Welcome to my blog

A welcome from Humphrey

Hello there. My name is Humphrey and I’m the new therapy assistant at the Inchmarlo Retirement Community.

This blog will describe my life as I train for my new job. All of the experiences I have and the new friends that I make will be posted here, and you can drop in at any time to see how I’m getting on.

You can see the most recent updates if you scroll down the text on this front page. Alternatively, you can view the archive on the side of this page to see some of my older posts. 

However, if you want to start from the very beginning and get the whole story, you can view my first-ever blog post here.

Feel free to leave a comment and say hi,



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Fine Dining Club Christmas Dinner

Daddy collected a carry-out for me from Inchmarlo. Earlier this week a group of Home Owners, The Fine Dining Club, had their annual Christmas Dinner. The Fine Dining Club has been operating for a number of years, organised entirely by the Home Owners who take it in turns to Chair the dinners, select the menu and the wines. Naturally, I cannot attend because I’m not allowed in rooms when people are eating – which I understand – a little – because back at home I sit with Mummy and Daddy the children and grandchildren when they are eating with no problems what so ever. However, Head Chef Colin is very, very kind to me and while I cannot be present I do get to sample some of the left-overs. The Menu this time, selected by the Home Owner chairing the dinner was:

Vegetable Terrine with Smoked Salmon and Champagne Sauce.

Seasonal Game Casserole with Port and Red wine

Pheasant, Quail, Mallard Ravioli and with Venison Sausages, served with Game Chips

Followed by Apricot Frangipane Tart, Chocolate Mousse and Pistachio Pudding.

By jove, that sounds attractive! Now the only bits, you understand, that I would fancy are the Pheasant, the Quail and the Venison sausages, so Head Chef Colin very kindly gave Daddy a carry-out which he took home, and I have sampled most of it. As somebody called Colonel Sanders used to say it was “Finger Licking Good”.

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Humphrey’s Autumn Blog

This is one of my favourite times of year and the reason for it is that so many of the trees change the colour of their leaves to match my colour, isn’t that nice?  This week I persuaded Daddy to take me out to Inchmarlo and after speaking to the residents in Inchmarlo House, we walked up the main garden where Daddy photographed many of the trees in their autumnal colours – or should I say Humphrey colours and they looked spectacular in the gorgeous sunshine.

Apparently, two of our Home Owners have their Grandchildren staying with them and they’ve gone about putting “eyes” on some of the bushes.  I must tell you that I found them somewhat disconcerting. It looked to me as though there was a very big animal peeking through the trees at me.  I hadn’t seen this before and I’m not absolutely sure that I would like to see it again!

Other than that, quite a number of Home Owners who were walking through the Alpine Garden, who came up and spoke to me. Four of them said they hadn’t met me before but had read my blog on a number of occasions.  Isn’t it nice to be famous?p1090836dsc_3711

The whole of Inchmarlo  Estate was stunning!  The next day I persuaded Daddy to go back  and take some more photographs with his best camera, oh wasn’t it sheer joy walking around with Home Owners coming to speak to me while looking at the trees.  We dogs like trees very much!  There were however some funny things moving about in the parkland in front of the main house which I’m told are called “sheep”. They are much bigger than me and have a very funny coat. Whenever I go near them they stare at me making me feel somewhat uncomfortable because I can’t get close to them and they never come close to me. However walking along the top row in Westfield I came across this Home Owner who had a cat which I don’t see very often, it started walking towards me – obviously a very courageous cat!  When I started to move closer to it, it ran away, maybe in the future we can become friends.



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Strawberry Tea

Well, I wasn’t invited to the 30th Anniversary Dinner, but I was invited to the Strawberry Tea which Daddy hosted on behalf of the Conservative Party. Again I’m not allowed in when people are eating so I sat on the outside watching to see what was happening and it would seem that as the saying goes, “A jolly good time was had by everyone”.

It was an absolutely gorgeous day – but it always is at Inchmarlo!  It was chaired by Tom Mason and the speakers included Alexander Burnett, elected MSP for West Aberdeenshire and other prominent Conservative Party Politicians including Alex Johnstone, Ross Thomson, Liam Kerr and Peter Chapman. When they arrived, the guests were offered transport up to the top of the garden so they could walk down looking at and admiring some of the tallest trees of their type in Britain and the rainbow garden before coming in for afternoon tea and a jolly good chat. Daddy welcomed everybody and then handed it over to Tom Mason and the key Conservative Politicians to speak.

