning and evening rituals, and to use clay and other art materials to aid reflection and meditation.

If you are interested, get in touch and we will send you a booking form.

Our first Guest Room nears completion…

Here is a peek at what I have been working hard on over the past weeks- our first guest room for the new holiday/retreat/craft business is nearing completion;Image

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It will all be ready to go in the next few weeks- available for cosy escapes, quiet retreats and the like.

We are waiting for curtains and a couple of bits and pieces, but check out the view;

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Benches…


Yesterday some of us spent a rather fraught few hours rushing along Dunoon’s sea front setting up meditation stuff on benches.

I walked the length of it all again today with William- it was a lovely day and lots of people were out along the seafront.

Some of the benches had already been vandalised sadly- in fact I had words with some 12 year old boys who were ripping things down as I watched. However, there is lots that is still untouched and I hope others are able to use it.

The final part is an installation in Morags Fairy Glen involving a fan of ribbons suspended high on a rope. It is simple and rather magical. It uses this poem as well (from Listing)

Against such there is no law…

 

Love is not against the law

Although in judicial circles

It is not encouraged

 

But where the Spirit of the Lord falls

Love is between us like oil on bearings

 

Joy is not forbidden

But wherever it breaks out

It is fragile

Like a bubble

In a pine forest

 

But where the Spirit of the Lord rests

Joy beats like a dancing drum in the middle of us

Calling us to dance

 

Peace is never prohibited

But like a dove above a shooting range

Its flight is fraught with danger

 

But where the Spirit of the Lord lives

The boundaries we keep are soft

And we are learning how

To forgive

 

Patience is permitted in most places

But only if you use it quickly

 

But where the Spirit of the Lord lingers

Patience is like the summer sun

Drawing out the sugars in the ripening fruit

Sweetening the harvest

 

Kindness is condoned even in the most unlikely places

But it will win you few contracts

And is not conducive to

Promotion

 

But where the Spirit of the Lord comes close

Kindness kind of follows after

 

Goodness will not result in a jail sentence

But neither will it pay its way

In the global village superstore

 

But when the Spirit of the Lord smiles

Goodness becomes the common currency

Gentleness is no crime

And in many places it is a clinical necessity

But it is easily overlooked

In the shadow of another conquest

 

But where the Spirit of the Lord draws near

Then hands all rough from hard works

Become softened to hold

And to heal

 

Faithfulness is never a traitor

Yet we live like weathervanes

Spun by the seasons

To face the prevailing winds

 

But when the Spirit of the Lord moves

Promises no longer require the threat

Of legal recourse

 

Self control is thundered from the pulpit

But just in case the message falls on deaf ears

We deploy the secret pew police

Rule books at the ready

Swinging their

Truncheons of truth

To crunch the knuckles

Of the apostate

 

But when the Spirit of the Lord comes amongst us

There is a perfect law called…

 

Freedom

Some photos here- click to enlarge;