Tuesday, 6 March 2007

Over the Sea to Skye for Hogmanay

This is the house where we all stayed this and last Hogmanay. http://www.duncaansc.co.uk/
The house is called Duncaan after the very conspicuous and well-known landmark of Dun Caan Mountain on the Isle of Raasay that can be seen from the windows of the house overlooking the sea and Raasay. The house has three double bedrooms and a bunkroom with bunkbeds. It has a spacious kitchen with dining area with a utility room next to it where we were able to house our dogs. There is also a conservatory leading off the kitchen/dining room.

The hill behind the house is called Glamaig and Peter climbed to the top last year.

View of Isle of Raasay and Dun Caan Mountain from the shore front outside the house.

The kitchen and dining area of Duncaan from the conservatory. This picture is from the murder mystery night that Lyn and Russell had organized for the second night that we were there. We all had our own characters that we had to act out according to the instructions and lines to say from cards as part of the game.

From left: Aidan, Lyn, Russell, Mark, Mhaya (in front of Mark), Jodi and myself (seated).

Here are pics of some of us in our ‘costumes’. I can’t remember everyone’s character names but the title was ‘Death by Chocolate’ and took place while we were enjoying a three course meal prepared by Lyn and Russell.

Lyn Russell Mark

Me ( as Dr Doris Johnson, eminent eccentric archaeologist!!)

Peter recovered enough from his worst symptoms to join us all at the pub at The Sconser Lodge Hotel (www.sconserlodge.co.uk ) after ‘The Bells’ at midnight. The hotel is only a short distance walk from the house; which is just as well as this year the weather was dreadful and decided to herald in the new year with howling gales and rainstorms of biblical proportions! A couple of ‘likely lads’ came down with musical instruments and we all had a bit of a sing-song. Particular thanks must go to Norrie Macleod (on guitar) who lives just up the road from the house and kept us all entertained with his huge repertoire (ooh er missus!!).

The kids manage to beat us all to the best seats in the bar… they start ‘em young in Skye!!

Mhaya suffers some of Russell’s worst chat up lines with good grace!!! She’s gonna go far that one!

From left; Norrie, a friend of Norrie’s whose name escapes me now, but I do remember that he is a criminal justice social worker!!, Lyn, Russell holding their dog Rudi, and Jodi.

And finally… a great Hogmanay picture of Jodi, Mark and Mhaya with me, Lyn and Aidan in the background with only just over an hour to ‘the bells’!! Jodi’s T-shirt reads “Warning: Scottish and extremely HOT”!!!

We had a great time at the hotel and left to first foot Norrie and his wife Fiona at their house up the road.

A moody, atmospheric sunset over Norrie’s house taken from Duncaan.

We were welcomed in to a bowl of chilli and were entertained by tunes from Norrie and Fiona’s daughters Alais on the recorder and Aoife on her harp; albeit a bit reluctantly, Alais playing from the sitting-room next door and Aoife grudgingly played with initial reluctance which seemed to melt away as she stroked and plucked the strings to make music that made the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end, harp music with attitude. Thanks to this talented family for making this one of the most memorable Hogmanays ever; the most memorable being the millennium Hogmanay when we climbed up Bennachie on a cloudless, starlit night by the light of flaming torches and candles in jars… but that’s another story!!!

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