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With all the weirdness of the last two summers I think we’re not the only family to have chosen to ‘staycation’ this summer. With five daughters and stepdaughters between the ages of 19 and 32 and all at various stages of work and university life, trying to organise time from home together is hard enough without coloured lists, tests, and quarantining…

Victoria wearing Gingham Pleated Kilt

Victoria wears the Gingham Pleated Kilt...

Victoria wearing the Supersoft Lambswool Fair Isle Jumper in Oyster

As you might have guessed considering I founded Brora, I’m partial to a Scottish holiday. This year we spent some time at our home in Cumbria, close to where I was brought up and a place we all adore. We then headed further north to Colonsay, an island in the Inner Hebrides, 3 hours by ferry from Oban. You’d think we would have had enough of each other by now but a few of our daughter’s friends drop in and out which rings the changes.

I moved to Cumbria when I was eight, my mother’s family came from there, so although we now live close to London, the pull to head up north is very strong. I always tie in a trip to the mill in Hawick where all the Brora cashmere has been made for nearly 30 years. Arriving there and bumping down the track to the cottage never loses its allure. We are on the banks of the River Eden and at this time of year, river swims are a must for all of us. The water is incredibly soft and there is just enough current in certain places to give my adrenalin a kick start.

Jesse wears the Supersoft Lambswool Honeycomb Tank

The girls all love it as they have been coming since they were babies, cousins live close by and it does still feel other worldly. Now two of them are at the Glasgow School of Art, it is a perfect bolt hole with their friends. And a great overnight stay for those heading to or from Scotland so we do end up seeing a few people other than family!

Strangely, it doesn’t feel that different to previous years and perhaps that is because these places are quite remote, and we have had a similar summer routine for as long as I can remember. Last year we couldn’t get to Colonsay as the border was closed and the island was not welcoming outsiders. It is therefore all the more thrilling to head back to those white beaches, clear blue seas, huge views and of course the local pint!

Nancy wears the Wool Fair Isle Yoke Jumper in Henna...

Nancy wears the Wool Fair Isle Yoke Jumper in Henna
Nancy wears the Jumbo Cord Overshirt in Pine

...with the Jumbo Cord Overshirt in Pine

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Lola wears the Cashmere Gauzy Jumper in Saffron

Hermione, 7 months pregnant, wears the Alpaca Colour Block Cardigan in Silver

Victoria wearing the Alpaca Colour Block Cardigan

The great thing about a staycation is driving, which is more environmentally friendly than flying and means you can take as much kit as you want. Packing neatly has never been my forte; I will have umpteen bags with endless shoes and boots, walking and wellie, golf clubs for the undulating, rabbit and sheep infested 9 holes, jackets galore, tweed, waterproof, canvas and of course a suitcase full of Brora jumpers. The ease of going from A to B with dogs, children and clobber without having to unpack until you get there has to be a huge bonus!

So not surprisingly it is rare to find a clothing label in my suitcase that isn’t Brora. Half of that is sheer laziness of actually bothering to shop elsewhere and half of that is because there is so much that has my name written all over it. I’ve packed 2 new pairs of super luxurious jumbo cord trousers, one a rich conker shade, another deep dark green; the latter has a matching jacket, umm yes that makes five jackets in my car! I’m in love with a new high necked plaid blouse and I’ll be wearing our new fair isle jumpers & tanks. Another favourite is a more recent discovery; we started making knitwear in alpaca yarn, it is so soft, lovely big stitches and just feels great. The navy and cinnamon patchwork cardigan is fabulous.

Allegra wears the Cashmere Gauzy Jumper in Nettle

The girls all wear Brora in different ways; Allegra is never out of a cashmere beanie, Hermione is expecting a baby in November so a tiered dress is her vibe, Nancy wears bright, colourful knitwear, Jesse loves a tank and Lola wears our neck scarves and wool squares in endless inventive ways.

We’ve got a bit of a family ritual where we have supper on the beach at sunset each year towards the end of our stay. We all have to forage for something in the daytime to bring to the party and cook on the fire. Mackerel, shrimps, oysters all washed down with tumblers of red wine and home-made bread. We swim, chat and cook until it’s almost dark – that takes a while in Scotland in summer! Another evening we will spread newspaper across the kitchen table and eat freshly caught lobsters with mayonnaise, one of the only things I know how to make.

Jesse wears the Cashmere Cable Jumper in Ivy...

