A highland fling

our wee adventure on the Black Isle

Total busy-ness

That’s right, you spelling and grammar pedants, I said “busy-ness” and meant it. After all, if I meant to write “business”, I would have done so, right? You betcha.

Kenton and I thought that last year was really, really busy, but in comparison to this year, it was a walk in the park! 2013 is shaping up to be our busiest year ever, and it’s only February! So what do we have to do, you wonder?

We have the farm, first and foremost. 22 acres of olive trees, forest and garden to take care of. OK, the forest takes care of itself, but we still have to strim the path and check for fallen trees, etc.

The olive trees need a haircut this year, which involves hiring specialists to properly prune the trees. We follow along after them to cut off the small branches (which we burn) and log the bigger branches for firewood for the winter. Nothing is wasted! It’s a lot of work though, and not made easier by the fact that our two 40+ kilo boxers like to play tug of war with one end of the branches when we are trying to drag them to the pile!

The chestnut trees also need a prune, which we do ourselves. This involves Kenton climbing the tree with the chain saw to cut the big branches, which we then log for firewood. Precarious, and hard work!

Then comes the veggie garden. Soon, we’ll be planting our cauli, cabbage and broccoli. And our potatoes, onions and garlic. Add to that weeding of same. Add to that planting summer veg seeds in the greenhouse, for planting out in May. Ditto on the weeding.

We also have some house projects planned. We are installing central heating (=grandchild visit), which means building a boiler house, installing piping and radiators, and so on. We also want to tidy the outside and the herb garden, and build a couple of walls to tidy the pool area. We want to put stone on the wall of the stairwell, and of course, there is the usual painting to do.

Of course, then we also have Lujos – marketing, PR, making and posting orders, developing new products. Kenton is also planning on expanding the Lujos agent network this year, which means spec-ing the role and interviewing candidates.

Add to that group visits from a chef from the Culinary Institute of America (to talk about pork, wine and olive oil), a ladies group from Trabuco (Lujos), 4 Dutch groups (olive oil and Lujos), and whoever else is interested. Each group has a tour of the land, homemade snacks, and usually a soap or cream-making demonstration. They are a lot of fun, but also hard work!

This year I am also helping the great guys at Simple Click while one of the team is on maternity leave. That means working from home, taking calls, answering emails, testing software, and managing development projects.

Kenton has his numerous photography projects, as well as a top-secret idea he is developing for a Very Important Person in the UK. Watch this space!

Last, but certainly not least, we have numerous visits to England to see our new granddaughter Matilda, and (of course) our daughter Peggy and her husband Dan. They welcome us into their home, and we repay them by cooking them loads of super meals.


Getting to know Miss Matilda

Kenton and I feel it’s so crucial during this first year of Matilda’s life for us to become fast friends, and so far this policy is working very well. Kenton and I play with her, cuddle her, smile at her, talk to her, read her books, feed her, and anything else we can think of! She’s a real little charmer.

So yes, it is looking like a busy year. I get the feeling we should have started working on some of these projects yesterday! I am already planning my nervous breakdown.


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!

Comments are closed.