It is a Year today since we got our planning permission acceptance letter ….
What a year! Exciting, amazing, tiring, stressful, hilarious, steep learning curve, frustrating, wonderful and all of the above. We could not have imagined a year ago today that we could create 4 cabins and a growing business in the year.
We are so grateful to everyone who helped us and they were many in so many, many ways. Even all the people who just asked us when they saw us how we were getting on kept us motivated and progressing. Most days I think I was upbeat as I really enjoyed the process. I marched around the site with the plans making sure it was all going to schedule and then I scuttled to the kitchen to get the food prepared as a hungry workforce is not something I wanted to experience!
It was very stimulating and rewarding to do something so different from being a teacher. A year down the line I still miss my colleagues and pupils but I love my new life with the cabins. I certainly am enjoying and appreciating my new found great health. Brian found it a physically hard process as he was working with the team on construction and could give most of them 35 years! He ended the build exhausted but satisfied and proud.
Thank you again to all of you for your unending support. All who read my blog – it never ceases to amaze me when I meet someone who says to me “I read your blog” and it happens surprisingly often. I still feel my face going a bit red!
We do not meet all of our guests, we try to give as much privacy to you all as we can, but some we do and it is a pleasure. Such interesting and varied people from all walks of life.
A real highlight of the year was being nominated for the Scottish Rural Hospitality Awards. Getting into the final was totally “mindblowing” as the young ones would say. We were delighted, beyond delighted actually! We will hear on 21st March if we have been successful. The competition is really stiff as you would imagine so we are just delighted that we were nominated and got to the final.
It is lovely to have our boys back home again. Ross is taking over lots of duties with his usual grace and good nature and has great plans. For example, he is clearing the greenhouse to plant various crops and intends to put some raised beds for guests to pick herbs and salad crops for their cooking. He is keen to have hens on the site to allow guests to have fresh eggs for breakfast. I like the idea but livestock is a responsibility. I am sure his traveling gene is not fully satisfied yet and I will end up looking after them – is it something you would like if you visited?
Brian is keen to put a pond at the bottom of the site with lovely natural planting and a picnic area where the guests can wander down to read a book or just watch the pondlife. We have a pond in our garden and I spend a considerable amount of time staring into its depths watching the fish, diving beetles and other interesting little creatures and plants.
I want to plant lots more flowers (Brian is insisting they are native varieties – mmmmm). I feel a bit of a rebellion coming on! Oh, the lupins that Mrs MacKenzie planted in New Zealand are such an inspiration to me!
Jamie has many more marketing ideas to ensure that we reach as wide an audience as we can. He has done such a great job so far. We are so delighted and grateful to him for working with us the last year. It is not easy I know working with family and Brian and I started the year not even ever having had a Facebook page. You can imagine how many questions he had to endure and as for Instagram – I was an absolute disaster. My niece Ruth used to love when I came on live as it was the biggest laugh of the week. I have done all sorts of things like leave it recording as I went about my business, dropped the phone – actually why am I reminding myself about all this!
Jamie asked me one day to start putting photographs on to Instagram and those of you who followed us right at the start got about 200 photos that day! In my defense, he did not explain that I should put on 2 or 3 a day! I thought I was being hyper-efficient getting every photo on the day he asked and he would be delighted! He seemed not to be! That day even Jamie’s patience with me I think got a little thin. Thank you Jamie for all your patience as I know I have been a social media nightmare!