A Guide to Festive Cheer in Present-Buying Season

Inspired by Logie Steading Christmas Market

Christmas Market: A Dose of Good Old-Fashioned Festive Cheer

Festive Cheer: A Christmassy Logie Steading

A 5 Point Guide to Surviving Last-Minute Christmas Shopping

So here's my guide, admittedly a little tongue-in-cheek, from one generally disorganised, well meaning advice-disher-not-taker, to you. Well, probably not to you if you had 'just one more' present to find in mid-November, but possibly to you if you're cooking Christmas dinner for 12 and have forgotten to organise getting a Turkey on Christmas Eve (a possibly unverified story from someone's family archives)..

1. Don't Panic!

Sometimes I have to remind myself, this is Meant to Be Fun. Sleepless nights worrying about whether Aunty-X-who-shall-not-be-named will want the hand-knitted gloves or the local history guide or whether the Big Man will satisfy the kids' list-wishes are just no good. It really is the thought that counts and if you can have a little fun along the way, that's all to the good.

Logie Steading Christmas Market - stress free Christmas Shopping

Pottering around a Christmas Market filled with hand-made wares, listening to a brass band, mug of mulled wine in hand is infinitely more relaxing than fighting your way through the number system at Argos or running to put another coin in the parking meter.

Gus clapping along to Elgin City Brass Band


2. Stick to Your List

Yes, you have a list. You're checking it twice. Or thrice. But if you're anything like me, you're also going a bit off-menu here and there in a mild state of panic (see point 1) about Getting It All Done. But ending up with 5 extra boxes of Heroes is no good for any family come January. Even one containing as many dedicated chocolate-eaters as ours. 

Christmas Wreath at Logie Steading Christmas Market

3. Ask For Help

Having just said, quite strictly, 'stick to your list', I'd like to turn that a little on its head and say, 'don't be afraid to ask for help'. It's really a combination of the two. Example: This morning I had a teenage goddaughter in need of a gift (on list), and a vague idea of a suitable present (not quite on list). In comes advice from Jude of Hellygog and out I walk, stress-free minutes later, with a lovely box of lights in muted tones which should go with her room, and both a USB and 3 point plug fitting to cover all bases. Jude has 5 kids of varying ages. I felt in safe hands. And, tick, phew, another one off the list. Thank You Jude. The lights in the window below are the same ones I chose, just in more vibrant (and Christmassy) colours).

4. It Doesn't Really Matter: What Will Be Will Be

It. Really. Doesn't. Christmas will be what it will be whether or not you got that handmade reindeer-shaped centre-piece for the table. Your family will still argue, or not. They will still eat Brussels sprouts, or not. They will hopefully be mostly all together. Who cares if yet again you couldn't get a picture with all the children looking in the same direction, let alone smiling together. Or if they ingrained toasted marshmallows (*insert relevant sticky foodstuff here) into your carpet. And if you missed the odd present, or trinket or decoration or food item (possibly excepting the Turkey, or nut roast or whatever it is you have on the table in your house), no-one will actually notice amongst the general Christmas-ness of it all. I hope when it comes to Christmas Day you find time to enjoy the little things and forget the even littler things. 

Children Enjoying Toasted Marshmallows with Logie Primary School at Logie Steading Christmas Market

5. There's a Type of Christmas Shopping to Suit You Out There

I imagine like most people, I do my Christmas shopping in a variety of places; chain stores, the high street, online and independent shops. There's a place for them all. 

If you're looking for something a bit unusual, a bit different, and a shopping experience that doesn't leave you more stressed than when you started, there's always the lovely people at Logie Steading to help you out. I know I'm biased, but having bought 5 people's presents with individual budgets ranging from £3 to £50 in 3 shops in 30 minutes, and having found unusual things that I really believe they'll actually like this morning, I don't feel at all disingenuous in telling you it's the most peaceful and successful Christmas shopping experience I've had this year. Why not come on down and meet these unique shopkeepers and craftspeople for yourself. You never know, you might make some satisfying crossings-out and tickings-off on your list too..

Thank you to Gary Murison, Geoff Matthews, Alec Laing and Steve Simms for the photographs in this post.



