We’re making last minute preparations for the curling tournament to be held here in a week. Yes, a curling tournament. We’ve got teams coming from Sweden, Finland, Canada, and even a Russian team. Gus has been busy having the lads clean the yurts, lay in well-seasoned wood for the stoves in them, and making sure the sauna has its own supply of wood. And Mrs. Ware and her staff are planning on feeding some forty to fifty additional hungry folk for the week they’ll be here.
The yurts make this tournament, as we’ve not the space otherwise for hosting such an affair. Though I’ve never stayed in a yurt during the winter as Ingrid and I have our own quarters right in Kinrowan Hall, I’ve visited guests there and was pleasantly surprised how toasty the yurts are despite temperatures around minus twenty. No need to bundle up as the Russian-style stove keeps the space warm. And Gus pointed out that they use only a sparing amount of wood!
We’ve been playing curling here for a century down on the old Mill Pond which has a lot of ice surface to set up a proper curling arrangement, but we’ve never hosted a tournament ’til now. It was one of Iain’s Several Annies, Astrid, who played on a women’s team in her native town of Jönköping, who suggested that we do so. It took several years to bring it to fruition and The Steward who is a curling fan suggested that it be limited to mixed teams only as that would allow our Estate team which has male and female members to compete.
Though this billed as an athletic event, the truth is that it’ll be a major social affair as well as we only will do two games per day as a game can go four hours and oft times go three hours. So there will concerts in the evening, contradances with Chasing Fireflies providing the music with Catherine calling, several themed dinners (one of Swedish fare, one of Russian fare), and even several evenings devoted to the history of curling. Of course, I’ve made sure that Bjorn has extra ale ready (he grumbled at me when I asked) and I’ve laid in plenty of Glenmorangie and Talisker single malts as I expect they’ll be doing a lot of toasts.
Now I’m off to relieve the afternoon barkeep so the she can take an hour off. As always, the Pub gets rather busy in deep winter and even the most skilled barkeep needs a break.