A Restricted Islay Hogmanay

As restrictions continued during the pandemic, following Christmas festivities restrictions came into place again. A restricted Islay Hogmanay and we still danced, and made merriment. The restricted social gatherings left us to really focus in on the beauty of the island and Islay’s magical draw at this time of year, from wild swims, to bonfires and hikes. A restricted Islay Hogmanay and celebrations were an unusually quiet affair.


It has been a time of the most beautiful strawberry lemony skies

Capturing the final hours of daylight with the last rays of the setting sun painting the landscape with golden, pink hues. Underfoot the rugged peaty ground frozen solid. The wild grasses coated in frost. In the distance the pink and lilac snow-clad mountains of Mull, against the sea, framing the horizon.

I have watched in awe as so many people seem to have taken to the sea for a refreshing new year dip. After a scramble down the hillside the gentle lapping waves look so inviting but with the biting cold, crisp air, it is a firm ‘no’ from me. For now, it is enough to just sit at the edge of the shore amongst the rocks, watching as the pebbles get drawn back and forth with the tide.

The rush that swept us along

as the madness of Christmas took over in the final weeks of the last year, has calmed.

The festivities were a quieter affair with all the restrictions in place.

It was just our small clan, but we still danced, and sang.

Ate far too much and made merriment. It was a time for slowing down. Lazy mornings, followed by long walks along deserted coastlines. In the evenings, bonfires on the beach and at the farm, huddled under the star lit skies. The warmth of the crackling flames against your face and the Happy Farmer’s sloe gin to warm the cockles.

In the Pottery as I steadily pick up where I left off, before the turn of the year, a tartan theme is emerging. I have found myself captivated by threading the muted shades of Islay’s winter, weaving the colours into a tartan pattern. A collaboration of mossy, peaty, earthy colours lifted with the reds and bronzes of those beautiful golden rays the sun seems to be casting across the island. All celebrated in Valinda’s Hogmanay Tartan range.

Valinda was my late mother-in-law

A vibrant, colourful lady who loved all things tartan

It is not a new theme to my ranges but to begin the year I am going to be exploring new colour palettes within the tartans. A celebration of this fabulous lady and her proud Scots heritage and the ideas are suddenly endless.

Emerging also then is the new Valinda’s Rainbow Tartan design, equally quirky. This range is an explosion of colour, capturing the vibrant rainbow shades of the crisp winter landscapes, seas and skies in the Hebrides. As pieces emerge from the kiln I will be sharing them with you in my little online emporium.

Finally then I would like to wish ‘you and yours’ a happy, healthy new year from all of us at Persabus. It is a strange start to the year, but know that we are thinking of you all, friends old and new, your messages and cards over the festivities were fabulous.

We look forward to a time when we can catch up once again

and offer you a hearty welcome back to the farm to enjoy these beautiful island shores.

Until next…