A highland fling

our wee adventure on the Black Isle

It’s not at all like Sevilla, folks!



One of the very best things about writing a blog is that you never know where it will take you. You may land some fabulous opportunity as a result of reaching out to the cloud. You may meet some fantastic new friends, who found your blog via the wonderful Google search. (As an aside, I adore ferreting out information on the web, despite the fact you have to weed out a load of dross to find that one great nugget!)

I run a couple of blog sites, including this one, which is mostly about our life in Yunquera, and includes more than a few personal rants, too! I also write a little less frequently on our Yunquera Gold website, which talks about the growing of olives, the making of our wonderful olive oil, and about our work with our Spanish friends.

The Yunquera Gold site seems to attract many people looking for a rather different experience of Spain than the beaches and bars. As a result of these contacts, we’ve started offering informal tours of our olive groves, accompanied by a talk about our life here, and what it’s really like to live off grid on the top of a mountain!

Yunquera Gold olive oil

Yunquera Gold olive oil (photo by Kenton @ imagenary.co.uk)

These tours happened by accident  – a lovely Dutch lady named Mirjam wanted to bring her yoga group here, would we mind showing them around? Our first thought was

why would anyone want to hear what we’re up to here at Casa Tyr?

But if Mirjam thought the group would like to talk to us, then what harm could it do?! So ok. We did it. That was 2 years ago, and since then, we’ve had visits from several more yoga groups, a visit from Janet Mendel, the famous cook book writer, and a tour group of ladies who lunch from a village a few hours away.

Yesterday was another example. Visiting were Kathryn and Walt from Texas Tech in Lubbock, who run a ‘study abroad’ program for engineering students. Interested in our life here as a result of reading my Yunquera Gold blog, they asked to come visit and talk about a few ways we might work with their students. And with them, they brought Shawn Hennessey, “tapas queen” of Seville, and her business partner and friend, Peter (whose surname, of course, I have forgotten!)

What a great time! Our new friends were interested in our lives here, and why we do it. Questions flew thick and fast, and even faster once we’d plied them with beer and wine! The engineering duo were fascinated with our mini engineering feats, such as our power system and our high-tech, zero footprint life. Shawn and I enjoyed discussions about websites, food, blogging, living in a machismo culture, and everything in-between.

Coming here straight from Seville, I think they all were a bit shocked at how different it is here at Casa Tyr! No hustle and bustle, unless you count the hens gently clucking at the house below ours. No close neighbours, no cars passing by. No shops to walk to, no bars or restaurants. Wild countryside, but still with a view of the ocean to die for. (Walt’s comment was that we must really have to like each other to live in such an isolated spot!) In short, it was culture shock, big time!

During our few hours together, we shared our thoughts and dreams with them. We shared our focaccia and olive oil with them, too. And by talking and breaking bread together, we forged new friendships. It was a great afternoon!

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Author: Ann Larson

One-time IT executive who lives on a 22 acre olive farm in Spain with husband Kenton and 2 boxer dogs. We make Yunquera Gold olive oil, and soap and skincare products from same. We aim to make natural, fresh, and handmade products at affordable prices!

3 thoughts on “It’s not at all like Sevilla, folks!

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