Islay blog: An island Christmas

We have been immersed in the very best of everything Christmas brings. Family and friends, time to rest and indulge. Christmas day began with the customary smoked salmon sandwiches and a champagne breakfast as presents were opened.

At Christmas, following morning feeding rounds, I love how the Happy Farmer dances round the Aga, glass of fizz in hand, and somehow manages to cook up an amazing Christmas feast for whoever is at Persabus for the festivities. There were nine of us this year. Whilst dinner preparations were happening, eldest was out and about on the farm, sprinkling glitter and sparkle. Out in her silver wellies, complete with flashing disco lights, several animals soon appeared festooned with tinsel as they munched their way through their Christmas Day breakfast. Do remember not to try this on your own pet bull at home, unless he is particularly friendly, as in my experience these animals can sometimes be wild and unpredictable, just like the Happy Farmer.

After a couple of days immersed in movies and chocolate then I suggested to the Happy Farmer that we head to the beach with a flask of coffee, some bacon sandwiches and a rug to snuggle under. The Happy Farmer looked slightly bemused. It was a lost cause, especially when I suggested we enjoy the sound of the waves breaking gently on the shore. The Happy Farmer assured me the waves would be whispering ‘go home dafties before you get really cold like those bacon sandwices’.

Today then I took the Happy Farmer ‘overseas’ with the rest of the clan. We headed across to the neighbouring Isle of Jura. The ferry terminal is just five minutes by car from Persabus. There are regular ferries throughout the day. The crossing is a fifteen-minute sail across the Sound. In the winter sun the views were spectacular. A pub lunch, and we had a catch up with some of the locals, before a wander along Corran Sands. Seals lie close to the shore, ‘lolloping’ on the rocks. A stag was blocking the road on the way out of Craighouse and herds of deer were dotted around the hillsides and roadside. A buzzard was perched, watching us, poised comfortably on a gate post, as we drove past. It is a very magical island. It provided the perfect tonic, with wildlife, sea air and the ‘lovely sound of those waves lapping gently on the shore’.

This weekend will be a busy one. With change overs all round, we wave goodbye to our guests and welcome the ‘troops’ heading to Persabus for a traditional Hogmanay with all of the ‘trimmings’. A family dinner, fireworks, a ceilidh and a gathering of first footers. It should be a good one. Which just leaves me to wish you and yours a very Happy 2019 from all of us at Persabus. Celebrate the end of the year in style and embrace all that 2019 has to offer, and if you have the time, we look forward to offering you all a very warm welcome to Persabus in the coming days, weeks and months.

 Until next time…