“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” ....Oscar Wilde

Wednesday 28 August 2013

What's on Your Work Desk Wednesday...WOYWW #221

Well hello all you lovely WOYWWer's out there...
(which for anyone visiting who doesn't know what 'WOYWW' stands for...
it's 'What's on Your Work desk Wednesday'. 
Every Wednesday Julia over at Stamping Ground hosts an artistic/crafting get-together where you can nip around desks from all over the world, to check out what people are creating. 
Okay, so it's a great excuse for a good nosy around...hey I'm the first to admit it...I like to take a peek into peoples lives. 
WOYWW's are such a talented group and they're so friendly, they'd love you to pop over to see their space...but don't go just yet...take a peek at my space first.
I say space because it is quite literally a space at the moment. I can hardly call it a studio or art room. 
I'm having an ongoing argument debate about what this room should be used for...but I've had it in my little head that it was to be MINE ALL MINE!!!
Besides the light is fantastic and I'll need all the light I can get once we head into the winter months...
...end of story!

You can see in the bottom left hand corner of this photo my art supplies, which have yet to be unpacked. One of the cushions on the chair was a gift from friends...the fabric is printed with the area that we lived in whilst in Melbourne. It shows a detailed map and is a fantastic memento.
The large print resting over the fireplace at the moment, is a photographic ariel view of Melbourne, not framed or hung yet, but we'll get there.

This next photo is the view from the other side of the room. 
There's my desk which is just perfectly situated for me to keep an eye on the bird feeders. 
(Don't look at the curtains...they're about to go)

I'm not sure its a good idea though because I get distracted so easily. 
For instance, I was so excited this morning because I had a new visitor....a Great Spotted Woodpecker 

(photo courtesy of wikipedia because my photo was just a blur...
but I'll keep working on it assuming he comes back)

ANYWAY...Julia likes us to keep our WOYWW posts brief...oh dear!

(cough) Moving on quickly, I will show you what I've finally managed to draw this week. 
If you're a regular visitor here, then you'll know how I've struggled to find the time to fit any art into my day.
But I did manage to draw a few 'thank you' cards for friends that have very kindly given us pressies, for our big move from Melbourne back to the UK. 
I wanted to do something Scottish but not a zentangle as such...just a drawing. 
So here it is....

I was in two minds whether to 'tangle the leaves but decided in the end to leave them. 
Then I was thinking of adding colour, but I think I'll maybe have a play later. 
At the moment the top priority was to get the cards into the post. 
After all we did leave Melbourne nearly two months ago! 

But there's another treat in store for you today...because I have another card to show you. 
But I didn't draw this one. It was a fantastic surprise and had travelled all the way from Brisbane to drop through my letterbox. Vonny from VonnyK Art had very kindly sent it to me. 

How amazing is this....

Vonny had even researched the 'Allan' tartan because she knows my surname isn't 'Natters'...she's not only a talented artist she's also clever like that!
I love, love LOVE IT!!!!

Look at how light I am on my feet...as well as slim waisted, beautiful shaped legs and there isn't a wrinkle in sight! 
How kind....Bless her
But the more astute snoops amongst you will have already noticed that there's a little something extra in the shot. Vonny made a necklace too. She decided to make a chook necklace because that's what we are, a bunch of old chooks she said...but I think she really meant that we're spring chicks!!! 
Yeah that's what she meant!

So there you have my WOYWW for this week peeps...don't forget to nip across to Julia at Stamping Ground to see lots of creativity. 
Have fun and thanks for stopping by at my place. 
It's always lovely to see you and even better when you leave a comment.
I'll try to visit you all but I can't promise. 

Happy WOYWW to you all. 

Monday 26 August 2013

Summer Rain...and visitors to my garden

We've been living in a cloud for the last five days...
Low misty dampness rolling over the fields and hills...but we are still in August, so thankfully it's still relatively warm. Perhaps it's just giving me a gentle nudge that soon the summer will come to a close, therefore I want to appreciate it to the maximum. 

I thought you might like to see some of my garden 
(well I was just playing really...challenging myself to make a little video and posting it with music etc...and I managed it! Yay)
I'll make sure that I capture the sun on the next video and not take it through the window! 

