Happy Families

A new view across to Glenreasedale from the access to the Freisdale windfarm
A new view across to Glenreasedale from the access to the Freisdale windfarm.

Our late Spring has seen a cracking spell of warm sunny weather. Literally, our silty, clayey soil has dried up and started to crack. Great to have such a nice warm start but I only hope that wasn’t our Summer!



The main event in April for me was that I lost my iPhone whilst out running. Despite repeated attempts I never did recover it and now have a relatively cheap and cheerful Windows phone which is OK but doesn’t have the full range of apps available for it. I’m now waiting for a Melbourne sourced replacement to be jetted in. I miss not being able to fire up Co-Pilot satnav and load training results into Strava.

Happy Birthday John
Note my new Greenland paddle!

We joined the Oban Kayak Club to be able to take part in their early season training weekend. All went well but the weather played up on the Sunday in Loch Creran where it was quite frisky. The upshot of the trip was that we took the time to refurbish the skeg on Suse’s kayak. We tested that and John’s new hand crafted Greenland paddle on John’s birthday when we went to Otter Ferry and the Oystercatcher.

Achamore Gardens
Ted and Ben of KitST with some of their kit






Our annual marshalling duties for the Kintyre Way Ultra changed this year in that we were helping Keep It Simple Timing to provide electronic timing for the event. Val and Suse dashed off to Gigha after the Start to see the gardens, joining Ted, Ben and John later in Campbeltown to welcome the winners, including organiser Rob, who had such faith in KitST that he ran it himself for the first time. All went well and everybody seemed pleased with the additional, real time information that was available from the timing system. There’s talk of further changes to the race format for next year so anybody interested in cycling some or all of the Way should keep an eye out for details.

Caitlin's Adventure (1) (6)
The Rainbow Café sign being prepared by Caitlin and Aiden

We were both very excited at the prospect of Caitlin coming to stay with us on her own at Larick House to give Mum and Dad a wee break. We were lucky with the weather which made it easy to amuse her outside and tire her out so that she slept well (Suse’s main worry).


We did well for visitors in May. As well as Caitlin, Kathleen’s postponed visit finally took place and we got two for the price of one when nephew Dave decided to accompany her.

Tree House phase 1
Phase 1 of the Tree House Climbing Frame.
Inside the poly tunnel
No cracking soil in here – just cracking veg!






As for the garden, we’ve been able to keep on top of the weeding and grass cutting and are beginning to create and improve a path network. The Rainbow Café is now operational when required and phase 1 of the tree house/climbing frame is also available. We had a bit of trouble with the automatic watering system in the polytunnel to begin with. The pressure could be too strong, resulting in blown connections, or too weak, resulting in some areas being missed, so you have to get the balance just right. It’s given us a great deal of freedom as the indoor plants can be put out there too.

Roslyn, 4 hours old
Roslyn, 4 hours old
John,Suse and Roslyn
What can you say?





We’ve saved the best till last, as you do. Not quite a week late, Roslyn Imogen Birch arrived on the 22nd of June. Caitlin is delighted with her little sister and they are all doing brilliantly. Her timing is very convenient too, the 22nd being the same date as Johnny and Caitlin (if not the same month) thus helping the poor old grandparents to remember it. And Auntie Jo will be over from Oz for a wedding in July so it’s going to be quite a reunion.

Like most people we are stunned by the BRExit vote, horrified by the racism it has sparked in parts of England and praying that things are resolved calmly and with no recriminations for the better, eventually. It’s definitely a Monkey Year!

One thought on “Happy Families”

  1. Hi John and Sue;
    Just checked your site. Interesting overlap in that we have a superinsulated house , passive solar, from 1983, here in Edmonton.. Orienteering attracts thinking people!

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