Short break special offer…

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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;

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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

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Who knows where the wind blows…

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A few months ago, my friend (and former next door neighbour) Terry, looked up at the pointy bit of our house and said “That needs a weather vane. I’ll make you one.” Terry is a man who has a gift with all things metal and mechanical- he mends steam traction engines for a living at the moment, so he certainly has the skills.

A few weeks ago, they were passing through on their way on holiday in a camper van, when good as his word he handed me a lovely weather vane, made in his workshop down in Leyland, Lancashire.

He has placed an old Christian symbol on the top, an Ichthys, used in the early church as a sign of meeting, of hospitality.

The next task was to summon up the courage to actually put the vane up on the highest point of our house. Today I managed to overcome shaky knees and do the deed.

Thanks a million Terry!

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The next generation of garden grazers…

…but try as we might, we can not resent them for the plants that we 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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Today we cut down trees…

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….and I feels slightly sad.

Trees are creatures that seem in many ways senior to we fidgeting humans. They are older, more planted (ahem) still and silent. They provide shelter for a million lesser creatures in their wide spread generous embrace.

To plant a tree is to invest in the distant future- perhaps of our children’s children.

To cut down a tree means that we take a slice from our living history and discard it.

Having said all that, today we will fell 5 trees in our gardens. Trees in gardens always feel a little like ships in ponds. They might look nice, but really they need the open sea.

Two of them are non-native to Scotland. I have no prejudice towards aliens- I am that myself. These are great big awkward conifers that suck in the light that should ripen our vegetables. They are perhaps the youngest of the bunch- maybe thirty or forty years old.

The other three are odd shaped sticky sycamore trees- possibly self seeded around the edges of the garden, 60-70 years ago. Some of them have become unbalanced and diseased, and given the storm winds of late, we can no longer risk them falling on to our neighbors.

Sycamores are the mongrels of the tree world- they spring up like rabbits and scrabble for space with a lust for life that makes the more cultured pull in their roots in distaste. But the light of the sun on their bright spring leaves is lovely.

May they rest in peace.

The discussion has already begun as to what we might plant in their places, and the good news is that the view opens up over the sea even more- come and see!

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Visit Scotland three stars award!

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We have signed up to Visit Scotland’s rating scheme for our B and B, which involves a visit by a ‘secret visitor’, who assesses and rates our accommodation.

Last night we had our visit! (Gulp) Although as it turned out, our visitor was a lovely lady, full of good advice and support, and were delighted to hear that she was putting us forward for a three star award- which signifies a B and B of a very good standard. Given this is our first year of trading, and she was only our third guest, we are delighted with this award!

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Family room completed- and open for bookings!

Over the past few months we have been working hard on getting the house ready to serve as place of hospitality- a guest house, retreat centre, pottery, etc. Thanks to my mate Andy Prosser’s work on our website, we can now take on line bookings for our B and B rooms! Or you can just contact us direct.

We have two main rooms- a double room and a family room (2 plus 2.) Both are en suite, and costs are as follows;

Double room £70 a night for double occupancy, £45 for single Occupancy.

Family room £70 for double, £45 for single. Kids under 12 free, over 12 add £10 per child per night.

We also have an adjoining single bedroom that is available as an add on booking only as the occupant will share the en suite shower facilities in one of the other rooms. This might be suitable for older kids or for friends travelling together. This costs £25 per night.

If you are thinking of making time for yourself- to be quiet, to be creative or to be closer to the wild country- then please come and see us!

Here are some photos of the new Family room…

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towards window, family room

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New workshop dates, 2013!

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Michaela and Pauline have set the dates for their craft and pottery workshops in the coming year! If you are interested to see what they are up to, or fancy joining in the fun- see here.

I am very proud of what they have done with these workshops- they have a way of creating a safe space for people to be creative. Art and design can be so stuffy and exclusive- making us feel that we “can not”- they have a way of encouraging people to believe that they CAN.

This year they have extended the pottery options too here is what is planned;

Pottery for beginners course- £80: 4 weeks to learn basics of handbuilding, throwing a pot on the wheel, then firing and glazing your own work.
SPRING- March 6, 13, 20, 27
AUTUMN- September 4, 11, 18, 25.

Taster sessions- £20: One evening to get the flavour of working with clay;
April 17, 24
July 10, 17
August 21, 28

Go-to-pot Wednesdays- £160: 8 weeks to learn more about pottery and try out your own projects. Great for those who have already undertaken one of our other courses and want to go further.
SUMMER- May 1, 8, 15, 22, 28. June 5, 12, 19.
AUTUMN- October 2, 9, 16, 23, 30. November 6, 13, 20.

If you are on holiday at Sgath an Tighe (or in the vicinity) , it is usually possible to arrange sessions in the pottery with tuition. It makes for a lovely relaxed creative break…

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Happy Christmas!

Sometimes darkness lies with open arms

Casting no shadows;

No zones of jagged uncertainty

The folded black is bosom-soft

An iris around the eye

Could it be that dark is not opposed by light

But is the place where light is falling?

For the night is not defeated by starlight-

It is anointed.

At the edge of this suburban half light

Beyond the reach of neon

Darkness is waiting

Like pregnancy

For light to be born

May you be richly blessed this Christmas.

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Quiet weekend…


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.

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New bedroom takes shape…

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…

It looked like this a week or so ago;

And now it looks like this;


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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