(for the first three weeks after we arrived back here we hardly saw a bird in the garden but now the word has certainly spread...'there's a five star restaurant for birds opened up in the neighbourhood'.
We're seeing so many different types now from the large wood-pigeons to the tiny finches and wrens. 
It's a pure delight)

There was a little reprieve yesterday afternoon as the sun worked its way through the cloud to warm and delight us once again. 
We decided to eat our Sunday Roast outside as it could be the last time for many months. 
But then who knows? 
The UK weather (as many of you will know) is very unpredictable. 
Take today for instance...it is still early as I type and the mist is still hanging very low all around but there's reports that it will burn off later and we could have sun and temperatures in the 20's!
That'll do for me thank you.
Whatever your weather...enjoy! 

Tuesday 20 August 2013

A Simple Woman's Day Book

FOR TODAY ~ Tuesday 20th August 2013

Outside my window...I'm gazing at the undulating landscape. I can see for miles over the farmland down to the river bank. There's a big expanse of sky stretching for miles plus the woods. 
I know that I'm very lucky to have this view from my window and trust me, I'm appreciating it. Maybe a little too much some times because it does take my attention. But then I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing. Well not all of the time anyway :$
The photo below was taken before 6am, just as the sun was waking up for the day.

Unfortunately the sun obviously wasn't feeling particularly strong today...maybe it had put too much effort into yesterday...so it's decided to go for a little rest. The sky has a thin grey blanket now with baby blue patchwork woven in-between. If I gaze right across to the hills beyond I can see what the weather is likely to do in an hour or so. At the moment the clouds are looking rather heavy, but there's brightness and hope that the sun will have rested soon and be back with us.
The grass in the field outside is now a vivid green and growing quite high. It waves to me as the soft breeze passes by.  I'm hoping that the farmer decides to put sheep in for the coming lambing season. When we lived here previously we had lambs to watch and keep us amused. Now that was distracting! If no-one is listening I'll admit I must have spent hours watching their antics! (That information is just between you and me you understand ;D)
From a side window I can see my son's handy work from yesterday. He cut a huge laylandii hedge that must have been over 15ft in height! See what happens when you go away and leave these things...they grow!
I was a little nervous with him perched up the ladders with an electric hedge cutter in hand, but we managed without incident. I was the safety adviser for the job and stabilizer for the ladders using my humongous weight to keep them stable. Don't forget I'm married to 'Captain Safe' so those sort of things get drummed in over the years!
Muffin is contently curled up in her basket. She's enjoying having a 180 degree view even without leaving her bed! Typical female...she doesn't like to think she's missing anything. There's the odd gruff and little snorting noises resonating periodically but generally she's silent.

I thought I'd include the photo below in this section of my day book because it was taken at the end of one day last week. I never normally featured this part of the day which is a shame...so here you are.

A misty sultry August evening.

I am thinking...that the owl we've heard "terwit-terwooing" hopefully will be a regular visitor to our garden. 
When we first arrived here there were very few wild birds in the garden, but now with three feeding stations constantly being replenished we have an abundance! 
Here's just a few that we've seen so far...robins, wrens, blackbirds, bull-finches, goldfinches, blue-tit, great-tit, magpies, wood-pigeon, buzzard, sparrow-hawk, crows and chaffinch. And seagulls on occasions in the field.
They don't seem to be bothered by us at all and just go about their business leaving us to watch them with wonder. 

I am thankful...that I'm able to appreciate nature and all of its wonder. I'd hate to be oblivious to it's splendor. I hope that I've passed this on to my children too.  

In the kitchen...hmm...no cakes or baking. I had a Date and Walnut cake in the cake tin, but it seems to have disappeared in record time. Maybe if time permits I'll bake something this afternoon. I did see Nigel Slater bake a very scrummy looking lemon cake last night.  

I am wearing...jeans, long-sleeved t-shirt and zipped sweat-shirt. Slippers are keeping my toes cozy just in case! Oh yes and a revelation I'm wearing nail varnish. It's not as it seems because I'm wearing it to hide the state of my nails after gardening for three weeks! Now I know where that saying 'green fingers comes from! 

