A Celebration of Autumn and Storm Babet

A beautiful event, gatecrashed by a terrific storm.

The plan

We had decided to use the Celebration of Autumn as a launch for the newly refurbished Woodshed in a restaurant style layout, offering tables of between two and eight rather than the long table feast which we felt has rather had its day.

There were two tiers of tickets: tickets for a fire-cooking demo with Tim Maddams, a three-course dinner and an hour-long music set with Daisy Rickman and Robin Adams, or tickets for a dram in the Glen Dye Arms and a short 20-minute acoustic set with Robin and then up to the Woodshed for the main music set.

We sold 58 out of 60 tickets for the main event and sold out for the pub and Woodshed session and we were all looking forward to a great time….

What actually happened

Thursday’s red weather warning was extended to Friday and Saturday and Storm Babet arrived, bringing with her ceaseless rain and extensive flooding. The rivers rose like the Devil.

On Friday afternoon, in true Glen Dye spirit, we decided to press on with the event as we had guests staying in the cottages who had booked tickets and were really looking forward to it.  And some guests driving up from the south were not going to be deterred in spite of the main A90 being closed, and arrived late into Friday night.

Tim arrived from Morayshire early on Saturday morning, crossing the bridge at Strachan literally minutes before the road became impassable again even in a 4 x 4 and we hatched a plan for the evening.

And still it rained and all access from the north was cut off.

In the end, four guests turned up for a wonderfully educational talk from Tim about fermentation and pickling, growing your own and making your own, all washed down with a glass of rowanberry-infused vodka and soda.

After a sound check, Robin, Daisy and Daisy’s band trooped down to the pub to meet their audience of two and proceeded to play not the 20-minute set, promised but an hour and half and many, many drams set, which absolutely delighted them. So much so in fact, that they then bought all the merchandise Robin and Daisy had bought with them.

Dinner was a delight and Tim served up delicious autumnal dishes to 16 hungry and happy guests. The restaurant style layout of the Woodshed worked very well and we mitigated the fact that it might have looked very empty by keeping all the tables laid with candles lit, and sat everyone at tables close to the stage.

Daisy and Robin played a fantastic set which everyone loved and there was much socialising well into the early hours back in the Glen Dye Arms.

Typically, Sunday morning broke with bright blue skies and glorious sunshine, reminding us that always Glen Dye looks beautiful, whatever the weather.

Many of you may be wondering what happened to all the food since we were expecting 58 and only fed 16. The happy answer is that much of it was able to be repurposed into ready meals and soups for the Glen Dye General Stores. But the best Good News story is this: Tim had ordered oysters from our friends at Cape Wrath Oysters for a starter and these were meant to be delivered on Friday. The postie couldn’t reach Glen Dye and so they were returned to the main sorting office in Aberdeen where they remained until Monday, lying dormant in their polystyrene box, packed in ice and straw. Tim called the people at Cape Wrath first thing on Monday to explain what had happened and was told, ‘No problem, just get Caroline to refuse the delivery and the oysters will be returned to us on Tuesday. We will release them back into the sea and they will be fine’. No oyster was harmed by Storm Babet!

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