"The Atholl Palace is one of my favourite places where each year we meet up with good friends and have fun. It's the perfect place to stay in a perfect setting with lovely people looking after us. What more could a person want?"
And on a glorious autumn morning they came, thousands upon thousands of them split into groups of as little as a dozen to skeins of many hundreds.By mid morning the masses had passed over with just the stragglers calling to each other through out the rest of the day.
Although the weather this summer has been very different to that of last year the pink feet geese passed over on the same day as 2011. This migration has gone on for many thousands of years but to stand on the Palace lawn and watch and listen to the 2012 offering was something special. Their high pitched yelping and chattering coming on the wind in snatches and, a little like bagpipes, so much more subtle and mysterious than when heard close by. The Enchanted Forest is manís attempt to copy the mysteriousness of nature and is watched by 30,000 people. I wonder how many have had the privilege of being entertained by the Enchanted Sky, that brief few days when the skies are noisily alive with the returning migrants, very few I'd guess.
Itís difficult to put a finger on the combination of weather patterns that produce beautiful autumnal colours. Whatever they are I think we may have hit gold this year. We have had wind and rain and two or three hard frosts but the leaves are still there and turning beautifully. 2012 might well be a very special year of autumn colour.
Walking in the herb and vegetable garden the other morning, after a frost of minus 5, it was interesting to see the effect on the various plants. Obviously courgettes and marrows were finished, French beans hanging limply and dahlias blackened. How could anything survive that sort of cold? Well the broad beans are fine and plump, lettuce surprisingly so, kale and broccoli all well. Perhaps most astonishing was the sweat peas. They were planted very late after the first lot failed and are in full flower just now. There they were, fresh and fragrant as if on a warm July day!
Recently we had a conference at the hotel where afternoon team building took place. One of the activities was for the teams to go down a rope slide from the top car park to beyond the fountain. Rarely, if ever, have I seen so much fun being had by conference goers. I only hope the team building was as successful. Innes
Innes finished in 04:41:34 and came 1987 out of 4117 who completed the race. A fabulous achievement!
Thank You to all sponsors.