Adapting …

Forgive me Father, as it has been 3 months since my last confession.
And again, I do not know where this year is going!
So much has been going on, but as the year matures and comes into its last quarter, I sincerely hope that the sadness & woe that we have known up to now does too.

We had an array of visitors in July, best friend Dawn came to stay with us, as did our Facebook Giveaway winners Jill & Tim and on Sunday 19th we waved Hans & Tinka off. They had been staying with us for a week and we could not have wished for more beautiful and perfect guests. Every minute spent with them was a blessing and they entered our lives at the perfect time, to show us that goodness can exist in abundance. The world certainly is a more beautiful place with people like Hans & Tinka in it and we wish nothing but the very best for them.
Come August, we would also wave goodbye to our Airbnb era too, which has been an amazing experience and how apt, that our last guests were return ones, Paula & Ed, who we are luckily enough to class as friends now and I hope we get to visit them in Jerusalem someday soon.
There had been more than one reason for finishing Airbnb and one of those reasons was, to make the room available for a new house guest!
I would like you to give a right warm Scottish welcome to my Mother, who has made the huge move to Scotland and for now lives with us here at Tulloch.
This of course, means the end of an era at Settrington Estate, which was my childhood home, the place my Father Keepered at for over 50 years and the place that I too would also become a Gamekeeper and follow in Fathers footsteps. Sadly all gone now and I do reckon that Father would be very saddened by it all to say the least. (How I miss you Father).
We had another very sad goodbye also, Alistair’s Father has also passed away.
We really could not make this year up!
Alistair has done amazingly well, I am concerned about him, but am also so proud of him, his work load is immense and he just keeps on going, he has to of course, I will be pleased for him when things begin to ease up.
And then there was me hitting half a century.
I think that is more than enough for these last 3 months.
Lots more too of course and could obviously say much more, but thought best to try and keep a long story short.
We are all trying to adapt to these big life changes.
– Karen – x

Basil Fawlty …

Saturday 5th May and another beautiful day break, alas, short lived.

Good Gallery day and the new Galley in the Gallery was launched.

Come 3pm, it was between now and 6pm that tonight’s guests were due to check in. Just before 6pm, Phone rang, due guests …. “Would 7 or later be okay, we’d like to do more sightseeing”! I am ashamed to say that I turned into Basil Fawlty within a split second! And the French girl soon felt my wrath down the phone! We were meant to be going out tonight to the Kirky Bar for Gary’s official opening night. When they arrived, they also wanted to use the kitchen and wanted to checkout before 7am. Basil Fawlty part two came on!

I have been contemplating finishing Airbnb, well, am certainly cutting down bookings and on a whole, we have been blessed with guests, but ones like these really do make me question it and as I said in my review of them, a hotel would have been a better option for them. By the girls own admission, she just hadn’t read the house manual or my welcome message.

Sunday 6th May – What a cold dull one! Then after mid afternoon, the skies cleared and the sun burst. It almost became too warm! Time for a glass of Prosecco (Or two) and to soak up some free vitamin D. Stunning sunset, even our Russian guests took a walk down the glen to view it.

Monday 5th May – Woke at 12.30am, paddled round the house, eventually returning to bed, only then to be rudely woken by the Poodle!

Disappointed to see the sunshine had gone, was colder again and then there was a downpour! Typical Bank Holiday and reckoned it would be a quiet gallery day. Come lunch, out came the sun and what a beautiful afternoon and I was (Pleased to say), wrong about a quiet gallery day, help was needed! Also pleased to say, that the Tulloch menagerie behaved themselves with visitors today.

No idea what’s up with 4G, lack of it is driving me mad!

First Wasp of the season today.

The Galley

The Galley in the Gallery

Chickens Enjoying the Sunshine

Tulloch Sunset

Overcast …

Woke during night, but actually managed to stay in bed til 7am! And then it was Barclay who made sure I got up.

Nice morning again, but more cloud appeared. Got bread made for guests and even set on giving espresso machine a good clean.

11am Deer appeared in field for brunch.

McDuck came out of the coop, so took the opportune moment to head on in, only to find Agnes in a nest box! Thought McDuck was eating, but saw her away doon the glen with McQuack! Hope she isn’t getting tired of motherhood already?

Perthshire Open Studios application came through, so got registered for it.

I do not think we have the brightest animals in the box! Would give fresh grit and treat sticks to the poultry and cleaned out their sandpit and got fresh sand in and all they did was stand at outside of fence looking through, wondering how to get to it all! Gate wide open and these treats are near said gate! However, tame sheep figured it out and grit went everywhere!

You know you are tired, when trying to eat your Rice Krispies and you’re using a fork instead of a spoon! Whilst eating said Krispies, took a read of latest ‘Your Chickens’ magazine, especially article on Cockerels & aggression. Think I’ll put it in the coop for Bruce to browse over.

German guests arrived.

Tuesday 10th April – Hadn’t gotten up during the night, but tossed n turned a fair bit. Cooler morn and overcast. Up at 6 and pretty much on with jobs, then into Gallery to mount prints.

And looking out to Loch McBasil, there I saw for the first time McQuack swimming on it.

By time midday came, my M.E was playing up and I was exhausted, so time for some time out and snoozed.

McQuack totally disappeared this afternoon, but I saw him returning back up from the river around 5pm. I wonder if he’s messing around on the river with wild ducks whilst McDuck is on the nest?