I am creating...'thank you' cards for all the wonderful pressies and kind thoughts from friends and family across the globe. I'm really behind but trying to get them into the post as soon as possible. I may even be able to show you one tomorrow if I get to finish it! 

I am going...nowhere! Ha! 
I couldn't resist that one after travelling for 24 years but seriously I'm not really going far at the moment. The main reason being that we are managing with one car. My car is somewhere on the high seas...still on it's way here from Australia. She's having her own little adventure but she should be here in a few weeks. It hasn't bothered me too much up to now as there's always something that can keep me occupied here, whether it's indoors or outdoors. I'm going strictly with the weather and it's been good, so I've been able to have lots of fresh air! 

I am wondering...why we have butterflies who are insisting on living in the house with us. I've now seen three. They're pretty insistent too. I've gently guided them to the open door and watched them fly about outside only to turn around and come right back in. They like to settle in the inglenook which is fine during the day but we are lighting the fire sometimes at night now. All of a sudden we have butterflies flying around the room away from the heat! Very nice but it's really bizarre. 
This particular chap took a liking to the kitchen and settled on my mint plant. I'm thinking they are coming in as the temperature starts to cool. I'm not sure if they die or whether they settle somewhere for winter. I've got so much to research because what I did know about UK wildlife and plants seems to have disappeared.   

I'm reading...Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey. 
Even though I haven't finished reading this novel (what's new?) I'm recommending it anyway because it's sensational. Yes I said sensational.
I'm really quite annoyed that I'm not able to spend as much time as I'd like reading it, but then that's always the case, especially at the moment with settling in after our big move. 
The book covers really tough topics...racism, injustice, hypocrisy, jealousy, abuse, a beautiful love story, and a wonderful best friends story. I have the feeling that I'm not going to want to finish this book. I've also heard that the audio version is fantastic too, so maybe I'll have to sample that too.

About the Book:
Late on a hot summer night in 1965, Charlie Bucktin, a precocious and bookish boy of thirteen, is startled by an urgent knock on the window of his sleep-out. His visitor is Jasper Jones, an outcast in the regional mining town of Corrigan. Rebellious, mixed-race and solitary, Jasper is a distant figure of danger and intrigue for Charlie. So when Jasper begs for his help, Charlie eagerly steals into the night by his side, terribly afraid but desperate to impress. Jasper takes him to his secret glade in the bush, and it's here that Charlie bears witness to Jasper's horrible discovery. With his secret like a brick in his belly, Charlie is pushed and pulled by a town closing in on itself in fear and suspicion as he locks horns with his tempestuous mother; falls nervously in love and battles to keep a lid on his zealous best friend, Jeffrey Lu. 
And in vainly attenmpting to restore the parts that have been shaken loose, Charlie learns to discern the truth from the myth, and why white lies creep like a curse. In the simmering summer where everything changes, Charlie learns why the truth of the things is so hard to know, and even harder to hold in his heart.

About the Author:
Craig Silvey was born in Australia on New Years Day 1982. He is a novelist and musician. 
He grew up on an orchard at Dwellingup in South-West of Western Australia. He currently lives in Fremantle.
Jasper Jones is Silvey's second novel (debut novel was called 'Rhubard') Jasper Jones was published in 2009 by Allen & Unwin Australia. The film rights for the novel have been sold to the Australian director Rebecca O'Brien. Silvey is also the singer/songwriter for the indie/pop/rock band 'The Nancy Sikes

I am hoping...to organise a trip to Glasgow for next month. Well its not really a hope it's going to have to happen so I need to sort out the details soon. 

I am looking forward to...each day. I know that sounds a little twee...but that's the truth. I just look forward to each day and what it might bring. I adapt my day accordingly to hopefully get the most out of it. Sometimes that's not easy but you can always find something if you look hard enough.

