Friday, 30 August 2013

End of the Summer is beckoning but life is still gooooood

Well...autumn is approaching in Argyll but it is nonetheless still beautiful with the leaves starting to change and the air a little cooler. The garden produce is coming to an end and I am frantically searching for every beetroot recipe every invented. This also involves disguising the fact that there is actually beetroot in said food as 3/5th of the Corner incumbents are not took keen on the red rooted vegetable.

Below are last nights guests just leaving...they came in some style all the way from Yorkshire. We had to confine the dogs to quarters as they left being unsure about the wisdom of motor bike herding.

The training is still on go-ahead mode with a rash attempt being made to combine sprint triathlon training (September 29th) with 1/2 marathon training (6th October) which meant a lot of hard work with pretty coloured pens a couple of months ago and some not inconsiderable combining of Brick sessions ( Bike-Run (Triathlon)) with Interval sessions (fast/ recovery running (1/2)). I could get very confused if I wanted to! Luckily jogscotland are very accommodating at going along with my crazy schemes for out and about training...I was so excited to find these steps hidden away.

Monday, 12 August 2013

Happy guests... Happy dogs

An Italian family this weekend kept the dogs fully exercised and entertained. Nancy was a little shy at first but was soon bribed with a small squeaky plastic beef burger into joining in the never ending game of fetch. This was a really delightful family and should anyone encounter them on their long trip round Scotland give them a wave and a " chow" from me

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Pietro Argyll and Arianna Skye Roche

The joys of B and B can come in unexpected ways and these two young guests were certainly a delight. The wonderfully named Pietro Argyll Roche and his sister Arianna Skye Roche were visiting last night from Milan. Their great grandfather was a blacksmith who shoed horses for the Duke and their Granny Ann has told them all about playing in the gardens of the " Argyll Castle". They were travelling with their Italian Grandparents and mother and British father as a 80th birthday grift to their grandfather. I hope they all have a wonderful holiday and how fantastic to have brushed lives with them all.

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Past and Present

This is a photo of Claonairigh that we acquired a few years ago, we are not too sure of the date although we think one of the girls is a lady still living in Inveraray today placing it in the 1930's or 40's. This would be when the house was the home of Agnes and Duchy McColl who farmed the land for much of the early to mid 1900's.

After the McColls passed on the house was mainly uninhabited with only the loggers who were planting the former arable land with pine and larch staying in the house. They lived in the slowly deteriorating house and there is still some evidence of their occupation such as marks around a long gone dart board on one of our sitting room doors....maybe some local whisky affected their aim. A few years ago when one the men who had slept here visited with his Australian wife, he was convinced that the house would be a ruin and delighted us with tales of a grey lady ghost he had seen (maybe that whisky again) but sadly we have never seen so much as a wisp of her.

Above is how Claonairigh looked when we saw it in 1992 and fell in love....we really did and then the hard work began. A year later we were ready to start B and B and our young family started to arrive. 

This is Claonairigh today, we have had a very happy twenty one years here and look forward to many more.

Friday, 14 June 2013


So now we are finally on Facebook and so there will be lots of updates etc and hopefully you can get onto it via the link to the right. Please do 'LIKE' the page and comment, request information, post photos and generally stay in touch! In setting up the page I have been going over old photos and finding interesting bit and bobs and do you know what? We live in a pretty special place!

Life for the Corners is trundling on towards the summer holidays, Freya is off to Norway on Saturday. We have know about this for ages but the departure day  seems to have have suddenly pounced and so frantic packing, and for some reason cookie baking is going on. The weather has been sublime most of the time recently and so the poly tunnel is rapidly escaping from any kind of order. The dogs are full of high spirits with the better days and a Rosie who is free from exams to play with. Toby is home and working at the George thereby combining earning a crust with socialising...perfect!!

Saturday, 25 May 2013


A glorious day here on the West coast today..Freya and I just had to get out and about on the bikes. We drove to Barnlusgan and cycled the few miles to the gorgeous Tayvallich and then onwards to Keills right out of the westernmost point. Twenty one miles on a beautiful day with just enough breeze to keep cool and blow us back faster then the outward journey. The photos say it all really.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Running with the dogs and without.

