Great sadness to see a tree felled to the ground in an overnight storm on Christmas Eve, the branches scattered across the field, some sticking out of the soil spear-like, others disintegrated into ready made kindling for the fire. The tree was dead when we moved here 11 years ago, it has provided a home and habitat to all sort of birds and beasties, an excellent vantage point for owls and buzzards, the starting point for many a starling murmuration. However, there was never any real sense of continuing life of the trunk and branches of the tall tree at the junction of two fields. Some magnificent gothic fungi have grown on the trunk for years and, hopefully, these will continue to flourish as the tree lies prostrated on the ground. We shall tidy the strewn branches, create logs to fuel the wood burning stoves in the cottages and our own home, gather the kindling and build up wood stocks for the year ahead, but we shall also leave the larger part of the main trunk for the birds and beasties to enjoy, and for the children to play on, or just for any of us, adults and children, to sit on and watch the world go by. Sometimes we just need to stand and stare.
The wonderful poem ‘Leisure’ by William Henry Davies is well worth a read and, perhaps, in this busy, busy world the words provide a great reminder for the year ahead.
What is this life if, full of care
We have no time to stand and stare.
No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep and cows.
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.
No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.
Earlier this year we commissioned local company Head for the Bed to create two upholstered headboards for one of the twin bedrooms in Curlew Cottage. We loved their work so much we offered to host the photoshoot for their new website. It is a really important consideration for us to support local business and we were able to work with them in selecting the perfect fabric for the bedroom in terms of colour, design and finish and, of course, the fabric has to comply with fire retardant standards. The finished products are first class and have received many positive comments from our guests.
We are really pleased to see the recent launch of Head for the Bed's website and the various pictures taken in Curlew Cottage and The Old Dairy. Their online store with so many great choices is now live and, great news, they are now fully able to provide their upholstered headboards across the UK. Have a look at their website. There are so many wonderful fabrics to choose from as well as styles. We chose the Kintyre Clementine 100% wool in the Fruin style headboard for the twin bedroom in Curlew.
As we live on site we continuously review how the cottages are presented and really strive to make them superbly comfortable. When we go on holiday ourselves we love to stay in places that have that 'wow' as you walk in the door. The new headboards are a great asset to the room which is also looking good with fab new popcorn bubbly throws and new lighting. Perfect for Autumnal cosiness.
We had the great pleasure to meet Tilly the Westie and her owners Richard & Angie Aspinall a few weeks ago. They stayed in Curlew Cottage and really enjoyed the 'wow' factor this cottage offers, they enjoyed their get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, were blown away by the style and size of the cottage and, very kindly, commented that 'it was like something from a glossy magazine on stylish living'.
Angie and Richard have written a wonderful article in the current issue of Dog Friendly magazine so, if you subscribe to and are lucky enough to see a copy of that, do enjoy the story of their stay.
We welcome up to two dogs in each cottage, there are some superb walks from the front door as well as the fun of exploring all that Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park has to offer. We certainly have enjoyed many 'dogs with well behaved owners' staying and enjoying their time here. As the ground floors of both cottages are slate and wood they are very easy to keep clean so dog owners can manage muddy paws and our subsequent guests know that they will arrive to thoroughly clean accommodation.
The 'scruffy mongrel' pictured is our special four legged friend, rehomed with us from the SSPCA, a great companion and perfect excuse for enjoying a walk down to the Loch or up The Dumpling.
We've just made it even more convenient for guests with super-efficient plug-in hybrid and pure electric vehicles to stay at East Cambusmoon with the addition of another two wall chargers!
As EV owners we really understand the needs of the increasing number of motorists who are driving electric, in particular the ability to simply roll up, plug in, and wake up to a full 'tank' of electrons!
We already installed a 'Type 2' wall charger earlier this year, just in time for our first 'EV guest' who'd travelled 300 miles in their gorgeous BMW i3 all-electric car to stay in the Old Dairy. But with the anticipated increase not just in the number of pure electric vehicles but in their range and ability to fast charge en-route, we look forward to welcoming a lot more long-travelled EV drivers to our low energy cottages and have made charging here as convenient as possible with an additional two chargers.
It's been a busy week so far with four new arrivals on the lambing front to date, and both mums and the two sets of twins are doing well!
The first pair were born around 6am on Tuesday (4th April) morning, whilst the 1st of the second pair entered the world around 7pm the same day. Ewe and lamb were led to a pen in the shed, with lamb feeding and food and water left for her mum.
On checking things were ok later that night at around 11pm, another wee bundle of fluff had appeared in the pen, standing up and happily feeding!
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