Around the house...Everywhere looks quite organised and tidy considering just under a month ago there were packing boxes EVERYWHERE. Just don't look in the spare room please...it's still chockablock with our bits and pieces. 
The logs are stacked alongside the wood burner which warms my heart...we'll be fine when (not if) the weather turns. There are also books on the bookshelf which always makes me feel happy and content.
A favourite quote for today..."There are only two ways to live your life: one as though nothing is a miracle, the other is as though everything is a miracle" ~ Albert Einstein 

One of my favourite things...Is to know that I have so many people who care about me. It's a good feeling. 
A few plans for the rest of the week: A bit of everything really...you name it and I'll probably be doing! Well within reason obviously...no ski-diving this week! 

A peek into my day...I'm as busy as a bee!

Bee busy on my tree.

 So that's it for this week; I hope you enjoyed your visit and if it's your first time reading my day book entry, I hope you'll be back again soon.
Don't forget to pop over to The Simple Woman's Daybook and check out the other day book entries.
Thanks for popping in...I really appreciate your time especially if you stop to leave a comment.
I see your flags flying around my globe and it makes me smile. 
It's good to know you're out there listening to my natterings. 
https://secure.quebles.com/content/hotmail/emoticons/1511763.gif I hope to see you again soon...Have a wonderful week.
Have fun and hopefully the sun will shine for you!!!

Tuesday 13 August 2013

What's Happening In the Wood Shed?

I've been brought down to earth with a bump today...not a hard bump but a little bump all the same. I've had to close windows due to a rather chilly breeze that is reminding me that yes, we're in Scotland now and not Australia!  
Autumn could be coming to call soon.
That's okay because we've been here before, so in good 'Girl Guide' or 'Boy Scout' fashion we're making preparations. 
To be honest even if we were in the tropics I think my hubby would still want to chop wood and have real fires. So it's quite fitting that he can indulge in this passion because now thankfully we have a special building allocated just for that precise purpose. 
This wood shed is in fact a solid granite out-building.  
There had to be some serious clearing out first...not just junk but spiders, humongous webs, abandoned birds nests, broken windows and the door frame.  
Plus stacking just a few hundred spare roof tiles we've inherited. 

We contemplated dismantling the old stove inside but decided that we'd leave it in. It was doing no harm and I love to have old things with a little history around me...don't you? 
So once everywhere was clear in came the wood palettes. 
Apparently according to 'woody' sorry my hubby, you need to stack the wood in a certain way and have it elevated off the floor with good air flow in order that it can carry on drying out! 

Yes Dear!
This photo on the bottom left is the side view of the building. 
Hey...did you notice that sunlight? 
Sorry, I just thought I'd point that out to everyone that thinks it never shows it's face in Scotland! 
Right the 'Des Res' for logs is ready and waiting...

After intensive research...(I kid you not peeps)...my hubby contacted numerous a local company to arrange delivery of a substantial amount of hardwood. 
Yep hardwood is the best apparently. 
Are you still with me...?

Enter Bob and Charlie...
Yes I know that's a lot of logs but let me tell you they didn't just drop off this load, they returned three (or was it four) times! 
I have to say that I've never met such great guys who have pride in their work and a passion for what they're doing. I'm sorry to say there's quite a few cowboys out there and it was so refreshing doing business with these guys. 
All the wood is dry and beautifully cut. 
Hubby was well impressed although I suspect he wasn't sure to be pleased or not because his chopping skills wouldn't be needed now. 
I had visions of him tucked away in the woodshed for months! 

Bob and Charlie have given it so much thought that they even cut 'lady logs' so that there's no excuse ladies are able to handle them with ease! 
Now isn't that thoughtful...?
I need to say I'm not so sure about this caring act because as we progressed with stacking the logs my hubby suddenly remembered that he'd got something incredibly important that just had to be tended to in town and promptly disappeared! %$#@
Now if the logs hadn't been delicate lady logs but big bloody bloke logs then I wouldn't have been able to spend the next 7 hours moving them off the driveway would I ?!!?!! 
The Silver Soft-top came in very handy I have to say...
Plus I did have help it has to be said...my son and his muscles came in very handy. 
We even had time to play 'Jenga'
(Remember air flow...in order for the wood to carry on drying out...sigh)

And even after that many logs, we still have space for more...rumour has it that more might be delivered next week. 
I'm sure I'll be washing my hair when it lands! 

