Now that the last Turkey sandwich has been successfully devoured – just joking – thoughts turn to the coming year and to how best to shape what Harold Macmillan once famously described as, “Events, dear boy, events.”
Putting Westminster and the B-word firmly to one side, the Dumfries and Galloway calendar is as packed as ever with Kirkcudbright leading the way as it always does. As I write this on Burns Night, a splendid 10-day Festival – The Big Burns Supper – is taking place in and around Dumfries, mixing the familiar celebrations within a culture pot of contemporary, innovative and riotous fun. (As a well-known ladies man, fathering 13 bairns by 5 different mistresses, Rabbie Burns could be described as bit of a party animal himself!)
In Kirkcudbright proper, our well-established Kirkcudbright Art and Crafts Trail in August has been joined by the extraordinary Festival of Light again scheduled for October, whilst the Kirkcudbright Galleries opened in mid-2018 will continue to mount impressive visiting exhibitions alongside its permanent tribute to our Artists’ Town’s rich heritage.
Up at Castleview House, we plan to inject a riot of colour and variety by cultivating the patch of land that that backs onto Hope Dunbar Park, acquired from Sir David some back.
After consultation with the Woodland Trust and with professional horticulturalists in Edinburgh – yes, really! – we have plumped for a range of some 25 wild flowers including Crested Dogstail, Corn Chamomile, Field Poppy and Lady’s Bedstraw to bring the area to life.
The local firm of JF Smith have landscaped the area in advance and the plan is to encourage as much wildlife as possible to enjoy some 5-Star luxury with us. Hedgehogs will be especially welcome whilst an Owl Box is on order as we seek to make our modest contribution to delivering on the region’s motto, “Naturally Inspiring.”
After that, it’s the annual Groundhog Day of making good the property after the wear and tear of the previous 12 months. A (deep) Spring Clean, touching up the paintwork, a new mattress here and there and replacements for whatever has been broken or, occasionally, removed – books seem to be especially vulnerable but the library can probably bear it – constitute the core of the work required to maintain our 5-Star status. However, we never underestimate our guests’ capacity to surprise us, one having left her car behind on the drive!
So, whilst most of what we do and offer continues as it has from the beginning, novelty and innovation are never far away. Just standing still is not an option.
Until next time,