In conclusion Daddy said that we had recently conducted a survey amongst existing home owners living at Inchmarlo and copies were available from the reception desk. If those reading this blog would like a copy, please contact me – Humphrey at the Inchmarlo website saying you would like a copy of the publication and I will arrange to have it sent to you.


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30th Anniversary Dinner

You saw me in the photograph with those Home Owners who came to celebrate our 30th Anniversary. Last week Daddy put on a dinner for personalities from the Aberdeenshire Council and other prominent people and long serving staff. Regrettably I wasn’t present because I’m not allowed in the dining room (when people are eating) so I had to lie at home and content myself listening to the radio.

The main speaker was Mr Esmonde Crawley, who is a worldwide expert on care for the over 50’s and whose organisation has websites in 10 countries. I am told it was a very interesting and controversial speech about the changing needs of future generations of the over 50’s. Esmonde had flown from Australia to London and then up to Aberdeen, gave his speech at the dinner, spent the night in Skene House Whitehall. The next morning Daddy took him to the airport from where he flew to London and back to New Zealand to witness a sports event. My goodness, I couldn’t do that. If I were on the airplane I would be so tired I would snore so loudly I would possibly drown out the noise of the engines.

Esmonde was very complimentary about Inchmarlo and he mentioned how Daddy is the leader in the development of the Continuing Care Retirement Communities in the UK. He and Daddy were photographed with the two certificates presented in 2012 and 2015 at prestigious dinners in London showing that he has been inducted into The Hall of Fame – the only double Inductee.


During the meal Daddy introduced a number of long serving staff who were present, including Senior Staff like David Pratt, Head of Security and Services for 25 years, Jack Crawford 32 years and Helen Fitzpatrick also 32 years. Daddy explained what my responsibilities were in going to speak to people in the Care Home and Home Owners in the community so, while I wasn’t present, my role was acknowledged and I was somewhat mollified.

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30th Anniversary


Oh what an exciting day!  2016 is the 30th Anniversary of the opening of Inchmarlo but as you will understand, I wasn’t present at the opening since I am only 6¼ years old.

All the Home Owners were invited to a celebratory supper in Inchmarlo House and, Head Gardener, Jim Wilkie and his staff put up two marquees.  Tables and chairs were set up and everybody arrived for 6.30pm.  Daddy repeated the same procedure as happened in the previous two celebratory events, 20 and 25 years, and most of the Home Owners joined me and other senior staff and directors for a celebratory photograph.

Staff, residents and friends celebrate the 30th anniversary of Inchmarlo House

That’s me bang in the front in my rightful place as somebody who walks all around the estate with Daddy, speaking to all the Home Owners.  This of course, is in addition to my main duty in the Care Home, where I regularly speak and cheer up the Residents.


After the photograph was taken, we all went back into the Picture Gallery where a harpist was playing.



And in due course everybody except me, went through to the main dining room and marquees to have supper.  I am not allowed to be in the dining rooms when people are eating.  However Head Chef, Colin, frequently keeps some of the main courses for me to eat later.


The Shepherd’s Pie (recipe by Gordon Ramsay) was followed by a choice of four desserts – Grapefruit Cake (The Brown Derby Restaurant, Hollywood), Rhubarb Pie (Paul Bocuse, Lyon), Key lime Pie (The Breakers Hotel, Palm Beach) and Gateaux Diane (Lady Claire MacDonald). These desserts are some of Daddy’s favourites, and they are regularly on the menu for Residents and also for Home Owners and their guests dining in the bar or the Green Drawing Room.  Since the kitchen delivers meals every day to Home Owners, they also enjoy the desserts when on the menu.


Head Chef Colin Davidson

Prosecco was served throughout the evening and a very good time was enjoyed by all.

The Press & Journal attended and they printed a double page supplement which I will try to include. We have people living at Inchmarlo from all over Scotland and England, and also from a handful of overseas countries.


