Hogmanay on Islay

Hogmanay on Islay and we waved goodbye to the last of the revellers this morning. Sailing away on the ferry following a fast paced, traditional Scottish Hogmanay at Persabus. There were 20 of us celebrating, with a kilt clad Happy Farmer. Roast venison and a gammon joint. We managed a short visit to Ballygrant Inn prior to midnight. A taxi home for the ‘bells’, we welcomed in the New Year with some fine Islay malt whiskies, glasses of fizz, Islay and Lussa gin cocktails and the Happy Farmer’s own sloe gin and Bramble whisky. What a choice the island provides for such ‘toasts’. Hogmanay fireworks followed. Rugs were rolled away to allow for dancing into the ‘wee small hours’. A traditional ceilidh and a huge Persabus welcome to the first footers that called by.

The Happy Farmer has been suffering somewhat since.

He has a couple of cracked ribs. There seem to be two conflicting versions of events as to how this came to be. The Happy Farmer’s recollection of events seems to involve a heavy bag of feed, a fence and some animals. The other version, a far spicier tale, involves a rug, an accordion player, and a whisky glass. Whichever version of events is true it is fair to say a good time was had by all.

As each year draws to a close

I always find myself wanting to hold onto the very ‘scrapings’ of the last few days. As midnight approaches on Hogmanay and the bells chime another chapter closes and the past year slips into the archives of the history books. At the turn of the year, it always feels time has slipped by in the blink of an eye. Where did that last year go?

2018 at Persabus was a busy, lovely time.

As the cruel, cold harsh depths of the beast from the east gave way to a springtime of endless days of sunshine and warmth, allowing for lots of lovely beach walks, wild swims, horse riding along the farm tracks and up the hills and barbecues and picnics. As the geese migrated once again, we welcomed back a whole host of birds from the skylarks, swallows and goldfinches to the beautiful echoes of the cuckoo flexing muscles among the avian population and signalling the beginnings of new life on the farm as lambs and calves skipped about the fields.

We have been lucky enough to welcome some remarkable guests to the farm and made many new friends along the way.

As 2018 slipped away I can look back over a mountain of memories, captured in thoughts, photographs, paintings and words. As 2019 begins the weather has been beautiful, allowing for lots of walks in the fresh air, with big hearty family dinners lasting long into the evenings. The festivities really are a time to catch up. A time for friends, family and fun. As 2019 kicks off I am looking forward to the Happy Farmer continuing to guide me on his happy dance through the year ahead, and welcoming you to stay with us at Persabus soon.

Until next time….