As I mentioned above...both Bob and Charlie are great guys so they deserve success. 
(oops I should perhaps mention here that I'm not receiving any reward, remuneration etc for this post...there that clears that up...just in case you wondered
Because they're not content to reap the rewards of their success solely for themselves ...they're wanting to pass it on. 
For every 20 truck loads of logs sold they are going to donate a full truck of logs to worthy causes through charitable organisations...ie old people, people with young families or just anyone in need of a little helping hand. 
People who may struggle with their heating bills this coming winter. 
Now I think that's brilliant and it is so refreshing to hear.  

With aching limbs, taut biceps and triceps, broken nails and unbelievably weary I went to see where we'd stock any excess wood...and look what I found at the rear of the building...1906!

As you could see in the photos above the sun was shining beautifully on that day and in fact generally since we arrived it's been brilliant. We've even managed to eat al-fresco on many occasions which is unbelievable really. I never expected that when we left Melbourne...I thought we might be lucky on the odd occasion, but not six nights in a row in that first week. It was surreal.

But as expected it's beginning to get a little chilly at night. Not too chilly...just the type that makes you want to light a fire to settle down to relax in front of for the evening.
Hey come on...we now have wood and we're not afraid to use it!

Here's our family room wood burner and inglenook....now how's that for escape to the country? 
(That's a little wave to all my Aussie friends out there that adore watching the programme 'Escape to the Country'...I never knew it was so popular until I mentioned that we were going home and the house was in the country) 

See those logs roar...those ladies are the bizz!

Unfortunately Bob and Charlie don't have a website, so I can't link you to them.
A website is on their plan, but at the moment they're just too busy chopping wood.
Hey...I've just realised maybe I shouldn't have mentioned them because now you all may want your logs from them and they might run out!!!

Have a great week and thanks for popping by everyone.
Oh yeah...if anyone likes to stack wood then just let me know?
Yeah I know...you're washing your hair too! 

Friday 9 August 2013

Fairy Tale Wedding at Drumtochty Castle (Part 2)

So where were we? 
Ahh yes...'Drumtochty Castle' in the superb Scottish countryside celebrating a fairy-tale wedding. 

This was the first sight of the Castle as we drove up the drive...
I have to admit my tummy did do a tumble when I saw this fabulous entrance. 
I knew we were in for a wonderful experience in a very special place.

I did take lots of photographs at the wedding but obviously I want to respect the happy couples privacy. So with that in mind, I'll just let you take a peek at the bride and groom.
This photo was taken outside St Palladius Church where the ceremony took place, which is perfectly located close to Drumtochty castle.   

'Just Married'

I have to say that all the guys dressed in their kilts looked 'afa bonnie' ;D
And so back to the castle for the reception. 
The main ballroom...

(Photograph courtesy of Drumtochty Website)

Ahhh....the cutting of the cake sealed with a kiss. 

We were lucky to actually stay at the Castle Stables located within the tranquil wooded glen of Drumtochty. It was originally built around 1850. 
The Stables are built amongst beautiful gardens, a small lake and a water stream.
Naturally an Estate like Drumtochty Castle needed big stables for horses and carriages plus the accommodation for all the stable staff to provide a 24 hour service, but in modern times there was no need for these services anymore and the building disused, soon became derelict.

(Photography courtesy of Drumtochty Highland Games)

It did look so sad and unloved didn't it? 
But wait because it was rebuilt in the traditional style and converted into modern flats and apartments. The "Stables" now provide very much sought after accommodation. 
The Stables of Drumtochty Castle

The Stables are set in a magical place with loch, woodland and stream plus marked foot paths and cycle routes through Drumtochty Forest for 12.4 miles.
I must confess that it was such a luxury to be able to nip back to the Stables to refresh before the evening got underway.

With a tummy full of 'Stovies' everyone was fired up ready for the night of dancing and celebrations ahead.

For those of you not familiar with 'Stovies'...the recipes and ingredients vary widely, but the dish always contains potatoes and, variously, onions, leftover roast beef, corned beef, minced beef or other meat. The potatoes are cooked by stewing with fat and stock. To stove means to stew in Scottish. Lard, beef dripping or butter may be used. They maybe accompanied by oatcakes. 
I plan to have a go at making them at some stage and will no doubt post about it.

