Sunday, 22 November 2015

A visit to Birnam Wood and the Lonely Mountain Ski Shop

I was a bit surprised on Saturday morning, when Gail announced we were driving down to Birnam, near Dunkeld. I never knew there was such a place, outside of Shakespeare's Macbeth, did you?

Well yes apparently it does exist, and although later in the day we went with Gail's friends John and Fran├žoise for a walk through a  remnant of the ancient Birnam Wood, this was not the main reason for the trip.

It turned out that we had been invited to the launch party for Lonely Mountain Skis, a new venture, started up by Jamie, son of the aforementioned John and Fran├žoise. This is what the business is about:

"Lonely Mountain Skis is a Scottish ski company specialising in hand made skis built from Scottish timber and natural fibre composites. With an emphasis on quality and sustainable materials LMS will keep snow falling on the mountains."

Now I'm going to be honest with you and admit that I am not a fan of these so-called "winter sports". One time when I was still barely more than a puppy, Gail attempted to make me run alongside her as she went swooshing around Hazlehead golf course on her cross-country skis. It was not a success, from my perspective, and thankfully that particular experiment has never been repeated.

But anyway I listened politely enough as Jamie explained all about how he designs and constructs these beautifully crafted wooden skis.

And I must say there were some fine looking products on display. 

Gail seemed worryingly interested, asking all about the materials used (flax, carbon fibre, resin, maple, beech, poplar and other timber) and when would Jamie be making some cross-country skis? I'm sorry to report that she signally failed to ask certain important and dog-relevant questions, like if he was thinking about making a nice comfy wooden Bertie-sized sled, so Gail could tow me along with her.

(You weren't imagining I might pull the sled were you? What do you think I am? A husky?)

Afterwards, it was fun to explore Jamie's workshop and environs, and I was given lots of friendly ear scritchies.

When we got home, I did some research, and I have a message for young James. 

Jamie, with your superb design skills, I don't doubt you could come up with a bespoke conveyance so that I could accompany Gail on her cross country skiing outings in comfort and style. Here are a couple of ideas for prototypes. (Please note that I would consider the quality of the cushions important). 
I shall look forward to receiving the blueprints for inspection. 


  1. Da sleds look like a pretty good idea to me.

  2. We think one of those little carts, cyclists pull along could be converted to skis and she could pull you along. We thought the Birnam Wood walked to Dunsinane...

  3. Dat's a great idea 'bout a sled fur you, Bertie... do ya Gail can be convinced of da wiseness of yer idea?

  4. The skis sound and look amazing. We live in the flat state of Illinois. There isn't a mountain or hill or bump in the ground to ski for hundreds of miles - probably not a bad thing since my human is super clumsy!

  5. that was interesting to visit Jamie's store! I would like to have such a sled... but I'm not sure if my pawrents should use ice skates or ski's :o)

  6. Bertie and Gail thank you for including us in this wonderful launching of Jamie's Lonely Mountain Ski shop. What a smart young man and we are thrilled for him. Kudos young Jamie and please keep us posted on his SUCCESS and especially if he builds a suitable WFT ride along
    Hugs madi your bfff

  7. Bertie, looking most handsome in your Gail-knit sweater! Now those skis...Could they be used as giant chew sticks by any chance?? I have never been in snow, and many or our blogging pals make it sound like quite a fun endeavor, but that fur-lined thingy looks quite inviting to me...Keep us posted on Jamie's progress. Mom thinks his work is beautiful.


  8. We also just adore your sweater! Let us know how your sled turns out, we may have to get one made for our Mama to push around!
    Dory, Jakey, Arty & Bilbo

  9. We think those would be wonderful designs and would sell very well too! We sure hope you get at least one of them with a really thick cushion. Can it be heated too? BTW, we saw the washer size comment and found it interesting. What are they small there? Poor mom never got her laundry done and it still isn't done. We had a misfortune and the power company said our house was unsafe. It will be our post tomorrow.

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

  10. U look so handsome in that sweater. Great designs. I think it will be lovely with a nice comfy cushion
    Retro rover

  11. What a cool place. That Gail is full of surprises
    Lily & Edward

  12. Bertie I think a better place would be resting by a nice fireplace with a cup of tea and biscuits while Gail does her cross country skiing. We love to see items make by hand. They are always so much better fine-tuned.
    Thanks for being a friend
    Sweet William The Scot

  13. That looks like a lot of fun, Bertie & Gail. And we couldn't help but notice your fetching and gorgeous woolly! Gail is so talented.

    All the best success to your friend with the new store!

    Tootsie & Renee

  14. The skis are very beautiful. The young man is an artist is the best sense of the word. I would imagine that he's one of very few making such natural skis. I think perhaps Bertie is clever enough to handle a set of skis with 2 left paws on one and 2 right paws on the other? Video please when he tries it.

    1. I'm afraid I don't share your confidence in Bertie's co-ordination and balancing ability Craig.
      Cheers! Gail.

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  16. Oooh, I would love to have a sled towed (or pushed, I'm not picky!) by my human! But mostly we both agree that it's best to stay inside and snuggle under blankets when it gets that cold!

  17. Mama said that those look like lovely skis. We've only gone snow shoeing, never skiing, with our humans. We have a place on a ski mountain, but no dogs are allowed on the lifts. We call that dog-scrimination, but no protests are planned! Good to see you again Bertie. Tell your Gail we send our best wishes.
    Smooches from pooches,
    BabyRocketDog & Hootie

  18. My mom had some wooden skis when she was a little girl. The good thing about skiing when you are young and short, is that you don't have too far to fall. Happy snow sporting and we like your ideas, Bertie!

    Wyatt and Family