Story: Our Coffeehouse

It might surprise you to learn that we’ve a rather unique coffeehouse complete with a fireplace, plenty of natural lighting and damn fine coffee. A coffeehouse that’s used by visitors and staff alike.

It’s a true coffeehouse — no tea, no fancy coffee drinks beyond lattes and espresso drinks, and most deidely no food. There’s . . . → Read More: Story: Our Coffeehouse

Music matters: Thelonious Monk: The Complete Riverside Recordings

The middle decades of the 20th Century were a golden age of jazz. Dozens of world-class musicians all over the United States produced music that defined the era, from bop to cool jazz to hard bop, free improvisation and fusion. Three names tower over all: Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Thelonious Monk. Today, I’m talking . . . → Read More: Music matters: Thelonious Monk: The Complete Riverside Recordings

Story: Theological Anthropologist

She said she was a theological anthropologist. And I asked why she was visiting our Estate. Out of curiosity as it appeared to her that we preceded the fall of the Kirk in Scotland by many centuries as visitors she’d talked to noted that no one here appeared to be a member of any Church . . . → Read More: Story: Theological Anthropologist

Music Matters: Jerry Lawson: Just a Mortal Man

The Persuasions made something like 40 albums in 22 years with Jerry Lawson as their lead singer and arranger, but until recently their album of Frank Zappa covers was pretty much all I knew of Mr. Lawson’s singing. They just didn’t play The Persuasions on the radio in the little town where I grew up, . . . → Read More: Music Matters: Jerry Lawson: Just a Mortal Man

Story: Gutmansdottir and The Wild Wood

Gutmansdottir was her family name and the only name she went by. She said she was a botanist and was interested in studying our Wild Wood, the area of the Estate that’s apparently virtually unchanged for over a thousand-years, if not a lot longer. I was intrigued enough by the idea that I asked . . . → Read More: Story: Gutmansdottir and The Wild Wood

Story: Gingerbread

I hope you’re enjoying the still hot from the oven gingerbread with a scoop of Madagascar vanilla ice cream on it. Bet you another piece that you don’t know the history of this culinary treat, do you? Thought so. So do take another piece and I’ll tell you all about it.

Our gingerbread is the . . . → Read More: Story: Gingerbread

Music Matters: Some Sunday Morning Music for You

I’m out in the Courtyard on this warm Scottish morning watching a pick-up football match on the Greensward between Iain’s all female Library apprentices and an all male group from the staff that works for Gus, the Estate Head Gardener. (Gus has a number of female staff but they declined to play as they had . . . → Read More: Music Matters: Some Sunday Morning Music for You

Story: May Day

It’s a holiday, or about to be. More precisely, May Day at the Estate, which is tomorrow of course. So what’s planned for this very special day?

We lead off the day with music and a May Pole just after dawn in the courtyard. Roots and Branches, which consists of a violinist (Catherine, Iain’s wife), . . . → Read More: Story: May Day

Story: Beef Pot Pie

We don’t eat a lot of beef here, as we don’t raise any beef, which means we either purchase or trade for it with other farms in our area. So what beef we do consume is combined with other ingredients so as to stretch it out. And an excellent way to do this is in . . . → Read More: Story: Beef Pot Pie

Music Matters: Steeleye Span

So let’s have some music from what I consider the best electrified folk band that Great Britain ever produced, Steeleye Span. Over forty years of live performances have produced a treasure trove of excellent soundboard recordings.

Let’s start off with a perennial favourite of fans:‘One Misty Moisty Morning’M as performed at Fairport Convention’s . . . → Read More: Music Matters: Steeleye Span