Jesse wears the Wool Fair Isle Yoke Jumper in Henna
Victoria wears the Frill Collar Check Shirt

Victoria wears the Frill Collar Check Shirt

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With all the weirdness of the last two summers I think we’re not the only family to have chosen to ‘staycation’ this summer. With five daughters and stepdaughters between the ages of 19 and 32 and all at various stages of work and university life, trying to organise time from home together is hard enough without coloured lists, tests, and quarantining…

Victoria wearing Gingham Pleated Kilt

Victoria wears the Gingham Pleated Kilt...

Victoria wearing the Supersoft Lambswool Fair Isle Jumper in Oyster

As you might have guessed considering I founded Brora, I’m partial to a Scottish holiday. This year we spent some time at our home in Cumbria, close to where I was brought up and a place we all adore. We then headed further north to Colonsay, an island in the Inner Hebrides, 3 hours by ferry from Oban. You’d think we would have had enough of each other by now but a few of our daughter’s friends drop in and out which rings the changes.

I moved to Cumbria when I was eight, my mother’s family came from there, so although we now live close to London, the pull to head up north is very strong. I always tie in a trip to the mill in Hawick where all the Brora cashmere has been made for nearly 30 years. Arriving there and bumping down the track to the cottage never loses its allure. We are on the banks of the River Eden and at this time of year, river swims are a must for all of us. The water is incredibly soft and there is just enough current in certain places to give my adrenalin a kick start.

Jesse wears the Supersoft Lambswool Honeycomb Tank

Nancy wears the Wool Fair Isle Yoke Jumper in Henna...

Nancy wears the Wool Fair Isle Yoke Jumper in Henna
Nancy wears the Jumbo Cord Overshirt in Pine

...with the Jumbo Cord Overshirt in Pine

The girls all love it as they have been coming since they were babies, cousins live close by and it does still feel other worldly. Now two of them are at the Glasgow School of Art, it is a perfect bolt hole with their friends. And a great overnight stay for those heading to or from Scotland so we do end up seeing a few people other than family!

Strangely, it doesn’t feel that different to previous years and perhaps that is because these places are quite remote, and we have had a similar summer routine for as long as I can remember. Last year we couldn’t get to Colonsay as the border was closed and the island was not welcoming outsiders. It is therefore all the more thrilling to head back to those white beaches, clear blue seas, huge views and of course the local pint!

Image
Lola wears the Cashmere Gauzy Jumper in Saffron

Hermione, 7 months pregnant, wears the Alpaca Colour Block Cardigan in Silver

Victoria wearing the Supersoft Lambswool Fair Isle Jumper in Oyster

The great thing about a staycation is driving, which is more environmentally friendly than flying and means you can take as much kit as you want. Packing neatly has never been my forte; I will have umpteen bags with endless shoes and boots, walking and wellie, golf clubs for the undulating, rabbit and sheep infested 9 holes, jackets galore, tweed, waterproof, canvas and of course a suitcase full of Brora jumpers. The ease of going from A to B with dogs, children and clobber without having to unpack until you get there has to be a huge bonus!

So not surprisingly it is rare to find a clothing label in my suitcase that isn’t Brora. Half of that is sheer laziness of actually bothering to shop elsewhere and half of that is because there is so much that has my name written all over it. I’ve packed 2 new pairs of super luxurious jumbo cord trousers, one a rich conker shade, another deep dark green; the latter has a matching jacket, umm yes that makes five jackets in my car! I’m in love with a new high necked plaid blouse and I’ll be wearing our new fair isle jumpers & tanks. Another favourite is a more recent discovery; we started making knitwear in alpaca yarn, it is so soft, lovely big stitches and just feels great. The navy and cinnamon patchwork cardigan is fabulous.

Allegra wears the Cashmere Gauzy Jumper in Nettle

Jesse wears the Cashmere Cable Jumper in Ivy...

Jesse wears the Wool Fair Isle Yoke Jumper in Henna
Victoria wears the Frill Collar Check Shirt

Victoria wears the Frill Collar Check Shirt

The girls all wear Brora in different ways; Allegra is never out of a cashmere beanie, Hermione is expecting a baby in November so a tiered dress is her vibe, Nancy wears bright, colourful knitwear, Jesse loves a tank and Lola wears our neck scarves and wool squares in endless inventive ways.

We’ve got a bit of a family ritual where we have supper on the beach at sunset each year towards the end of our stay. We all have to forage for something in the daytime to bring to the party and cook on the fire. Mackerel, shrimps, oysters all washed down with tumblers of red wine and home-made bread. We swim, chat and cook until it’s almost dark – that takes a while in Scotland in summer! Another evening we will spread newspaper across the kitchen table and eat freshly caught lobsters with mayonnaise, one of the only things I know how to make.