A hike out across the rugged wilderness of Islay’s east coast and we were soon immersed in the wonders of nature. The wildlife come out to play as this part of Islay’s coast is dramatic and unspoilt, reached only on foot or by boat. It is my favourite part of the island, with the coastline offering dramatic cliffs, beautiful pebble beaches, lined with glossy seaweed that the tide brings in.
Back on the farm and little did I know of the Happy Farmer’s ‘team building’ escapades.
Two beady eyes were watching us the whole time, jaw constantly chewing away, attitude coming from every angle. This sheep was a real character…maybe the one we evicted from Persabus the other week. The one who arrived with lambs at foot, as an unwelcome guest, and proceeded to head butt the glass door of the cottage, on a recent holiday. Who knows? She looked strangely familiar though and was more than happy peering out at us from the little craggy cave, like a nosey old fish wife, stood on her doorstep watching the goings on of life.
A hike out the north east coast
and it is one of my most favourite coastlines. Huge ragged cliffs full of caves and natural arches, pebble beaches and it is teeming with wildlife. As you enter their world the seals are lolloping about on the rocks; a pair of oystercatchers are wading in the shallow waters of the pebbled beach. Eider ducks bob in the waters. The swans who nest each year on the shoreline now proudly cruise in waves, their young fluffy cygnets in tow, keeping close in behind their mother who leads the way. The proud, protective father following at the back. A large seal bobbing in the water and then there are those cheeky sheep…
The island is gradually awakening from its lockdown
The distilleries along the road from the farm are back in production. Lorries once again cruise up the single-track road to collect the casks and deliver supplies. A passing tractor trundles along heading up for a trailer load of draff to use as animal feed. Today, once again, out on the Sound, there were fishing boats and steamers bobbing along in the seas.
Back at the farm
and the happy farmer is immersed in another of his ongoing projects. The pottery workshop is getting customised and overhauled with the banging and clattering of hammers and crow bars coming from the shed. Old plasterboard is appearing out of the door and across the road there is a ‘wee’ bonfire in an old drum. All the while, behind the scenes, work is quietly going on in the jewellery workshop.
Team Building Projects
Yesterday the Happy Farmer felt the need to include our lovely jeweller in some team building strategies. This particular ‘exercise’ involved his wee bonfire that had somehow managed to involve the dry grass and the surrounding area in its own little team building project. The Happy Farmer was alerted to this bigger bonfire by a passing motorist who skilfully managed to drive through the yard with his head skewed at a 180-degree angle. The Happy Farmer was curious as to what was making for such interesting viewing on the farm. As he looked around the corner of his shed there seemed to be a surprising amount of smoke from his wee bonfire, so much smoke in fact, that he quickly realised his ‘wee bonfire’ was not social distancing as it should have been, and had indeed leapt out of the drum to party with full on flames in the long grass. Buckets of water ten to the dozen, our lovely jeweller as team member, at the water source replenishing the buckets and running a relay, as she handed those buckets over the fence to the Happy Farmer who could be seen performing his stomping fire dance whilst trying ever so hard not to set himself on fire.
I returned from my beach trip to calm
Only later did I discover my omission from the day’s team building exercise at Persabus when I enquired about the scent of smoke surrounding the Happy Farmer.
As lockdown begins to move towards easing the Happy Farmer has been ‘in training’ to grow the fabulous Persabus experience for our future guests and would like to reassure you all that thankfully his latest team building project had excellent results and all of the accommodation at Persabus is still standing.
Please stay home and stay safe as we await further guidance from the Scottish government and Calmac to a time when we can once again welcome you all back to this lovely island.
Until next time….