Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Photography heaven holidays thanks to digital cameras, photo editors and the magic of Loch Earn

Interested in photography? Then you might enjoy a self catering week or short break in Little Briar holiday cottage on the banks of Loch Earn. I have an artistic eye but am no Ansell Adams. Every 10th photo is a winner around here though (unless friends and colleagues are humouring me.) Probably more to do with the magic and surroundings of Loch Earn, my Kodak digital camera and Photoshop than any gift. I have uploaded a few images to Picasa,, Trip advisor and Flickr some used for Google Earth, Google Maps and so that I can share my pictures with the world.

We have had one or two guests painting the landscape in water colour but I would love to see what a real photographer could do around here. (No offence to previous camera wielding guests). This week we caught a photographer from Edinburgh with his tripod and a grown up camera poised on our jetty at 7am. He was compelled to click at the sunrise approaching from the St Fillans end of Loch Earn. We understood. If he had stopped to ask our permission he would have missed the shot. You have to be ready around here. Only last week I captured a black mink. It popped its head up from the rocks on our garden shore line. I also caught a pheasant feeding on grubs on the sloping lawn between Briar and Little Briar cottage.

In addition to the ever changing moods and colours of Loch Earn, Edinample Castle and Glen Ample there are opportunities to capture osprey, otters, red squirrels, Canadian geese, swans, mallards (close up if you have food) as well as Neil’s red sea plane taking off and landing, water-skiers, wake boarders jumping, fisherman, yachts, canoes, swimmers, rainbows, paragliders, RAF aircraft, butterflies, bees and the deer that come into our paddock in the winter. So if you are a professional photographer there is plenty of material to capture all year round. If you are clueless about photography like me but like having a go, you might actually surprise yourself with the subjects that nature provides around here.

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

New York Marathon Competitor versus Wedding Day Planner

Running the New York marathon is surely similar to organising a Scottish wedding on the grounds of your property. There is the all year preparation, tremendous reward on the day and you are thoroughly exhausted with aching feet when it’s all over. That’s how Fraser and I felt after his daughters wedding on the grounds of our old thatched cottage in Lochearnhead on August 15. It was a magnificent set up with a marquee on the 250 foot garden on Loch Earn. Angela commandeered our holiday cottage, Little Briar, and was able to admire the stunning views from her vantage point and keep an eye on us all flapping about getting things ready. The cottage turned out to be a perfect honeymoon suite for Angela and her husband Steven too.

Their wedding cake was built on site by MHOR bread from Callander who sent a couple to place the sugar roses on by hand and to make the leaves. It was not only a stunning work of art, it tasted magnificent too with carrot cake on the bottom then chocolate, then lemon, then a plain sponge with sugar thistles and roses on top.

Town and Country Catering provided the food impressing guests with canap├ęs, a first class meal and a buffet in the evening. How they did it from a catering marquee I will never know. We had Jim Brown a local piper as well as a young string quartet during the day. The wedding band "Obsession" arrived from Edinburgh and had everyone dancing on their feet, including a few neighbours in Lochearnhead who confessed later that they were dancing in their gardens until midnight! It was a truly magnificent day. We felt a little flat afterwards but not for long as we are already working on plans for a second self catering holiday cottage. Putting on a wedding is so far proving easier to organise!