Monday, August 18, 2008

Wow - can't believe that it is six-odd weeks since I wrote a post for the diary. Lots has happened - we spent a really wonderful two and a half weeks in France. The first week was spent in the Ardeche - mountains and rivers - glorious. Then for the second week and a bit we did a house exchange with two French families. It's the first time we've done an exchange and so we were slightly trepidacious (?!) - but we needn't have worried. Because you are in each others' houses everyone treats everything with enormous respect because you hope the same is happening at the other end. So two families came here to Inchyra and we had two houses fairly close together in the Drome. We invited friends to come and stay and had a really great week with swimming pools and perfect huge lunches and dinners. I have to say, these parents in hotter countries really have got it made - give a child a swimming pool and you really don't ever have to find them anything else to do.

We also kayaked down both the Ardeche and the Drome. It is a great day for everyone - a little bit of danger (rapids), beautiful scenery, some exercise and at the end of it you really feel you've earned that very large dinner and lashings of wine! The photo shows James and Ellie on the Drome.

After one day spent frantically trying to catch up with Twice we headed up to Beauly near Inverness where we go to the Tartan Heart music festival held at the Belladrum estate every year. Well, we've done it for the last four. It is always a resounding success. We camp with the children, listen to music, meet friends, drink and eat too much and generally have a ball. I think it's really good for the children to have their first experience of something like that with us around and Silvie (now aged 9, but 5 when she first went) is such a seasoned festivaller now she gets quite cross when we want to keep an eye on her. The photo shows Silvie and her friends getting the best seats in the house for a bit of Country & Western!
Anyway, now it's back to thinking about Twice and, unbelievably, but inevitably, Christmas. I really need to have all the stock for Christmas sorted out by the end of this month and so I am in a right flap. Hopefully by the end of this week I might be able to see the wood for the trees. Husband James is coming on board in a slightly more formal way which is a great help to me as it means there is someone here to throw ideas and numbers around with - and with a bit of luck means I don't have to do the dreaded books any more. (Not sure if he knows that bit yet!) In addition to all the usual fairs (Country Living in London and Glasgow, Living North in Newcastle etc), this year we have got the workshops running from 16th September until 9th October, we will be doing a Christmas sale here at Inchyra sometime in October and we are launching our first catalogue, so I have no idea how busy it's going to be - but I think 'very' might be the case.
If you would like us to send you a catalogue just email us using the link on the homepage of the website.