Islay Blog: 50 Shades of Magnolia

At Persabus Farm we pride ourselves on offering a warm Islay welcome. This week it has been a bit of a chaotic, haphazard kind of an ‘Islay welcome’.

I have had a career change. It’s that time of year again. A window between guests and I have been working away as painter and decorator. Painting walls, not pots, and so many walls. Windowsills, doorways, kitchens, bathrooms, nothing has evaded my paint brush, including myself.

If you were lucky enough to call by at the pottery this week you may have noticed my ‘camouflage’. My face, hands and clothes all blended into whatever wall I happened to be painting. What started as a ‘touch up job’ morphed into an epic painting project. I always plan to do less. Who knew there were 50 shades of Magnolia? I have spent the last week painting every inch of our cottages, as I seem to do each year.

I was on a ‘promise’ from the Happy Farmer too. It was to be a ‘joint’ effort. We were going to tackle redecorating the properties together. And then he appeared, like an apparition, through the mist (it wasn’t misty, but a bit of highland mist always adds to the atmosphere). At first you could hear him, warming up his vocal chords, and then there he was, out of the woodwork, at the farmhouse door. ‘The Singing Shepherd’ and his two faithful pups. His timing was perfect. Just as we were about to get down to the serious business of painting the Happy Farmer got called away on important farm duties. A planned ‘get out of painting quick’ scheme.

From the cottage where I was toiling, the Happy Farmer could be seen doing his ‘happy sheep dance’ in the fank.  Those Persabus girls all gathered in for some ‘pampering’. Dosed and ‘heels manicured and clipped’ the Happy Farmer could then be seen doing the Highland Fling with the Highland cows. They had handily been gathered at the fence, in the ‘spectator gallery’, with their noses bothering them. They were enjoying the entertainment, watching proceedings in the fank, as the sheep got dosed. I can see where the phrase ‘nosey cow’ comes from. The Highland cows then got their seasonal ‘dosing’ too.

When the animals were happily back in their fields, I went to see what the Happy Farmer was up to. He was busy in the pottery. I was met with a scene of utter chaos. My lovely studio had been turned upside down. Pots were precariously balanced on over turned tables. Shelves lay on the floor. Stood in the middle of all the chaos was the Happy Farmer. He was smiling and chatting away to a group of people, who were stood clasping boxes of pottery between their hands. The walls may have been wet with paint, but a studio ‘make over’ did not get in the way of the Happy Farmer offering a warm welcome to visitors from the States. Pottery sales have continued throughout the week regardless of the Happy Farmer’s precarious displays, as shelves have been emptied and furniture and pottery rearranged into an obstacle course, in order to paint floors and walls.

On a happy note the daffodils the Happy Farmer planted along the roadside have come into bloom. Lighting up the single-track road to Persabus. He planted them for me over fifteen years ago. He might tell you otherwise but luckily it is me who writes the blog. They are the first signs of spring. Their bright colour offering a warm welcome to anyone driving up to the farm and beyond.

At Persabus there is always a warm welcome on offer. We look forward to your visit soon.

Until next time…