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Frogs in the Snow …

Up 5.30ish and morning coffee was greeted with fresh snowfall and… I cocked my head to listen again, yes there it was, a Frog calling from the garden pond. Had seen spawn on the pond in the forest yesterday. Last couple of sleepless months must be catching up with me, as took myself back off to bed for an hour.
Back up and was soon faced with the tame sheep stuck in the poultry coop.

Early yesterday evening, McDuck left the coop for a stretch and feed, so that was the opportunity to get it cleaned out etc (I will not have disturbed) and awww, you should see her wee downy nest, am very optimistic and reckon she will be a good mother (Can’t believe thought she was a he and gay), anyhoo, tried discussing things with Alistair, that we need to be organised, nursery, feed etc and he said dinnae be counting the Ducks before they’ve hatched, as he doesn’t think there will be any! As said, I am optimistic!

Aromatherapy oils and bracelet arrived today. I began with wearing ‘inner peace’.

Inner Peace was short lived when I saw the Chucks had decided to wander out up the glen again!! Will be putting wire on the gates ASAP!!!

Spanish in the hoose tonight, apparently St Andrew’s was very cold today.
New stock for gallery due any minute, then tea, am famished!

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McDuck in a Bucket …

16th March – Day began with the so called Beast from the East pt2, basically, blowing snow.
Alistair would put the Poultry away to bed, much shouting and swearing, Bruce had attacked him. Yep, welcome to my world!

17th March – A grand Stag was walking round the garden tonight, just got the camera out and then… yep, the Poodle barked!!

18th March – A day of chores and spring cleaning.
Also, I tried Green Tea today, I won’t be rushing to try it again.

Monday 19th March –  -6c start.
Guests were away by 7am and it hadn’t even got to 8am and already the Poodle had had a Parsnip and a tub of moisturiser & Alistair,s Beanie!
It turned out to be the most beautiful morning, sunshine, blue skies, crispy snow. I heard a familiar sound, looked up to see approx 20 Curlew flying right over the house, pure magic.
And … McDuck & McQuack may not be gay after all, seems I found a Duck Egg in the coop this morning. Either that, or they’re crossing with the hens! I will be absolutely cockahoop if we get Ducklings. I texted Alistair with the joyous news. He did not reply, as he did not think it was so joyous.
Talking of the hens, we’ve had 2 eggs this last week. Spring is surely coming.
Resident Deer, Mistle Thrush & Wagtail all active this morning. Siskins have disappeared again.

20th March – Another -6c start, but sunny. Greeted with the fly over of Lapwing
Two unexpected things happened today, from two unexpected sources. One was a hug, the second was a delivery of flowers. Both lovely to receive and very much appreciated.
And HAPPY BIRTHDAY Dawn xx

Two Ponds, large bath & other Birdbath & drinkers and McDuck uses the Tame Sheeps water bucket. I despair!

The Quick Thaw …

Pulled back the curtains this morning, to see a fresh covering of Snow.
The day was off to a good start.
Though was short lived when I realised I had run out of Coffee!!!
Had to make do with Alistair’s Kenco.

Whilst having morning coffee, I noticed about a dozen Siskins in the garden, so they must be about to return, though these soon flitted off.
I don’t think Barclay’s constant barking helped! He was stood at the gate in full voice for a few minutes, but as I write, I still have absolutely no idea what or why.
After I had got Barclay calmed down, I let the Poultry out, fresh snow seems to send the Ducks in to a skittish frame of mind and that was it, they were soon away flying down the glen.
Then Barclays Groomer came to collect him for Spa Day, waved them off only to discover I hadn’t closed the door and there was the tame Sheep in the sunroom chewing me writing desk! Had to lure him out with a Parsnip!

Come lunchtime, the temperature had reached a balmy 4c and the Snow began to thaw quickly and I saw our first Snowdrops & Aconites.
Also, McQuack had returned. I walked down the road in search of the other Duck, but no sign of McDuck anywhere.
Got the yard brushed and then finished prepping for tonights guests.
It was then I saw a flash of something fly by the kitchen window, McDuck had finally returned. So where he had been for the last 4hrs, lord knows.
Told him anymore of that and he’ll be getting his wings clipped!
Ruddy Ducks!!!

Looked across the river to see that a Herd of 8 Fallow (Including 2 young) had appeared, haven’t seen these ones before, so will keep an eye on them. They seemed happy enough for a few hours.

By 3pm, you wouldn’t believe we had had Snow, that was one quick thaw, though pleased to see more is forecast.

Tonights guests have arrived and are here for three days Skiing.
Barclay back from his Spa Day looking and smelling all posh, but of course doubt that will last.
Another Jamie Oliver 5 Ingredients recipe for dinner tonight, okay, but looks nothing like in the book!
Still weary and hoping can get a better nights sleep tonight, thought I had improved some last night, but Alistair has just informed me that I called out for Dad again 😦

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Blanket of Snow

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Sheep chews Desk

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First Snowdrops

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And Aconites

 

 

You can take the lass out of Gamekeeping …

… But you can’t take Gamekeeping out of the lass!

We have been getting some new visitors to Tulloch, so of course I have had to accommodate them.
The Nature Cams have picked up some of them, here is just a random selection of our Pheasants and Red-legged Partridge.
Our AirBnB Guests have been watching them and up to now, at any one time, there has been 16 Partridge & 7 Pheasants.
Lots more footage to sort through

– Karen – x