Lockdown on Islay

Lockdown on Islay during the pandemic and everyone was home. I blogged throughout the pandemic, sharing our experiences during the Islay lockdown. As everyone settled into the crazy times and the lockdown continued and suddenly it felt as if we were running a professional laundry service, tip toeing round the farmhouse, careful not to disturb the amazing wheels of creativity that were turning in the farmhouse.

We appear to be running a professional laundry service at Persabus

and are ever so gently and quietly being ‘evicted’ from our ‘space’.

Our roles might have changed quite a bit over the past year, but the farmhouse continues to be a busy hub of creativity in these strange times.

Washing baskets are constantly filled.

Soups, casseroles, home-made breads and baking flow on a seamless production line. Gliding from Aga to table, to feed the hungry ‘army’.

For our part,

the Happy Farmer and I can frequently be seen tip-toeing around the farmhouse

Careful not to disturb the flow of creative energy that seems to have engulfed life on the farm. A flow that comes with the whole clan continuing their work from home.

The dining room has transformed into an art studio and sewing room. Machines can be heard whirring away.

A mannequin at the window frequently changes style

Sometimes pinned with swatches, other times draped in fabrics, before being transformed with the most gorgeous designs and shapes as creations come to fruition.

Mood boards feed my curiosity

Threads and needles are everywhere.

For me it is a privilege to have the chance to watch this young designer at work as the huge expanse of her island home provides an endless source of inspiration for her designs. Her work a tribute to the background of the community and island landscape she grew up in.

It does not end in the dining room

The larger kitchen has morphed into a pattern cutting room

Paper is neatly laid out. Patterns designed. Calico lies across an ironing board. Jackets, bags, hats, dresses, trousers in the grass roots of the design process. As ideas are carefully sketched and illustrated. Drawn and cut. From paper, to calico, from calico to fabric. It is a fascinating process. With the art studios and university closed, online learning has turned the farmhouse into a creative hub of busyness.

The small guests’ kitchen is now a ‘temporary office’

as eldest continues her important and valuable NHS work from an online environment.

Paints and brushes nearby. Away from her ‘office’ huge canvases capture her artistic flare. The blues of the seas and skies of island living, translated through oils, acrylics, pastels, and watercolours. Animals and pets coming to life on paper, ready to be posted out to their new homes. Wooden floors have become the artist’s studio with the large glass doors providing the perfect light.

Then there is the ‘transportable’ office

Our son, safely home from Hong Kong as the first lockdown came, continued his work from his laptop. Throughout the week teaching videos were uploaded to children in a faraway land. Videos capturing farming life, teaching his young students English with a large dash of ‘Hebridean culture’. There were cameo roles for the whole family. 

As his work continues with new projects, his ‘office’ space seems to vary throughout the course of a day. Different spots and spaces are taken over to accommodate whichever ‘role’ he is working on.

Those Persabus dogs are of course taking full advantage

They have never enjoyed so many walks and so much fuss. They too seem to have moved into the farmhouse on a more permanent basis. Making their peace with the cats, they spend far less time in the barracks of their kennel. Far more time curled up in the comfort of the farmhouse. They see their roles as reminding everyone to eat as they seem to demand more food. Reminding everyone to de-stress as they demand more fuss, more belly rubs and lots of attention.

As we continue to adapt to these changing times

I am entertained then that the Happy Farmer, for his part, has installed a comfy leather sofa and several heaters into his ‘office’ in his agricultural shed.

Happy days.

As we begin to look forward, it is exciting to be open for bookings once again

When restrictions are eased and the guidelines allow, and if the Happy Farmer and I haven’t been completely ‘turfed out’ of the farmhouse, we very much look forward to offering you all a warm welcome back to Persabus to join in the creative flow of this beautiful island.

Until next time….