A right good ‘Island Hoolie’.
Wedding fever arrived at the farm this weekend with the ‘Porter-MacCallum’ wedding celebrations. What a truly creative, happy and unique day Mairi, our local sheep whisperer, and her husband John, butcher and fly-fishing champion, treated us all to.
Where else would you have impeccably behaved pet lambs as bridesmaids, complete with huge turquoise bows around their necks, blending perfectly with a huddle of nephews and nieces escorting their aunt up the aisle? The Happy Farmer leading proceedings as Celebrant, Archie breadman as best man, and a certain well- known farming editor in chief as the newly appointed ‘best’ best man?
The days leading up to the celebrations have seen two huge marquees erected on the farm. Pallets stacked to form benches. Easy chairs and sofas covered and strategically placed around the edges. Plywood and ‘artificial grass’ dance floors. All finished off with huge fragrant bouquets and trailing twinkling fairy lights. The venue was a vibrant reflection of Mairi’s creative spirit.
Transport to the event consisted of a last- minute dash through the fields on the Happy Farmer’s quad bike and trailer. Six piled in, whilst the sensible ones made it down the road on foot. Eldest was at the helm, hoicking up her frock, to drive the motely crew across the fields and down a steep hill to the assembled marquees. Proceedings nearly came to a halt when the quad bike got bogged in the first field then, and I must assure you this had nothing to do with the mightily sturdy farmers on board, and everything to do with the carryout that was clinking away between their toes, as they held on for dear life.
Lateness was not an option on this occasion, as the quad had the all-important ‘three amigos’ on board. This trio were due to be leading the events of the day. After a quick reshuffle in the trailer and a couple of abandonees, who decided to ‘hoof’ it across the fields instead, the quad and trailer went hurtling down the hill before coming to a pitstop at the bespoke venue.
Sheep were the theme of the day as pampered, shampooed and blow-dried pet lambs, mixed with helium filled, weighted, balloon sheep. There were sheep space hoppers and bubble swords, but what stole the show, apart from the lovely bride, was the impeccably behaved entourage of lambs, following her as she led the way through the crowd on the arm of her brother, Gas, to join her husband and the ‘three amigos’ aka the Happy Farmer, Archie Bread and Ken, all waiting at the top of the marquee.
The Happy Farmer began with an ‘I am jolly’ celebrant speech, before swiftly handing over to Archie bread, in his role as best man, followed by a speech from the ‘best’ best man. Speeches, toasts and photos over and the party started in earnest, with a huge feast of roast pork and beef, fresh rolls, and so many cakes. The sun shone brightly all afternoon, and the only guests not to arrive were the midges, and they were certainly not missed. Everyone got to sit out in the sun and enjoy the ‘craic’. Drinks were poured, more toasts were made, music was played, singing began and a fantastic ceilidh ensued as weighted helium filled blow up lambs, tottered and flew about, space hopper lambs flew among the guests, with more than a little help, gin and whisky flew from farmer to butcher, farmers toppled off chairs, hens, cockerels and ducks meandered about, even the Highland cow put in an appearance over the hill and Mairi’s little lambs did not leave her side all afternoon, their gorgeous turquoise bows still in-tact.
Hilarity and celebrations spilled out into the dusk. A huge trough of chilli, chips and coleslaw were served to late night revellers, and today we can only reflect and marvel on the outstanding hospitality of this amazing lady and her new groom…..