As if you were watching a natural film in real time. That’s how you’ll feel when you visit the Scottish countryside this spring. The best festivals of sounds, smells and lights can be enjoyed in the front row. And at House of Mark we have reserved the best place for you to enjoy the best productions. Feel welcome!
For many, December sounds like a noisy avalanche of snow filled with stress from the ups and downs of holidays, gift shopping, meal preparations, visits to family and friends, and many more. For others, December evokes memories, tranquillity, peace, intimacy.
In order to achieve this, they yearn to be in a magical place that takes them away from worldly noise and brings them closer to the essence of life: happiness. House of Mark is the ideal place to find the intimacy of the soul. There you will be sheltered with the cosy blanket of tranquillity, the hot chocolate of peace and a friendly family warmth. Come and visit us.
Sitting by the open fire glancing out of the window large snowflakes are gently falling, branches of the trees laden down with the weight of snow – so magical and picturesque! It has been snowing off and on every day for the past week, snow drifts over 6 feet high blocking the driveway, luckily the larder and freezer are well stocked.
It’s a continuous job refilling the bird food containers for the ravenous variety of birds including the woodpeckers, also clearing the snow from their table to place food for the red squirrels. A worthwhile task as it’s a joy to sit watching them from inside close up to the window. Thank goodness for my chest waders, usually worn for casting the fly but in this case to walk outside, knee high wellies are too short with this depth of snow…! I have to admit most people will think I am mad (it must be difficult for most that have to travel) but it is rare to see snow like this and I am sure it will soon be gone so now time to wrap up warm and venture out camera in hand!
P.S. Have been looking out for a chance to see the illusive Otter as tracks are so clear at the moment!
Whatever the time of year there is always something interesting to see around House of Mark. As I sit here working away on my computer two magnificent stags are grazing less than 300 yards from the window. Looking so regal – one can understand why these handsome ‘boys’ are known as the ‘Monarch of the Glen’! (as painted by Sir Edwin Lanseer).
As I move into the dining room just outside the window three red squirrels nibble away at the peanuts from the bird feeder http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmI0205JvGo, occasionally scampering after each other playfully on the lawn. The Great Spotted Woodpecker ignoring them completely as he pecks away at another feeder. Most guests have also enjoyed watching these antics during breakfast time.
Distractions from my work – yes, but I think I am a very lucky person, don’t you?
Excitement abounds just had my first sighting of a pair of White Tailed Eagles, also known as Sea Eagles … majestic raptors reintroduced to Scotland since becoming extinct.
Make no mistake! these are big birds, flying barn doors. Right on the door step encircling Loch Lee and the mountain lochs, swooping silently waiting till the next meal can be snatched from the waters. Four times the size of a buzzard, two and a half metres wing span and at over one metre high; yet patience is required to see this the UK’s largest bird.
Wedding! Wedding! Wedding! … all a rush… no Fixit being calm ignited into military mode arranging all to minute detail – just like a Fredrick Forsyth novel. “Can I get married at House of Mark?” said the bride-to-be. We replied ‘of course’, had a stiff drink in the aftermath of consideration of the “all to dos” oh and don’t forget the flowers!
My role was the creation of the Wedding menu, to be based on a totally Scottish local food theme with a touch of “me”. Hendrick’s Scottish Gin and Concombre Sorbet; went down a treat!
I think Fixit had the microphone for lunch … MC and all that, the Marquee within the walled garden glistened in the sunshine. Oh, by the way, thanks to all for making the Wedding day go zoomingly.
For a number of years, I have kept Guinea Fowl, they are amazing ‘watch dogs’ making a lot of noise when strangers or predators (e.g. Mr. Fox) approach the property, especially at night when roosting in the trees. They love to roam around the garden all together mopping up the insects including midges and tics but thankfully ignoring the plants. The labs are often seen stretched out in the sunshine amongst the guineas and are protective of each other. This year for the first time I decided to try to hatch some Guinea Fowl eggs. After 28 days incubation, I returned from visiting friends to find my first keet (guinea chick), what a sweet little bundle of fluff! Panic stations, find heat lamp, box, bedding etc. The following day two more keets!
Now some of you may ask are the Guineas for eating? NO WAY!! Although delicious to eat these are my pets, they do have a rather exotic touch, not one would say beautiful – just different!