For as long as I can remember, the 2nd of February always heralds the start of a New Year.
Don’t get me wrong, have always celebrated Hogmanay, but with Gamekeepering, the year would end on the 1st February and the new one would begin on the 2nd.
It was like that when I was a child and my Father was Gamekeeping and then when I followed in his footsteps, it obviously continued and it has stayed with me, like it is in my blood and is a hard traditon to shake off, well I wouldn’t particularly want to anyway.
So, I usually find the 1st & 2nd a time of reflection and a time of new beginnings etc.
Reflecting, has me thinking what a year 2016 has been!
This time last year, if you had asked me about me wanting to return to my beloved Ardmair, then chances are I would have jumped straight in the car before I could have answered you and I would be there.
Now here in 2017 and if you were to ask me the same question, well, I just could not answer you, I would be torn! Hey, bet you didn’t see that one coming, well nor did I!
2016 has of course, seen us move (Again) and I am loving Tulloch and life in the Glens, (Though a tad disappointed with the lack of Snow lol).
And if you had told me that I would be living in a place where I stayed in a Holiday Cottage just two years previously, well I doubt I would have believed you, but here I am.
Tulloch is pretty hard, but rewarding work, we knew it needed things doing to it, but it is not until you are actually living in a place, do you realise how much does need doing!
Builders are here again the now whilst I type and we seem to just keep moving things from room to another as work continues.
Of course, the main job has been getting the new Gallery ready, which I really had hoped would have been open by now, but, we have to wait just a wee bit longer yet and for those who know me, you’ll know that I am not the most patient of folks and that my patience is really being put to the test here.
There was a bedroom downstairs here at Tulloch, separate from the others, on seeing the view from that room, I had instantly bagged it for my office and was well on the way to getting it set straight, but then… Oooh, I know, lets do Airbnb as well!
So I moved the office into another room and August 2016 saw the start of Tulloch Airbnb
And neither Alistair or I did not foresee how well it would take off.
Now you may not know, but many years ago, I studied Hotel & Catering Management, I qualified, but then almost right after getting my diploma, I finally got my chance at Gamekeeping, so I had no intentions of ever using any of my learnt skills.
But, I am using them now. Its funny, how things from life past can suddenly one day reappear and come back into play again, even for those briefest of moments.
Now, I am no domestic goddess or anything and our home is a working one and definitely has that ‘Lived In’ look about it, but I am loving the Airbnb and the many new people and new friends we are meeting/making.
With it still being a new project, it is still a learning curve, but on setting up the room, I just took a step back and thought, what would I like??
With Barclay, camping really isn’t an option at present, so if I am on the road, a bed and breakfast would be the next option, but sometimes, by time a morning shoot has finished, I have known for me to be too late and have actually missed breakfast, so that was the first thing, breakfast is pretty much a laid back affair, it is there for when IT suits our guests, including my freshly made bread, which I am now making on a daily basis.
The room, well I have added lots of wee extras, which I hope help make the guests welcome, relax and feel right at home.
If I wouldn’t sleep in the room, nor does anyone else type thing.
The Kitchen has become the real social hub of Tulloch, dining table in the hub of that hub and already it has seen many great discussions, including many political and historical, seen map/route planning, seen whisky tasting, seen games nights, seen many a dinner, seen much laughter, seen much coffee and one highlight, was Fondue night, shared with a wonderful couple from across the pond and I learnt that when you lose your food mid dip, you kiss the person to your left (Fortunately, on my left was Alistair lol), all of these have made for some wonderful new memories in the short time since we begun Airbnb.
Also, going back to my education years, a couple of us planned to travel the world, sadly it had to be cancelled, but with many international guests here at Tulloch, in a way, I feel like I am getting a taste of travelling the world now and that itself, is so uplifting and inspiring.
Thank you to our guests for sharing your travels with us and thank you for choosing to stay at Tulloch as part of your travels.
2016 saw the release of the Nikon D5 and I was chomping at the bit for that gold box to arrive at Tulloch, my expectations of this Camera were not at all disappointed.
Another superb bit of kit from Nikon, which just felt right from the off.
I like the D800, but I did not connect with it like I had with the D3, that was soon put right again with the D5.
But, with all that has been going on these last few months, I still haven’t used the D5 a fraction of what I would have liked, but, that time is about to start, as this next week should see the end of current work, which just leaves the decorating and setting out of the Wee Scottish Gallery for February.
And I need to be out and about doing some Photography to relax!
Since Christmas, it has been nonstop, work, work and oh look, some more work.
Whats that saying, you are waiting for a bus, then three arrive at once? Well, its been that kind of thing.
I am exhausted the now.
All work and no play, doesn’t make Karen a dull girl, but, it does make me a poor friend at times, for that, I sincerely apologise, so many of you I need to get caught up with, be there for and cherish and enjoy, as so it should be.
Out and about, well I have been, mainly locally and mainly on foot.
So many paths to follow and new things to explore around Tulloch, it has been all about finding my way round, finding my feet and having wee adventures.
Also, still trying to teach Barclay a few things, though I reckon that is a lost cause, am sure McBasil wasn’t as bad as this, though my Mother says I am looking back through Rose Coloured Glasses and that McBasil was indeed a wee sod when he wanted to be!
Thing is, Barclay does know things, he does know when he should be behaving etc, what he should do, but in a split second *Squirrel* it all goes, I just despair and think I am fighting a losing battle with him.
Plans, I have pretty much given up on making them, I certainly do not plan well ahead anymore. 2015/2016 saw me having to change and cancel so many things, which in turn, causes unnecessary stress which, ends up affecting my health, so for me, life now works much better taking each day and week as they come.
My health, has much improved over these last few years, but I do realise and accept, that I will never be 100% again, so I work, live and adapt as to what suits me best.
Still get frustrated with things and sometimes a wee bit down that I can’t do what I think I should be doing, or what I see other folk of my age doing, but, on the other hand, I reckon I am very lucky, that things could be far far worse and on a whole, I do live a really good life, for which I am blessed and am extremely thankful for.
So has the year 2016 finally seen me settle down!??
Well, who knows!
I certainly am for the present, as said, I am loving Tulloch, but I do know that life can change at any given time and as some of you will know, normality and I have never gone hand in hand lol, I am indeed ready for some calm time and I have pretty much got everything unpacked and found a place for it at Tulloch, surprisingly, that is something I had not done at Ardmair, so maybe all this was meant to be?
I will now start this new day and year as per usual and that is with a Coffee whilst watching day break.
And I finish off by wishing you all a wonderful 2017 and The Journey continues
– Karen – x