Saturday, 10 December 2011


The snow has arrived at Claonairigh after the worst storm for many years. No extensive damage here thankfully apart from to the new puppy's nerves. Since she arrived two weeks ago we have had torrential rain, blizzards, hurricane type winds and the odd stunningly beautiful spell as in the photos. The annual Inveraray jogscotland Jingle Bells run is this Sunday so away up the track Liz and I went to check out the ice situation. Four and a half or so miles later no ice but very wet feet so no change there for a run in the Argyll winter, at least they were not coated in mud too. My running mojo is still not back... Do I rest or keep plodding on? Five miles seems to be the limit for heavy tired legs.
Shades of years to come last night with the girls both on sleepovers and Toby taking an early night, we even got to choose what we watched on TV, my Mastermind choice did not go down well with Garret. He would rather the kids choice I think. Holly frolicked, bit, played and chewed (bone) her way through the evening at last collapsing exhausted.

Sunday, 27 November 2011


We have a tradition in the Corner family re dogs names which leads to many a debate ( argument). Tess, our first born hound was named to remind us of the haunted heroine of Thomas Hardy's novel. How highbrow we're we?? Well, me anyway. Garret could well have chosen Rimmer from
Red Dwarf.....Sam came next and of course was named for Samwise Gamgee, faithful hobbit companion. I read the whole kit and caboodle to Garret when we had no entertainment beyond LW radio 4. By the time dog number three joined us I was wading through the sublime Narnia stories and so Lucy joined us for alas too short a time. Ginny was next, half sister of Lucy and named amid Harry Potter Madness. With Lucy's untimely departure we had a vacancy for.... Holly the latest collie to join us. The naming was a problem as seemingly all the books we like have cracking male monikers but rubbish girls ones but Captain Holly Short ( Artemis Fowl) from the Fairy LEP came to our rescue. So, welcome Holly!! Ginny and I took refuge from puppy times for a wee four mile run along Loch Fyne.....

Friday, 25 November 2011

Piggy times

The pig family now numbers nine.. Two boars, two females one of whom is the mother of five fine piglets. I say now numbers but in fact the tense is incorrect. Pig escapades and adventures have hastened the inevitable. A leisurely guest breakfast time was drawing to a close in a chatty way when a large black pig was spotted down the hill. The others had already been corralled back into the field by Garret but poor black pig had caused her last disruption. However the end was swift and what we intended for our meat. Garret found the porcine equivalent of a escape tunnel and blocked it. We wind forwards through a pleasant morning of housey stuff ending with a couple of boiled eggs and toast for lunch. This was just settling nicely and I was contemplating a cuppa when a friend rang. Relaxing, organised day came to an abrupt end with the news that pigs had been sited trundling along the A83....I rang the cavalry to come and assist and set off down the track yellow bucket in hand and heart in mouth. One hundred yards from the end of the track a small black boar was sauntering homewards but sadly alone. Encouraged to stay with a handful of pig nuts ( yum) he was left whilst I shot out onto the road and gave an international signal to the van driver stopped nearest meaning " Where the hell are my pigs??), luckily this was the pig spotting pal and he indicated to errant pigs chomping by the roadside 500m or so along the road direction Inveraray. Calm headed chap that he is unlike mad flapping woman with bucket he drove past the group to stop an invasion of our Royal Burgh. A light bulb flashes above my head and bucket held high I shout "Pig!! Pig!!" ..... Good huh! The pigs raise unworried grazing heads and spotted the feeding receptacle. A rout ensues with the boar and female chasing bucket and holdee along the road and up the track. Grinning stationary motorists had a treat as galloping pigs gained on me and indeed overtook on the hill. Two little fat piglets vainly tried to keep up with their legs pumping away with all their might. Back in the field we all took a breather and welcomed the cavalry from Argyll Adventure who arrived hotfoot just as I clicked the gate shut. The afternoon was spent cramming any heavy junk I could find into the escape hatch. By her lingering presence Mother Pig was definitely the ring leader. Lots of pork dinners coming our way methinks!!
Good cold run with Lizzie today. Hail, wind, rain we had it all... Reward lovely cosy lunch in The George.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Sunday Cycle

Being blighted in an inability to sleep in later than about 7am especially after a late night is not all bad... Up, breakfasted, bike racked on the car and off to Lochgilphead by 9:30. The unrelenting rain shown on the forecast was thankfully a lie and a lovely ride through the forest trails was our reward for hard working legs. No competitive speeding off but a companionable brisk ride. Then home for bacon sarnies... Perfect!!

