We waved goodbye to our lovely group from South Africa. The week went well. The Happy farmer took them out on his morning rounds, with feeding duties for the livestock forming part of their week of team building activities on the farm. The Happy Farmer quite enjoys this new way of life. He could get accustomed to having a team working on the farm alongside him. Persabus Cottage, with its large farmhouse kitchen and cosy heat flowing from the oil-fired Rayburn, provided the perfect setting for a week of business meetings, talks and tasks for the crew.
Team building included a very creative and talented bunch being let loose in the pottery for a morning workshop followed by afternoon teas of sandwiches and cake. Everything was glazed and fired for them to take back to South Africa at the end of the week.
The Happy Farmer was on hand to help set up distillery tours and tastings, with Persabus perfectly located for Bunnahabhain, Ardnahoe and Caol ila Distilleries. Evenings were taken care of as the Happy Farmer sorted bookings at his favourite haunts.
The weekend arrived and it was our turn. The Happy Farmer and I headed away to Oban for a party. Stormy weather was threatening to stop ‘play’. The morning ferries were all cancelled, but in the late afternoon ‘service’ resumed and we were off, sailing away under spectacular sunset skies, cruising on the Calmac ferry. Disembarking at Kennacraig we headed into the dark night along the twisting winding road until finally the bright lights of Oban lit up the skies.
What a party. A traditional ceilidh in Oban’s Royal Hotel. What hospitality from the hosts. Kilt clad gentlemen, an accordion player and fiddler, and a large contingent from the farming community of Argyll all turned out to make sure the birthday boy had a fabulous celebration. It made for a heady night of dancing, singing and performing, as young and old took to the floor. With amazing food, hearty ‘troughs’ overflowing with steak pies, fish pie, macaroni cheese and scotch broth and the most delicious bramble crumble. The Royal Hotel certainly knows how to feed the farmers.
The following day after a lazy start the first port of call was the shops. Here we seemed to know every other shopper. The Islay contingent was out in force, never missing an opportunity to stock up at mainland shops. The Happy Farmer was delighted. He hates shopping but was more than happy to meet friends up and down the aisles of Aldi and Tesco. Lunch with cousins at a nearby hostelry and we seemed to meet up with ‘team Islay’ again. In the late afternoon we made our way to Kennacraig where we once again boarded the Hebridean Isles for another spectacular cruise home.
It was straight back to work with a honeymoon couple booked in for a few days of the Happy Farmer’s hearty breakfasts. Kilns have been emptied and boxes packed as we are sending pottery across to ‘Homestyle Argyll’, an event happening at the Old Smithy in Bellanoch. The Homestyle team are opening a Christmas House for a week with textiles and homewares from Needlesmiths, jewellery inspired by the Craignish Peninsula from Lucy Jane Walsh, handwoven scarves and throws from Weaving Home, willow baskets from Ardfern Village Baskets, textiles and scarves from Crubag, glass art from A Touch of Glass art studio, paintings and decorations from Love Dove Cottage and of course not forgetting the selection of Persabus Pottery from Islay. Mulled wine and spiced hot chocolate and delicious nibbles are the order of the day from Lazy Sunday. We are so excited to have been invited to participate in the event. If you are near to Lochgilphead next week do call by
Until next time…