Sunday, 30 December 2007

New Year at The Lodge, Loch Goil

For many years, the family has gathered on our Scottish Estate of Goilheadspankie. This year, we've not allowed older members of the clan to join us for fear of leaks, but happily we've paid some friends to come and share our hospitality, stalk some of the local population, and patronise the servants.

As tradition dictates, the adults stay in the warmth of the Lodge, whilst the children are locked in the treehouse until New Year's day.

The 'Arts and Crafts' Dining Room is the focal point of the Hogmanay celebrations.

All of the traditions of Hogmanay are observed, including inviting a local crofter to stand on the doorstep for the evening dressed in velvet whilst holding a stool sample and an empty whisky tumbler.

In recent years the highland ceremonies have proved increasingly attractive to celebrities, and the family were delighted this year when they were joined by Simon Cowell and his new girlfriend.

On the stroke of midnight a solitary piper releases the imprisoned children and leads them up the path from the Tree House to the Lodge.

It is then that the real celebrations begin.

Certain revellers from the South take a rather over enthusiatic approach to the complimentary champagne.

The Laird oversees events from his throne, with his favourite wife seated across his knee.

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