November 2020

While I normally subscribe to the sentiment above, in these ‘Covid times’ we really don’t have any choice other than to stick to the rules however difficult, unfair and sometimes nonsensical some of them seem!  I don’t know about you but I’m finding the constant changes and differences between regions of the UK confusing at the best of times!  And then there’s the matter of what is a rule and what is ‘guidance’?  It leaves the poor old hospitality industry in a very difficult position once again.

One thing that is currently law in Scotland however is the restriction of self catering cottages to one household occupancy.  As we only have two bedrooms, this has not been too disruptive for us as most of our visitors are from the same household and tend to be couples or family groups aside from our fishing guests but we are hoping that restrictions change by the time the season is upon us again.

So please don’t be offended if we ask if you are from the same household when you book – we don’t enjoy being ‘Covid cops’ but we do need to ensure we are adhering to the current laws.  We also respectfully ask guests to adhere to any guidance issued for the area where you live regarding travel which is ever changing too.  At the time of writing, Aberdeenshire is in Tier 2 of the Scottish system and we have been delighted to welcome many guests from within Aberdeenshire who have enjoyed a break even if they haven’t travelled far.

At the moment, restaurants and pubs in Scotland are able to serve alcohol until 8pm but some establishments have made the decision to close altogether. We provide a guide on places to eat but, once again, as things are changing we do ask that guests check before they make a trip to eat out.

But onto happier things – the things that are all around us that not even the Pandemic can stop us enjoying – the roar of the red stags in the hills as the rut comes to an end, the reds and gold of the Autumn leaves lit up by November sunshine, the warmth of the hot tub when snow is on the ground.   Many of our guests arrive from Cities and love the silence of the dark, starry nights here untouched by light pollution.  And as a previous guest said when enjoying a glass of fizz in the hot tub on the deck and listening to the stags – “it doesn’t get any better!’

We expect to say goodbye to our resident Highland cows, Primrose and Snowdrop shortly as they head into Glen Tanar for the winter before returning in Spring.  We will miss our shaggy friends and they will miss being fed copious amounts of carrots by our guests!  They won’t be so spoiled when they are among the other Highlanders!

Here’s hoping, as we enter the last two months of 2020, that 2021 will be a better year for everyone and that by 2022, we can live a mask free and sociable life again!

Liz and Neil