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Glow in the Dark run

Planning a run is pretty stressful as any race organiser will confirm. Planning three concurrent distances in the dark threatened to put my blood pressure into orbit. Garret and Liz ran the course in high spirits on Friday morning on yet another check of the course ( actually trying to get the four mile route into Garret's memory chip) with me dragging behind moving branches and brooding on a stiff muscle at the top of my left leg. Running with two bouncy people in the peak of fitness always works wonders for your confidence. Back to the run.... The leaves were crisp and dry and the weather lovely. Watch this space.....
Barn sweeping (aided by a piglet of two) toilet cleaning and generally flapping filled in the time creeping by until the children were delivered home. Then bang the clock hands began to whizz round in a frenzy whilst the application of glowing products to hair and bodies alike took place. Earrings were clipped to unaccustomed ears (Garret's) and flashing lights wound around bodies. The meeting place was deserted when we arrived at 15 minutes to go but then a fabulous number of variously glowing people arrived to raise a fantastic £425 by running three or four miles or walking two. Sadly the leaves were no longer crisp but rather sad and slimy due to an inconvenient shower which lasted the whole time of the event and then stopped. But we're made of stern stuff in Argyll and as was stated in a bracing way several times "Och it could be worse". Pig and pudds followed in the newly swept barn. My idea of a good night. Guilt free food!

Monday, 7 November 2011

Tin Farm 5

Clear blue skies over Inveraray yesterday were luckily duplicated at Ormsary yesterday despite about 15 miles of fog between the two. This is a 5 mile cross country run with some stiff hills and some beach... and a finish line cruelly placed up a slight incline. Toby proved that training does make a difference and completed in 34 minutes, 1st male junior and 3rd overall. Rosie also did herself proud beating two others easily to get 1st jr female. My form is returning and the comparative spirit dragged me up the hills behind one friend and pushed me down the other side just in front of another. Garret ran a comfortable time and it was great to see the children rewarded for their endeavours. Tired legs all round is the reward this morning ( just one in Toby's case) but doing the rooms and climbing the stairs will soon sort that for me.

Friday, 4 November 2011

Another race beckons

Pre race preparation does not usually include skiing- there are reasons for this.
1) you might fall over
2) if you haven't skied for a while it may make your legs ache.

Bear the above in mind. A hospital appointment yesterday (still doing hunkey dorey, an unusual
medical classification but one I am fond of) meant an excuse to hit the cold slopes of Xscape. And boy were they cold! The snow was new and a bit sticky... so good for me but not speedy boy Garret. I did fall but only the once and yes my knees do ache a bit today but hopefully by Sunday (race day) they will be ready to tackle the BIG hill. Shopping included buying a monkey suit for Garret... And no,not a DJ. There are soooo many opportunities here for offspring embarrassment that it leaves one quite breathless. No breakfasts this morning so an early swim with Liz practising turns and rolling. Ahh I live the high life.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Running, piglets and Morris dancers

A gorgeous Argyll day today with fluffy clouds and actual blue skies. The ground is a wee bit soggy underfoot but who cares when the air is all fresh and dry. The piglets were out and about nosing away at anything remotely edible such as my knees. They have discovered the world of grass beyond the electric fence and gate which they can get under and through, it won't be long before they are driving me bonkers but at the moment it is just downright cute. The evening was just as fine running round the Glow in the Dark 3 mile route as a tester with Lizzie and Patrick. Despite the many man traps i.e. puddles, rouge kerbs and fallen branches waiting to ambush the unwary we survived the experience.Patrick was left in Inveraray to go and purchase his bribe for running ( pizza) and we hardy girls did another one and a half miles on the Castle roads. Am being distracted by Rosie looking up Morris Dancing on google videos, this prompted by her Morris dancing hating uncle... Having no previous experience she is quite speechless especially at the Extreme Morris Dancing. This is not for the faint hearted. You have been warned.