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A Guide to Festive Cheer in Present-Buying Season

Terms & Conditions for fishing on Logie Estate

  1. Fishing on the river is restricted to 2 rods per beat and is to be by fly only. All fishing is from the right bank. By arrangement with the neighbouring estate there is no left bank fishing on the Relugas Middle and Top beats.
  2. The fishing is split into two 2 rod beats, Logie and Relugas, with Relugas sub divided into Middle and Top.  Beats can be taken together or separately. Logie is fished Monday to Saturday, Relugas Middle on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and Relugas Top on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Beats change at midnight.
  3. Fishermen must contact Logie Estate office on 01309 611300 a day or so before arrival to organise being shown onto the river. A map of pools, beats and access routes will be provided.
  4. Bio-security is important to the future of the river and anglers are asked to observe protection measures. The Findhorn District Fishery Board Conservation Code will be strictly observed. To summarise: All fish caught up to 14th May inclusive must be released. From 15th May, all salmon over 9 lbs / 4 kg / 28 inches / 72 cm are to be returned.  Below that measurement at least 70% of salmon and 50% of grilse caught should be released and a maximum of 1 salmon and / or 2 grilse per rod per week may be retained. In September all fish are to be returned. No gaffs or tailers are allowed.
  5. The Findhorn District Fishery Board Bio-security measures will be strictly observed and all fishermen in the party must sign the Bio-security Declaration. (Also available at http://www.fnlft.org.uk/downloads/)
  6. The Estate recommends that barbless hooks are used, fishermen are in possession of a disgorger and that knotless nets are used. All possible care should be taken when returning fish to the river, they should be handled as little, and gently, as possible and should not be removed from the water.
  7. The catch should be reported at the end of each day of fishing to Logie Estate Office on 01309 611300. If the office is closed, please leave a message on the answering machine with the date, weight and pool. Please also report a nil catch day.
  8. Dogs are allowed on the river but must be kept strictly under control at all times. The Estate reserves the right to ask tenants to remove dogs if they are considered to be out of control.
  9. Rod, line and fly size are dependent on prevailing weather and water conditions and personal choice. In general, maximum rod length needed is 13ft with a size 8 or 9 line, usually floating. Fly sizes range from 6 – 8 in the spring down to 12 or less in summer low water.
  10. Safety must be considered at all times. All beats have a variety of pools with some suitable for most heights of water. Little wading is necessary and river paths are good however the fishing is within the Findhorn gorge, access to some of the pools is quite steep and a degree of rock scrambling is often necessary when playing and landing fish. Please be aware that a reasonable level of fitness and mobility is required. A buoyancy aid for each rod is provided and should be collected from Logie Estate Office on arrival, and returned to the Estate Office (or to the outbuilding opposite if office is closed) on departure. Logie Estate strongly recommends that buoyancy aids are worn when fishing and not doing so is entirely at fishermen’s own risk. Please pay attention at all times, avoid slips and falls, wear appropriate footwear, look out for overhead electricity lines, watch the weather and pay attention to livestock. Take extra care if fishing alone.
  11. Anglers need to supply or hire their own equipment (except buoyancy aids, which are provided).
  12. Ghillieing/tuition is available by on a first come, first served basis. This must be booked in advance with the Estate Office and is subject to availability. A half day ghillieing/tuition is approx. 3 hours, full day approx. 6 hours. Please contact the estate office or check our website for current rates. Rates do not include discretionary tips.
  13. Rod, Reel & Line hire is available by on a first come, first served basis. This must be booked in advance with the Estate Office and is subject to availability. Please contact the estate office or check our website for current rates. A rod, reel and line set is for one person and is subject to a fully refundable damage deposit of £100.
  14. Aside from fishermen, others, including rafters and kayakers, enjoy this stretch of river and mutual respect and consideration is expected.
  15. Bookings are confirmed when initial payment is received. Subsequent changes in dates or number or rods are entirely subject to the Estate’s discretion and to availability. Change of dates, if accepted, incur an administration fee. In the event of a cancellation the tenant must advise Logie Estate immediately, whereupon Logie will endeavour to re-let. If a new tenant can be found the deposit will be returned less any expenses incurred for advertising, office costs, etc., and less any shortfalls in discounted list price. Until such time as a vacancy has been re-let the hirer is responsible for making any further payment by the due dates. Failure to do so may mean that the hirer forfeits any refund if the dates are re-let. If it is not possible to re-let, all payments are still payable by the due date(s). It is unlikely that a refund can be made for a late cancellation. Logie Estate recommends that fishermen take out relevant cancellation insurance.
  16. Subletting fishing is only allowed with Logie Estate’s permission.
  17. Logie Estate reserves the right to immediately withdraw fishing without compensation from anyone who breaks these or associated conditions, or flouts normal standards of behaviour or fishing etiquette.