An Island Childhood

At Persabus we hope your stay with us will centre around making good memories for you and your family.

In the Persabus family albums I am met with rosy cheeked young faces giggling and smiling back at me. An Islay childhood is something to be treasured. The photos tell a story of each season unfolding. Each one offering their own special memories of island life.

There are the summer ones, depicting days spent on the golden sandy beaches of Islay. Barbeques of sausages, steaks and burgers, sizzling away on the grill above fires made from driftwood, nestled in the crook of the rocks. The smoke rising. A gathering of hungry youngsters, draped in towels, still dripping with sea water. Hunger getting the better of them, as huge appetites have grown from a day spent swimming in deep rock pools, surfing down sand banks on boogie boards, paddling and rock pooling. The Happy Farmer’s cousin is the king of beach barbeques.

At silage time, the sun beaming down, captured moments of tractors mowing and baling, then at the end of the day, smiling children perched up high on top of the newly wrapped bales of feed. The Happy Farmer would be out each day with black silage tape to repair all the holes the eager clambering feet had made as youngsters climbed up the stacks, giggling and chatting long into the dusk at the end of the day.

Pony treks out along the hill paths as the sun begins to set.

Fishing from the pier at Port Askaig.

Picnic baskets filled with goodies to be devoured at the side of a Loch.

Photos of purple stained faces, as teary-eyed toddlers reluctantly make their way home off the hillside. Exhausted but still not ready to make for home, having spent an afternoon picking bilberries from the bushes that cover the landscape in the summer months. It was always a big competition to see who would manage to collect the most berries. Many got eaten along the way. There was always a huge outburst when a tub accidently got knocked, spilling its contents deep into the undergrowth. Then the excitement and eagerness of the older members when the winner was declared. We would head home to bake bilberry muffins in the farmhouse kitchen. Flour seemed to get everywhere, with bilberry juices leaving a purple hue on work surfaces, fingers and tables. The Happy faces then as a tray of muffins was lifted from the Aga. Piping hot with gooey berry centres. Eager hands at the ready. It is the small things, the tiniest of moments that count.

In the autumn months, the golds and browns of leafy walks through the woods. Dogs and children running through the fallen leaves. The small leaf and twig boats made for boat races from the bridge over the River Sorn. Then the long walks across the windswept, deserted beaches. All wrapped up and cosy as the breakers rolled in before us.

Tubs of brambles in the late autumn sunshine, after an afternoon foraging the berries from the hedgerows.

In winter, those rosy cheeked faces in front of a glowing log fire. The snow men. A day spent sledging down the hills on the farm when each year we would manage at least one snowy day.

Pictures of youngsters perched on the trailer at the back of the tractor as they accompanied the Happy Farmer on his winter feeding rounds. All ready to pat the Highland bull on their travels and check on their pet Highland cows, Toffee Coffee, Rainbow, Fudge and Pringle.

In the spring, the early morning, bleary eyed photos of youngsters wrapped up in layers of jumpers, fleeces, hats and scarves, all piled on top of P.J.s as they set out at the crack of dawn on the quad bike to go on the lambing rounds through the fields. The Happy Farmer would be in so much trouble if he let them sleep in and they missed a morning’s lambing before school.

Photos of daffodils, crocus and Easter egg hunts. Photos of smiling happy youngsters with the freedom to run and run. The football matches as kids took on adults in friendly kick arounds.

So many seasons. So many happy times. Not just for our family, but for our friends, our visitors and guests. At Persabus we offer you the chance to escape and capture the moment. We don’t believe in growing up, just maybe growing taller. 

When you book a holiday at Persabus we encourage you to really relax and unwind. It is not just the little things we have on offer here either as it just so happens that we have some very good neighbours indeed, the luxury of the north Islay whisky distilleries of Ardnahoe, Bunnahabhain and Caol ila right on our doorstep. We look forward to offering you a warm welcome soon.

Until next time…

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