Monday, 31 October 2011

All Hallows Eve....

It would be a very determined Guiser who made it up to our house so hopefully I am quite safe in having only cooking chocolate in the house....The girls and I toned our biceps yesterday with a bit of carving  and now the smell of slowly charring pumpkin is wafting through the house.
Boot camp tonight was interrupted by a fire alarm and never resumed.  Now feel cheated of an exercise session but not as bad as the friend who succumbed to cheesecake knowing she would work it off......"Never put a pudding in the exercise bank"- it should be a motto but isn't. My new plan is to save all the money we pay into various exercise participations for the whole family i.e.. races, clubs etc and blow the lot on liposuction...just for me obviously. The others would sacrifice themselves and the great God of fitness for the cause I am sure.

What a weekend!

Monday morning again and the weekend has sped by on roller skates. A Monster Mash at Naomi's on Friday night where a huge quantity of sausages were consumed (Nine by one person), games were played and laughter flowed. Up bright and early for guests and Toby's birthday. The guests appeared on cue for a full cooked and home made rolls but Toby was a little later.....Into posh frock and heels at 5pm for the trip to Glasgow for the Scottish Athletic and jogscotland Awards evening. This was at the oh so posh Marriott hotel in Glasgow hence the 5pm start. Initial nerves at attending a function where we knew no one was initially soothed by free bubbles and then some charming dinner guests including the manager of jogscotand himself Alistair Currie. The invitation had specified that I had been asked as a guest of honour to recognise my role with inveraray jogscotand this year. Being a trusting and self effacing kind of girl I believed this not questioning why i should be seated at a very good table etc. Good food and great comparing by Rhona McLeod followed with awards galore to the fast, the good and the downright committed of Scottish sport at every level. Jogscotland awards came after a fantastic talk by The Guest of Honour Roger Black. Jog Leader Award, Community group, Work place and Achiever of the Year Award rolled out and were duly collected, inspected and appreciated. then came The Inspirational Award with some very nice things said about some woman from Inveraray who got an award for doing what she loves...chatting and running. Received from Roger Black and definitely the Highlight of the Year. Rest of the weekend was okay out on Sunday missing the rain with Liz, Matt, Garret and Naomi.

Thursday, 27 October 2011


Not the best picture but will get another one soon. In case sentimentality sets in... Two are already sold for a hog roast and one promised to a wedding feast.

Blogging by iPad

Exciting times as blogging becomes still more portable. The iPad arrived just in time to accompany us on holiday, Toby's jealously guarded machine never leaves his side, nor apparently has a silent mode. For accessing e mails and the all important Facebook it was invaluable. Portugal:- (we were in The Algave and on the glorious western coast) where the fish is fantastic, the waves are big, the weather fabulous and Toby can get the drinks in at the bar. One day he may even pay for them too. The contrast with Scotland works both ways,the dry heat and very different landscape is wonderful to visit but despite the rain home is good too. Guests keep on filtering through Claonairigh, a deerstalker here, a touring couple there and hopefully soon the odd horse rider too. What more news? Ah yes we have piglets and I shall try to get photos tomorrow, alas I cannot yet access other apple products/ documents/ photos through my " cloud" - how apple savy am I- because we share an apple account with Toby. The piglets are a remarkable and bright set of porcine youngsters and have set up house in the barn (stronger than straw, sticks AND bricks) unaided adopting a large plastic feed sack as the ideal inner sanctum. Enter the barn and peek in the sack to see several piggy bottoms pointing outwards. Obviously if you cannot see approaching monsters they are simply not there... Even if they scratch your bottom. Well my Oompa loompa ( a 6'2" tall son) is now home from the school halloween disco and washing off orange paint in the bathroom and so my day draws to an end. The legs are weary from
many a run this week, on Tuesday 8 even did two but that is another story entirely.

