1 JANUARY 2019 10:55
2018 has been a busy one that’s for sure! It’s always good to take stock and list the things that you have achieved rather than have not - and a new year is a pretty good time to do it!
Although we haven't made any drastic changes to the glamping accommodation this year there have been many subtle changes. The best addition for our guests to enjoy has definitely been The Totem pole sculpture! Completed in August the Totem Pole was created by Ian Manley - a guest who first came to stay to find a base to explore West Wales eight years ago - and who has become a dear friend. Ian started the Totem Pole in the spring of 2017, working on it when he came to stay with his family and spending many hours designing and tweaking it whilst at home in Bristol.
Other subtle changes for our glampers (but quite big ones for us!) include the addition of me - Catherine! Leaving the day job and joining my Mum and Dad (Fran and Tony) at Larkhill has meant a bit more has been done on the Larkhill Tipis and Yurts social media pages, an extra pair of hands on changeover days for Fran and Tony’s had a bit less time splitting wood! We also launched a brand new website at the end of 2018! The aim was to give the website more of a ‘feel’ of what glamping at Larkhill is like and make it easier for you to book your stay here.
Adding the option of bedding has also been new for 2018. Being ‘off grid’ we resisted this for many years to keep the use of the washing machine down. If you have a look at our ‘Eco’ page, which gives a bit of history of us being off-grid, you'll read that due to a limit in power we try to keep electrical usage to a minimum. This year we have installed a new LIster generator (which gives the battery supply a bit of a boost if the wind and solar systems aren’t producing enough i.e it’s cloudy and not windy). With this we now have confidence coping with an extra bit of washing!
The smallholding side has seen a good year too! Our Boreray sheep flock saw 32 lambs born in the spring, our bees have produced the best crop ever - 200 lb jars of honey (which you can buy while you are here) and our chickens have had a new roof on their house! Hopefully they are happy with this and will keep providing us and our guests with lots of lovely free range eggs for breakfast!
So that’s last year! Onto 2019!
It starts very promisingly here with our first ever Help-X workers coming to stay! In exchange for a few hours work a day a lovely couple will be staying in our Alachigh for two months. We are hoping that with the extra pairs of hands and extra muscle power we might get back on top of our veggie garden this year (possibly giving out guests a chance to buy some home grown veg to use while they are here), lay new paths, develop our play area a little and plant trees to replace the trees that we have felled this year. Ian Manley has plans to work on a Celtic Cross, which will be located in the top woods (we’ll keep you updated on that!)
Our year here does have quite a set routine. January and February see us completing many renewals and repairs - the Lavvu is having a new canvas and marquee lining (which we make here using a 1957 industrial sewing machine). Ash trees will be cut down (the dreaded Ash Die Back fungal disease has hit us!) and chopping and stacking as much firewood ready for the summer season. March and April see us outside scrubbing down anything that has ‘greened up’ over the winter, painting fences, benches and adding a lick of paint to anything that needs it. The Tipi goes up at the start of the Easter holidays and from then on in from April to September will see us welcoming guests and hopefully enjoying many hours of glorious sunny weather! Bookings are usually less busy after the end of the Summer holidays onwards when you’ll find us outside strimming, cutting things back and the usual horticultural necessities! Then it's back down with the Tipi and the cycle begins again!
We’ve welcomed many old faces and new faces in 2018. Thank you so much to everyone who has come to stay. If you have stayed with us, feel free to leave us a few words in the comment section below and a Happy New Year to you all!
If you haven’t yet stayed with us, but are planning to, we look forward to meeting and offering you a warm welcome.
Happy New Year to you all!
From Catherine, Fran and Tony