The Good Life at Mansefield B&B, Greenlaw, Scotland


manesfieldNo, not Selkirk as it eventuated. We didn’t leave Greenlaw all day. Our hosts Phip and Tim arrived back from a trip to Italy in the middle of the night and so the morning found the house humming with their presence, and the kitchen table laid out with a beautifully—presented English breakfast for their houseful of guests – concert-goers Robert and me, and Jeremy and Sue from Somerset.

And the day was filled with the usual activities of their Scottish home and 25 adjoining acres, albeit with Aussie-born cousin Phip (Filmer/Culham) at the helm with husband Tim.

Our having been allotted fantastic gum boots (we cannot do gum boots in Aus – these were really really comfortable, no blisters), there was the dog to walk, chooks and ducks to let out, baby chicks to put back into the chicken coop with their fussing mother, Dexter cows to feed and scratch and fuss over, Tim’s enormous 17h Irish Draft hunting horses to say hello to; sheep to inspect from the bridge across the charming burn over the road.

There were vegetables to collect from the lush and bountiful veggie patch, and moths to catch and squash in the hothouse – but not before their grubs had had their way with the broccoli.

Meantime Phip cooked a ‘cracking’ pork roast with entirely home-grown veggies – including tatties – for a late lunch and their charming son Toby arrived to eat it with a bunch of Uni mates returning to Stirling University. Great to have an opportunity get an insight into the youth of Scotland.

It has been fabulous this time round in the UK having a car, because we can really truly get into the byroads and countryside and imbibe it totally. It has been fabulous to stay with locals and meet their friends and see their haunts and get a proper understanding of their lives here. We have been so very, very lucky in that respect. Soon we wander off into the unknown and God knows what we will drive right past.

In the meantime Sunday 8th September was spent in the delightful company of Phip and Tim, eating, talking and, after lunch, walking on their friends Peter and Jenny’s farm which featured pheasants by the score fattening up for a November shoot, a hugely deep ‘dean’ or valley with a sparkling burn at the bottom and sheep and badger “lodges” (dugouts like wombat holes) scattered up its sides, and the remains of a bronze-age settlement.

©jane grieve

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