Friday, 30 September 2011

Sunday, 18 September 2011


A lovely last long cycle yesterday in the sun, rain, wind and spray kicked up by lorries and then at the end I fell off.....more about that in a moment. Unbelievably for the first time ever I cycled down into Inveraray past son and heir parking cars for the Best in the West festival in the driving rain and out onto the Damally road which is, well, as far as I went and after the first short sharp brutal hill and gift to ride on. Lovely smooth surface now after the pothole masacre of tyres last winter and rolling hills to test the legs only so far. The rain spatters on my sunglasses added to the challenge but cannot be blamed for my ultimate downfall...Having enjoyed the ride so to speak, and grateful for having survived the A83 I trundled into the layby and up the lane and did exactly what I have been frightened of since new planks were laid across the bridge  a couple of years ago. The front tyre slotted perfectly into the gap, feet wouldnt release fast enough from the clips and over I went. No permanent harm does especially as there were no witesses to see my huddled form on the grass trying to discover if anything had actually falled off...fallen off me, not the bike that is....Seven whole days to go until the big day so no need to feel sick just yet......Lovely article in the Advertiser this week so maybe I will pull in a wee bit more sponsor money.
Guests this week have had the privilege often granted to visitors to the West Coast of many different seasons in the one day wit some spectacular storms thrown in along the way....however today is gorgeous...a cool, tranquill September day just the way we like it.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Achnamara 10k

A really friendly local race this one but brutal!! 7k more or less straight up and then down with a few little ups for the remaining 3k...the reward at the end is very good cakes and sarnies though provided by the good folk of Achnamara...all in aid of the Community hall fund. The weather was as kind as it could be with hurricane Katia hovering in the wings. A short shower spattered us on the walk to the start line and then held off until the end. The wind was gusty and to be felt as the course swung around to the last 3k or so. A great run with good friends and I finally feel  am back in the swing of life with a time of 54:52 which all things considered I am quite happy with....and I came home to all the rooms done and tidy..thank you Freya and Toby!

Saturday, 3 September 2011

More tri-ing to train

The above shows the 12 mile cycle route for the triathlon and then the start of the run. Lizzie and I trundled off down to Lochgilphead on Friday to swim....although I say it myself I felt good in the pool this time just gliding along and turning well most times. Despite such a long way away from the pool my times were about the same which says a lot about my training on normal years!! Onto the bikes for the 12 mile cycle and I felt good, I love the road bike on a lovely smooth surface unfortunately this one was pitted and rough as anything so the old tail bone suffered. The energy slowly trickled away with the miles and left that old diggin' deep theme tune thudding away a couple of miles from home...Hallelujah...the car park. Dump the bike and run...well, hobble on legs that are stiff as boards and unresponsive to the pleadings from above to get on with it and run...ah well, it will be all right on the night...or day.

Thursday, 1 September 2011


 A little trip round Loch Glashan last night...the longest I have run in a wee while and boy did I feel it halfway round...tired legs and feet yes but a lowering of spirits too as this distance was well in my normal schedule a while ago...never mind I did it and finished smiling and with all toe mails still so three cheers!! Liz pulled me along and helped me stay sane....Lovely guests again this week, two German Doctors who were very quiet and polite and all helps!

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Asparagus Fest!!

At last there is starting to be a tiny sliver of gardening opportunity as the gap between jobs to do in the house and lack of energy begins to widen. So...filled with zeal and enthusiasm I remembered a chiding from last year at leaving teh asparagus fronds for too long in the poly tunnel...I have duly cut back and fed them to ecstatic pigs (Poppy not so sure) only to learn that this year I was too early.... The scenery is overlooking Crinan on a staggeringly lovely night when we ran the 7 miles from there to Tayvallich...This is taken after a 397ft climb from sea level in 0.9 mile. I found the whole run tough but manageable so Come on energy give the legs a boost!!

Friday, 19 August 2011

Speedy update!!

