Place your bets - is the weather just a blip and we'll soon be putting up the parasols again or was May and June our summer?
At home, the Aga is off and only a solar panel heats our water. It's produced as much hot water as we've needed so far this summer - until this week. What's wrong with a kettle and a standup wash? Not so sure the rest of the office staff will be so keen if it goes on for much longer.
Talking of renewable energy, what about the wind turbine? Yes, we admit it. It hasn't turned a blade in 3 months. Now I'm not technical. As I understand it, there is an unknown fault that causes the air brakes to come on (they're the bits that look like feet on the end of the blades). So instead of wearing out the brakes, we have switched the turbine off until we can find out what part of the system is telling the brakes to come on. We've called in the company that designed the system to track the problem. This is where it gets complicated - they've gone into receivership! We'd heard rumours for over a month that this was on the cards, but we didn't want to stoke the rumour monger fire and make the situation worse, but we had been working away in the background making contacts with others. So fingers crossed, there might be an engineer at it very soon....
Really noticing an increase in visitor numbers this month, which is great. Is it the credit crunch, is it the expensive Euro, is it swine flu? Whatever it is, Cream o' Galloway has had 15% more visitors so far in July than last year. A big welcome to you all.
Have you tried the bikes and karts yet? Boy are they taking off. We've had bikes for 5 years and they never really caught on - until now. Adding a bike skills area and making it one of the first things you see when you go into the adventure playground has meant that the bikes have been non stop since. Of course, with increased use comes increased maintenance and we are now working with the Break Pad at Kirroughtree to help us look after the bikes. And lo and behold, who has Sam assigned to looking after our bikes, but an ex student of ours - Ruth Asbery. Small world - well it is Dumfries & Galloway. Like most tourist businesses in the area, Cream o' Galloway relies heavily on students to work at the Easter and Summer peak. Behind the scenes changes completely when they are around. Of course they keep us young, though if we try to keep up with their partying we would end up physical wrecks. The best bit for me is watching them mature - the shy 16 year old soon becomes an extrovert 18 year old. Ruth last worked for us 3 summers ago and has been in Canada and New Zealand since. And now she pops up again - still playing with bikes. It is great to be able to make a living doing the things you love.