This photo is of my hubby standing on a chair in order to see more of the dance floor, where the ceilidh dancing was well under way. It's all a mystery to him as to how and where you are supposed to spin, whirl, swish and twirl...so trust me it's best he's out of the way! 
No, I won't go further as he is in a kilt after all...and I wouldn't wish that on any of you! ;D

The official wedding photography was Nicholas and Carol Frost Photography and if you enjoy looking at wedding photographs or maybe just want to see some really professional fantastic work then click here.
And so the happy couple are now ready to start their new life together. I'd love to tell you where they were heading for their honeymoon, but it was all a huge secret and I've yet to catch up to find out where their honeymoon destination was...for all I know they could still be there.

I'd love to hear any of your wedding stories...yes the successes and disasters!
My own wedding had quite a few disasters on the day, but we've just celebrated our 34th wedding anniversary, so whomever told me that the torrential thunder rain lashing down would bring us good luck must have known a thing or two! 
I apologise for my disbelief at the time because I thought they were just trying to be nice and distracting me from the 'pick up your dress and just make a run for the car' comments! 
Oh yes and the wedding car broke down on the way to collect me, so I arrived at the church very late..but the groom was still there, along with a huge sigh of relief as I finally got to the top of the aisle. 
Thankfully all the wedding party hadn't given up on me either! 

Have a fantastic weekend everyone!

Wednesday 7 August 2013

What's on Your Work Desk Wednesday...WOYWW

Well hello all you lovely WOYWWer's out there...
(which for anyone visiting who doesn't know what 'WOYWW' stands for...
...its the brainchild of Julia over at Stamping Ground.
Everyone shows their work desk each week and it's creations for all to enjoy.

The only trouble is for me I've nothing to share this week except my temporary desk. 
I've been missing from the Wednesday gang for many weeks due to moving from one side of the planet to the other (Melbourne Australia to Scotland - yeah very similar aren't they?) But hopefully now that we've unpacked or at least looked into the 120 packing boxes, I'll be able to get back to some artwork soon. 
I've missed it so much! :(
I thought I'd possibly left my mojo back in Melbourne but thankfully it's been constantly trying to catch my attention. 
I just need to set aside some time...in fact I've sneaked on here now when I should be doing lots of other tedious tasks. Shh...no-one will know if I keep my key tapping to a minimum. 
So with that in mind, I'll just show you my temporary desk...well kitchen table really. I've a room that will be converted into a studio that I'll show you soon which is a very exciting thought. 

I know the tablecloth hasn't been ironed...so sue me! As I say I've been busy!
I'll be creating some thank you cards soon, so hopefully by next week I'll have some art to share with you. :D
I'll also be writing Part 2 of the Scottish Castle Wedding hopefully later today, if you were visiting to catch the follow on ~ my apologies. 
It is nearly ready for the publish button so don't go far...well except to visit all the other artists/crafters desks at What's on your Workdesk that is.
Have fun everyone ~ enjoy!

Saturday 3 August 2013

Fairy Tale Wedding at Drumtochty Castle (Part 1)

It is difficult to imagine a more magical setting for a wedding than a stunning 19th Century Scottish castle, hidden away in a wild woodland glen, so when we received an invitation from our friends to attend a Drumtochty Castle wedding we were thrilled to accept. 

(The entrance to Drumtochty Castle...erected in the year 1812)

...but first let me set the scene...

