It’s been ages since I wrote a blog, and I’m blaming it entirely on that great British summer which has turned Torrisdale into a holiday paradise, hot sunshine, cool, clear water and secluded beaches, what more could you want?! Even better – the midges don’t like it this hot. Instead of midges this year it’s the clegs that are irritating anyone who’s lucky enough to be working outside, especially while strimming, for some reason they love the strimmers..must be something to do with the bracken.

Loads of stuff happening on the estate, Niall, Emma and family are well settled in the castle, and Mary and Donald in their new airy pad downstairs, the name of which is still to be decided – any ideas get in touch. The Servants Quarters are now open to the public and looking great, the first guests are the Rae’s who were featured on a blog last year. This is their 30th year in the castle flats, back then, they were the first guests in the newly opened holiday apartments and now they return to be the first guests in the new look Servants Quarters. We hope they’ll be back next year as usual!

We waved goodbye to one wwoofer and said hello to two new ones also from France. Veronique was with us for 2 months and amongst other things helped us plant up the walled garden and paint Lephincorrach farmhouse. Romane and Marine, two geology students from near Paris are with us for a month and are christening the wwoof accommodation – they love it! Their first week involved helping with the final touches to the Servants Quarters and lots of last minute cleaning. They’ve been great at raking up strimmings and are now punching white paint into the very pebbly boiler house wall while listening to their own mix of French music including all the lion king classics.

The orchard is coming along really well with fruit appearing on the raspberries, currants, tayberry, and blueberries. Despite a few curled leaves and caterpillar damage the apples and pears are doing fine, with a few fruit appearing this year, they have to be removed in the first couple of years to direct all the energy into growth upwards. Until an irrigation system is organised, water is being fished out from the burn every morning to feed the fruits.

Elsewhere on the estate, Pete has been busy strimming, gutter clearing, bundling logs, and generally tidying the place up. Niall has been enjoying tinkering with his boiler, which is slowly starting to do what it’s supposed to do, Emma is becoming an expert at aga-baking, and Zoe and India are covering the entire castle with toys.

Photos of the summer goings-on to follow…roll on the sunshine!

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