At Home at The Lint Mill

People who visit The Lint Mill often remark on how exactly like our website the place is and how at home they feel. In truth, I’m always a bit relieved because like everyone, I take photos of the place looking its best and write about its loveliness, leaving out the bits about the dark, rainy days, the worry about sick animals, and the times when it can feel like a real grind. I used to joke with my friend that I hadn’t spent 35 years reading Country Living not know how to write about living in the country! However, it is a choice and I guess when I’m thinking about what to write in my next newsletter or even what to post on Facebook, those choices are guided by our values.

We love living at The Lint Mill and the fact of the matter is we feel lucky every day. So even on the days when things don’t go as planned or the winter is feeling as though it’s going to go on forever, I can always find something that truly gives me joy and it’s that joy, that we are so keen to share. Posting something lovely or interesting every day became somewhat of a mission during the pandemic and now, the habit has stuck and it has become a kind of daily mediation.

If you follow us on socials you will know that I try to post once a day and my main aim is to give you an insight into our life here, to give you a glimpse, a snapshot or a close-up of something that I’ve noticed and in offering you what I’ve noticed, I am hoping that it acts as an invitation for you to notice too. It’s so important to take a little time, to take a brief pause to notice these moments. That’s why all my posts are unique, they have to be that exact moment, not a similar moment from last year or a moment I’ve grabbed from someone else’s feed or off a royalty free image bank! I think the feeling of recognition that guests tell us they feel when they visit is because everything we do has to be real and authentic and come from our values. When they arrive they say they feel as though they have arrived home.

We want people to stay here, to learn about smallholding here, to participate in a disappearing craft like coracle building here because we care about giving our guests something real, an antidote, if you like, to the usual pace of life, the usual consumerist bandwagon, the usual fodder that lacks nourishment for the soul as well as the body. If these sound like lofty aims, well it’s because they are but it doesn’t make them less true for us. A visit to The Lint Mill in any capacity, B&B guest, course participant, friend or family, should make you feel better and we work really hard to make that happen.

2023 has been a year of opportunities to raise the profile of The Lint Mill in ways that we don’t usually engage in and it has been demanding and at times, challenging. The challenge has been to give those providing the opportunities what they need at the same time as staying within our values.

In May we welcomed the editor and writer from Mr Partner magazine in Japan to The Lint Mill and we are featured this month on the cover of that magazine and in a three page feature. The photos are great but unless a Japanese speaker offers to translate it for us, I doubt we will ever know what Mr Partner thought of their time here.

In June the film production team from Scotland’s Farm Advisory Service came to make a 30 minute film about what we do here. The sun shone and the heavens opened but we had a great day. It was with some trepidation that we watched the edit and hoped that we came across true to our purpose. The feedback has been great and we have some lovely footage to share of our home.

In October, I gave two talks at The Scottish Smallholder Festival in Edinburgh, one on ‘The Making of a Meadow’ and one on ‘Starting with Goats’. They were both well received, so much so that I will be giving a ‘one year on’ version of the meadow talk next year.

Lastly, earlier this month, I did my first stall at a craft market for The Lint Mill Goats Milk Soap and I did very well indeed with many more people learning about the benefits of goats milk and buying soaps to try at home or to gift to others.

These may sound like disparate activities but they all served to share The Lint Mill and all we are doing here with a wider group of people. In all these small ways we are able to reach more people and to invite them to come and experience The Lint Mill as their home too.

After another trip around the sun, we’d like to thank all our supporters, our newsletter readers, our B&B guests, our course participants, our buyers of bars of soap, our rare breed pork customers, our organic free-range turkey clients, our followers on socials and our friends IRL (in real life).

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