A crumbling Gothic pile in Scotland has been restored to its former glory, thanks to the efforts of a local lad of humble origins. Charles Anderson's life story is worthy of a 19th century romance. Born on a small croft in Aberdeen, he was one of six children. He became an apprentice engineer working on oil rigs in the North Sea, but it was inventing a machine that helps to extract crude oil from the ocean floor that made his personal fortune. Having gone from rags to riches, Charles Anderson then went from croft to castle, with the purchase of Drumtochty Castle in 1997. For while the story of Charles is a rise and rise, the exact opposite was true of the 200 year old neo-Gothic castle 30 miles south of Aberdeen. In the course of its decline, it had ruined its four previous owners. When Charles Anderson bought Drumtochty the roof had all but collapsed, the stonework was black with neglect and apparently rats jumped in and out of holes in the walls. Overgrown trees tightly huge the castle. There was no plumbing, central heating or kitchen to speak of. It was hardly the ideal home for Charles' wife and four children.
The first job was almost literally to dig the castle out of the trees, then to give it a good clean. Charles was quoted £100,000 to sandblast the castle but he thought that was too expensive so he hired someone to abseil up and down the castle with a steam cleaner. It took six months but only worked out at about £5,000.
Having cut down the trees Charles planted 50,000 new ones on the 350 acre estate. He also set about removing the miles of rhododendron bushes planted by the original aristocratic owners of the castle.
They had grown out of control and were starving the local wildlife of its natural habitat.  
He then turned over two of his acres to a trout loch, and started to rear red deer. 
Having been first and foremost a family home, the overall feel is quite unlike anything you would find in a National Trust property. 
The property was built for entertaining and therefore Charles decided to rent out the castle for private functions, in particular weddings. Scottish castles have become ultra-chic locations for weddings but it is also a perfect venue for a corporate get-away, team building event or conference as it is both secure and secluded. Drumtochty Castle is a truly unique setting to wow the corporate clients. 
In the tranquil surroundings of the castle, its the perfect place to relax and get away from the hustle and bustle...or as in our case the 120 packing boxes that we have been swamped with since we arrived back in our new (old) home.   

(some of the above details were obtained from Catherine Moye...The Telegraph)

(Note the Piper playing as we entered the castle)

The undeniable romance of Drumtochty is heightened by the prospect of short liveried carriage ride out of the castle gates to the Episopalian church of St. Palladius where the wedding ceremony can be performed. 

But if you prefer the marriage can be held in the reception rooms, in the castle grounds or by the loch. 
Spring, summer, autumn or winter, the castle is captivating at any time of the year. 

This is the rear of the castle...now how stunning is that? 
For obvious reasons I wasn't snapping photos constantly during the day as I want to protect the happy couples privacy, plus I was so busy enjoying myself that I basically forgot! 

So lets head inside shall we and I'll show you around...

After the beautiful wedding ceremony at St. Palladius Church, we returned to the castle to enjoy champagne in the regal reception rooms (or outside on the lawn) whilst the quartet played...and the bride and groom where whisked away to have their photographs taken.

The restoration of the castle is truly amazing... 

The reception room on the morning after the wedding. 
During the wedding reception this room was full of family, friends and guests who had traveled from the four corners of the world. 
It was a very international affair.

After champagne and canap├ęs we entered the magnificent ballroom where tables sparkled with the finest crystal, china and cutlery. We enjoyed a sumptuous banquet, fine wines and the best service all under the expert watchful eye of Ewan Kirkpatrick (General Manager). Nothing went under his radar and he truly is an asset to the smooth running of any event that is held at the castle.

The ballroom can comfortably cater for one hundred and twenty dinner guests. 
I do have photographs of the hall but as you know I don't like to post any photos of people without their permission so you'll have to take my word for it...everyone looked stunning. 

Smaller and more intimate weddings can be held in the elegant dining room. 

Our supper was served in here later in the evening (buffet style) 
Stovies were a huge hit but then they are a very popular Scottish dish. 
(More about them possibly in a future post)

After a beautiful wedding banquet came the wedding speeches and toasts. 
There wasn't a dry eye in the house...

Here's another quick peek around the castle, but I don't think my photos do it justice. 
It is a stunning castle that has been lovingly renovated to a high quality. 
The regal staircase...

The magnificent window on the staircase...

There's a games room for guests to unwind and relax...

There are two sitting rooms...so plenty of room for guests to chat, chill and generally mingle from the main ballroom. 

Now I've set the scene, I feel this post has taken up so much time that I'll split it into two parts...plus it will give me time to edit and collate the rest of the photos. I hope you don't mind ;D

Hey...the suns shining again so my garden calls...

Enjoy your weekend everyone...I hope to see you again soon. 
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