An up to date picture of my running buddies requested by some guests at the weekend, a delightful conjoined German/ Australian family who were missing their own border collie half a world away. Holly is to the left in firm possession of the stick and Nancy is behind. They run with me frequently both on and off the lead...I really miss them if they can't come. The weekend was hectic, stressful and immensely enjoyable with the race I arrange each year up the Watch Tower Hill (Dun Na Cuiche) in Inveraray. 236m of climb (no dogs to pull me up!), some good banter and great competition at all levels of the race. This year we had a children's run too which was really rewarding. All the pictures can be seen here.

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

On dry land and all at sea.

Bed and breakfast land is starting to pick up again now with five folk staying last night, the day is gorgeous so no problem drying the sheets today. All guests were french, and all lovely, well, we don't get any other kind of guest. They chatted and laughed together over breakfast as if old friends. Running and cycling continues apace with the 5x50 challenge ( run, walk, cycle, row etc 5k/ day for 50 days). Freya and I braved the still ( always?) chill water of Loch Fyne clad in wet suits and every accessory we could to try to keep the cold at bay. A shame there isn't a full face mask too....the cold whisks your breath from you leaving you gasping and shocked which isn't conducive to swimming smoothly or, in our case at all. A little ungainly doggy paddle was managed over a huge distance...say...20 yards or so? In fairness we had done a 10k cycle too to take up the slack. Incubated eggs have hatched and ducklings emerged to the big world squeaking and surprisingly robust. Chicken eggs replaced them in the heater and so hopefully chicks should follow too.

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Barefoot running, buzzards and beautiful Argyll

The first guests are coming drifting back to the beauty of Argyll which brings a big cheer from us. Not only that but Ray who was here on Friday night took these fantastic photos. The bird is a buzzard wheeling around about 200m from the house and the others...well, I am sure that they don't need too much introduction. Weekend of sporty things with a wee run up Dun na Cuiche for me on Saturday, this was only an 8k or so run but an elevation of 236m in between 2-6k which is fun! The view however is stupendous especially when enjoyed with my pals. On the way back we had a little barefoot run around the shinty pitch....well, why not?! Today was the Crinan Puffer race which five of our local running group entered and all ran amazingly. I was a marshal person today due to my ( healing....yes!!) torn knee ligaments and despite feeling a deep green envy did enjoy shouting and encouraging them along. The elite runners passed me by aloof and un-aknowledging of my whooo hoos and clapping hands but the later runners increasingly responded and smiled back! There is a ratio here...lets call it the  elite/smiley principal which means that the speed of runner is inversely proportional to the amount of smiley-ness when approaching the end of a race. I love the running community! Toby was seventh over all which predictably he was not so pleased with but he did beat all his old result!!

Thursday, 4 April 2013

50x5 challenge

Freya and I are on day five of the 50x5 challenge together, it is so nice to do it alongside her and we are getting a few good cycles in whilst the weather is still so good. We have been along the main road to the Dubh Loch at the head of Loch Fyne but by far the best was driving the twenty minutes to Loch Awe yesterday, parking and cycling along the glorious Loch Awe. The weather was perfect and traffic very sparse. we are more or less equal at cycling, when my knees and neck hold up and so it is a pleasure to tootle along together. we are of the same opinion regarding frequent stops to take photos and have a drink.We did a leisurely seven miles before turing and retracing our steps to collect Toby from work. Todays 5k will be on our own  two feet at jogscotland....

Sunday, 24 March 2013

A wee hill run

Two guests this morning breakfasted with log fire blazing and porridge to keep the cool spring weather at bay. They departed Fort William bound through the hills of Glencoe and I scooted off to a rather more local hill to do some hill training with two friends. The annual Inveraray trail run is not far away, and I organise it so this was the first foray for my ski embattled knee and I think that I and it did very well...there was some walking and some talking and some heavy breathing but there was some running too! The run in in May, on the 12th and is a short sharp run with a 236m climb along a four mile route. It must be said though that this hill only covers 1.5 miles...3 up and down so it is pretty steep going but the views...well, the views are great so judge for yourselves! It is above Inveraray Castle and the walk up is available and free all year round!

Friday, 22 March 2013

Signs of Spring?

