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I've had a fun weekend playing at the Flipside festival at Snape Maltings  Fell in love with the Steinway in the Jerwood Kiln.  Oh dear .  . I want one!   It is a special relationship between performer and piano . . each instrument is so individual.  I was given my beautiful old John Broadwood when I was only 6 years old and had just started to play.  Having it in my life has definitely helped to form my life, and who I am.  (Interesting to speculate what would have transpired had it been. say . a trombone . .)

I love how much people enjoy playing it here in the Great Hall.  As you can see it is not in the first gleam of its youth, in fact a little lined and worn you could say.  (no analogies thanks . .) But a surprising number of visitors say it's one of the reasons they booked the house.     

You can hear it in action on December 10th when we are planning our annual Carol Singing Night.  All welcome - come and sing your heart out. 

We also will be at some point having the fabulous band AYA (my daughters Bess and Jayna) here to play after they finish their tour with Lamb, which is coming up this week, great excitement!  Read all about it in the link below.  Not sure of the date for AYA at Butley yet so keep a look out,  and join our mailing list if you want to be kept in the loop.

So. . enjoy this week as never before!  Frances








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Hi all you busy people!

Took some time off from rehearsing for my performance next weekend at the Flipside Festival (which I am super excited about! and have come up to Perthshire for my mums 96th birthday.

Somehow being up here in the mountains, going for long walks, spending time with family puts everything back into persepective. My 'to do' list suddenly seems mostly unimportant and I get back in touch with the real stuff.

‘Family’ being a bit of a number one.  I come to Scotland where my mother lives, and am reminded why so many people come to Butley Priory for the same reasons.  Getting together matters.


S M I L E !


Good morning!  People often ask me do I mind having loads of people traipsing around in my house.  Good question, and the answer (I’m happy to say) is emphatically no I don’t!


Okay sometimes if Im home around 11 pm on a Saturday night I start to thinkp l e a s eturn down the music! It’s true . .

But on the whole having the house ringing with laughter and filled with so much fun and joy is an infectious life affirming thing. I so often wonder what those old monks would have thought?! I think they’d have loved it. .


Since last blog we’ve had two beautiful weddings and a christening celebration . .

Seeing the genuine smiles radiating on people’s faces is a real delight. In fact ‘concious smiling’ is something I’ve recently taken up – because it makes you feel good.  I read somewhere that you acctually can’t feel cross, bad, angry or any other sort of negative emotion when you have a big broad grin on your face.  It’s true, try it!


Have a lovely smiley week then!



First ever post!


Hi everyone,

Good morning.  New resolutions – I love them!  I am publicly resolving to run a weekly blog on our beautiful new website.

OK its good for expanding our reach apparently, but also because it’s just SO lovely here and I want to share it all with you!  

I love the changing seasons – especially this one – I start to reflect on the year and all that’s happened, and how amazing it has been.

One of the great things is that we are now hosting more weekday events, and really interesting ones! We had great fun when Charlie XX and her songwriting team all came here from Sweden for a week in August,  and this week we have the beautiful Ponderosa and Thyme here with 16 talented florists and hordes and hordes of fabulous flowers for a wedding floristry workshop week!

It feels good – the sun is shining and the hedgerows are blooming.   

May you also bloom and choose joy this week!


PS  I love how my picture of Daniel in the Lion’s Den watches over the flowers.  This picture has been in my family all my life and has majorly affected my life, made me so much braver!