The blog is back up and running which means the schools must be back. Toby is now a 6th year with highers behind him and the BIG decision on how to earn enough money to keep him in well imagined luxury for the rest of his life...tough call!! Rosie has a big week ahead full of talks from teachers about the seriousness of this year and Freya....well, Freya is still enjoying the freedom of second year...for now!! An eventful time is now hopefully behind us all and I am back in full bloom again, I can appreciate from first hand experience what a jolly useful family and group of friends I have!! A nice treat this week was the wedding of our old German friend Thorsten (one of our very first guests 17 years ago...) and our new German friend Petra. We were incredibly honoured when they chose to get married in Inveraray and we were their was very intimate, just us and Rosie but very special and informal. A beautiful backdrop for the photos both on the Front green and in The George.
On the B and B front a lovely French family stayed last week and have changed my image of a humble little insect that might be encountered around and about occasionally in Scotland when I was asked what a "Mudge" was...had me puzzled I can tell you for a little while! A Lewis Carroll moment.
Tri Training is carrying on at a more gentle pace than usual but is nevertheless being far!!
The following is my first road cycle in a long time and went surprisingly well!

Friday, 1 July 2011

Tri training

And so the triathlon traing starts again!! Rosie and I went out cycling the night before last to try her out on the big bad road. Wobbly legs for both of us as I have not been out on a bike for many a week/month either. Last night was then end of session run with the running group which was fabulous with almost everyone attending and then a great meal afterwards. The below workout was the beginning of brick training..urgh, so called because it would be slightly better to run with a brick tied on each leg....or because it feels as though your thighs have seized up and become as intractable as a couple of bricks after a hard cycle when you try quite illogically to force those muscles into running. The dogs had a great time as we ran out all at slightly different rates after the cycle and so they just turned constantly and ran with whoever was still heading out whenever we passed each other. Ahhh.. and now the tennis, thankfully watching not playing.

Friday, 24 June 2011

Despite a rather disjointed time in the poly tunnel  this year(Lets not mention the mayhem a stormy couple of days wreaked on the outside patch...only the potatoes survive...) we have managed get our best ever harvest of strawberries...they enjoy the new system introduced last year of being suspended above the main beds in drainage pipes allowing the growing fruit to dangle free of the soil and damp. In a different kind of hothouse last night (the amazingly stuffy school hall) we watched Toby receive his deputy head boy badge and Freya certificates in Geography and History. Rosie, frolicking in the land of the Nordic people missed out on collecting her Chemistry prize but we applauded her dutifully anyway. She returns tomorrow, the incidence of texts revealing the level of home sickness...i.e. lots to start off with, then a lull and then an increase today when she remembered about us again. I have mucked out her's and Freya's room (Freya sleeping over in the wilds of Tayviallich tonight) so there is every chance that they both keel over in shock and horror tomorrow at being able to see the floor. Running continues at my new steadier pace with the beginners group keeping me going again this week, we had a great run out on Tuesday too....but soooooo wet!

Saturday, 18 June 2011

A very proud moment indeed

What an amazingly bunch of people I met yesterday...volunteers from all over Argyll and Bute were recognised yesterday by the council from youngsters to the more mature in all realms of support and giving.The lunch was pretty good too!! I was lucky enough to be nominated by my lovely jogscotland girls for the Sports Volunteer of the Year and was so very proud and not a little emotional to receive it despite the disgusting picture cribbed from Facebook and then some how squashed by the computer to portray a very pained looking squat fee at the end of the Dun na Quaiche run. Mind you I felt like I lost inches on that particular challenge!....Here's the pics!

Back down to earth in the evening with Toby off to help at the high school formal and Freya to karate. Rosie was all done with her packing for Norway and plugged into Harry Potter 7 by mid evening. She was up and about at 5.45 ready for a 6.30 pick up. I also was awake as the cockerel that I obviously failed to lock up last night was proclaiming his delight in the new day by 5.30. Will do better next time!

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

A small hiatus...

..caused by a visit to hospital but I am back now and ready to resume blogging duties. These are some pictures from the Bute Tri...Garret in the sprint, Rosie in her second Novice and Freya in her first. Rosie did really well especially in the swim and Freya pulled off a blinding performance coming 5th overall in 42.30 only 15s behind the first senior woman. My own sporting challenges have been on hold but I am planning to compete my tri of events by completing the Mid Argyll triathlon on its tenth anniversary in September....legs willing!