A new sign for a new season. Unique as always Garret has adapted a bird table and nesting box given to us by a dear friend into a new house sign. Sadly this means he doesn't do any work any more as he is glued to the kitchen window commenting on any bird that glances sideways at the semi detached residences waiting to tempt them in. Chilly snowy run this morning with the daytime beginners group.Early bath time now!

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Unexpected breakfast guest

You couldn't pay for entertainment like this.... this wee chap turned up this week and performed impressive acrobatics during breakfast time outside the dining room window. There was a time when the squirrels were more wary of the abundant seeds and nuts provided too close to the house but they are visiting more often now.
We are busy painting and preparing for the start of the new season...Easter is only a whisper away now and with the weather this good there should be plenty of folk tempted by lovely Inveraray. The next couple of days are going to be busy for Freya with multiple music competitions including Brass and The Ayr of course! Rosie will be riding and preparing for a season working at the stables so no help with the ironing from the girls this weekend! Garret and Toby have their sights set on the ski slopes but they never help with the ironing anyway!!

Monday, 11 March 2013

Mother's Day

A little visitor for mothers day on the seed bags...

After we had seen this chap we headed off to Glasgow to roust the son and heir out of his lair and spent a couple of hours watching the blood, gore and decapitations galore that was Hansel and Gretel. Much enjoyed by all which is saying something, not easy to accommodate the many different film tastes that exists for the five of us although Freya did watch the worst of the horror through splayed fingers. A trip down memory lane with lunch/tea in TGI Friday's where we bored our offspring with our last trip there (Toby in a highchair...). Rosie was so pleased with herself getting a Les Mis soundtrack CD which was lovely, chocolates from Toby and wee viola plants from Freya. Lucky Mummy! And we bought Toby home with us for a couple of days.

Friday, 1 March 2013

Local Beer Festival...

A great local event just along the road at Fyne Ales....

Thursday, 28 February 2013

Walking the dogs and enjoying the day.

A walk up Dun Na Cuiche today to check out the route for our annual run up the hill and back on May 12th...Gorgeous day and the dogs were VERY happy, especially when they found some deer remains to roll in.  We met several folk doing the same trip and a very friendly hungarian dog-loving girl at the top whom Nancy and Holly immediately adopted. The rest of the day was spent in silent battle with the various sites I have paid good money to in an attempt to get them to cough up a copy of the GPS maps I have at one time or another, including today recorded that I can copy to a file but sadly the mean old sites won and I had to give it up and go cook soufflĂ© to calm down. The weather has been so wonderful recently that I have decided this is the way it is going to stay... A friend and I had a lovely drive to Loch Lomond-side yesterday to a Spa for a mud treatment. Despite having to stifle many giggles during the explanation of the (self) mud application, subsequent steam infusion and rain shower (warm shower) we had a great time pretending to be rich and idle....

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Spring Painting

The weather has been glorious here recently..wall to wall blue skies and a nip of frost at night, maybe just maybe spring is on its way. At long last I have managed to get the kitchen painted..the joys of having been broken on the ski slopes resulting in no running and so more time available. Torn knee ligaments and running are not compatible in any way.....apart from the two beginners groups I have recently started. I can just about hobble along at a walk jog pace. It is wonderful to see folk out and about at the beginning of their running journey.
A several years long search may be over this afternoon as Garret has gone off with his trailer to get a scrap tractor...this is to retrieve the gears to use as some kind of means (here my technical know how starts to struggle) of hydro power...long term plan but it would be great for powering the Mill. Garret's fleet of works vehicles is growing with the latest inclusion of a rather shabby but hard working dumper truck. It has already moved the ash pile to a more hidden position. to garden, well once the Archers Omnibus has finished.....

Monday, 11 February 2013

The carrot or the stick?

Spring must be around the corner as the paint brushes are out and Poppy the goat is getting frisky... She has taken to jumping out of the field ( taunting the pigs) to wander around having a wee nibble here and there.The dogs are severely affronted at such outrageously bold behaviour and bark furiously just out of reach of the horns. Today she sent them into a frenzy when I wasn't responding to the alarm call ( wielding the aforementioned paint brushes) and was too long with the carrot used to tempt her back to goat base. Holly and Nancy were not at all comfortable with Poppy coming in to get her own carrot...probably as they prefer the stick.