Proud me



Julie Mckenzie,Charles Skene, Alison Skene, Richard Skene, Helen Fitzpartick and Humphrey


Director Alison Skene welcoming Jim Bridges


Daddy speaking to the Home Owners in the marquee


Home Owners enjoying Daddies speech


Director Julie Mackenzie welcoming the Home Owners


Group of Home Owners in the Picture Gallery


Group of Home Owners enjoying Gordon Ramsay’s Shepherds Pie in the Dining room


Chris, Claire and Karuna, some of the kitchen staff serving drinks. Claire has worked for Inchmarlo for 10 years and has just been awarded Employee of the Year


Sylvia Quarantelli and Caroline Rossen


Allan Beecham and Alan Pattillo


Mr and Mrs Barker having drinks on the terrace


Anne Merritt, Bob Russell and Agnes Callander


Jim and Muriel Watson with Peter Humphries and Gladys and John Park


                      Home Owners in the green Drawing Room – Jean Morrison, Sandy Calder, Eric Quin, Muriel Watson, Joan Laing, Mr and Mrs Russell, Prue Wilson, Jim Grant, Pat Green


Janet Hession, Pat Green, Della Russell, Prue Wilson, Joan Laing and Margaret Cinderey, who help with the WRVS


Some of the Home Owners who run the weekly Village Pub, Keith Whitehead, Ron McGraw, Grace Joynt, Derek Whatling and David James


Penny Knight and Margaret Webster


Roy Cotterill and Joyce Mutch. Roy has lived in Queen Victoia Park for 29 years and Joyce has lived in Pinefield since 1994


William and Patricia Ritchie


Grant Lawrence with Gail and Keith Whitehead

Amongst those attending the 30th Anniversary, were two groups of Home Owners who were the second generation of Home Owners (from the same family), living at Inchmarlo.  This must show satisfaction with the service for the children to also move in to the Retirement Village.



Daddy was down in London at the end of last year at a function in the Conrad Hotel, to be recognised for the second time receiving a Global Award.  Representatives from Care Homes and Care Villages, and those providing housing for the over 55’s, were at the event.  They came from New Zealand, Australia, America and many other countries to be recognised for their involvement in leading the way forward in providing accommodation for the over 55’s.  Esmonde Crawley, who presided, said there were over 900 people or developments considered for the awards. When presenting the award to Daddy he said –

“This is the first time we have done a double induction into the Global Awards Hall of Fame (Daddy was inducted into the Global Hall of Fame in 2012) and now into the UK Hall of Fame).  Mr Crawley went on to say:

“This really is a tribute to a man who has been largely working in isolation in his part of the UK, who I consider to be the father of CCRC (Continuing Care Retirement Communities).  The man who has contributed most, right from the beginning, and what I consider to be the first CCRC in this country that is the indomitable Professor Charles Skene”.

Daddy told me he felt very honoured.

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A Lovely Sunday Afternoon at Inchmarlo

Daddy wasn’t pleased with the quality of the photographs he took on the Summer Garden Open Day, so the following Sunday we went out to Inchmarlo and took them again with his Nikon camera. It was a really good day for me because, on the Sunday lunch menu was Honey Roast Gammon, which I love!  Head chef Colin served it after Mummy and Daddy finished their lunch, and by goodness did I devour it quickly!

Mmmmm, delicious!!

Mmmmm, delicious!!

One of my favourite Residents, Mrs Kirkbride, asked Daddy if I was there, he said yes and he asked her if she’d like a photograph taken with me – and of course – she said yes. So here we are sitting together outside in the sunshine, after she told me what a lovely dog I was.DSC_3539
We then walked up through the Alpine garden which was stunning, and then all the way up to the putting green.DSC_3543DSC_3545DSC_3561DSC_3548DSC_3559DSC_3562DSC_3554DSC_3565

Mummy and me chatting with one of the Home Owners.

Mummy and me chatting with one of the Home Owners.



Relaxing while Daddy takes more beautiful photographs!

Relaxing while Daddy takes more beautiful photographs!

I had a wonderful afternoon walking between the sunshine and the shade, sitting on benches while Daddy took more photographs. It’s a dog lover’s paradise because the Tree Register said that Inchmarlo has some of the tallest trees of their type in Britain (some of which you can see below) – and what dog can resist especially tall trees!

Daddy's favourite tree.

Daddy’s favourite tree.


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Westfield and Pinefield on a lovely sunny day.

I’ve been out at Inchmarlo a great deal doing my duties and supervising the gardeners, and this particular day it was just stunningly beautiful. We went all round the Alpine Garden and then walked around Westfield and I suggested Daddy took a lot of photographs because everything was looking just gorgeous.P1090322P1090318P1090316

When we went to look at Pinefield, there were some Home Owners sitting out having refreshments in the sunshine. They waved to Daddy and myself so we went up and chatted to them for a little time.P1090327


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