Islay is at its picture-perfect best. The sun is splitting the skies. Beach time is calling. We have been away for a few days. We arrived back to paradise. There is something quite cathartic about leaving the heat of the bustling city behind as you step onto a small plane and fly off into the blue skies, arriving a short while later to the peace and tranquillity of island life. A cloudless sky, the pilot even flew lower than usual, so we could take in the spectacular views of the islands, as the plane soared over the sea towards the south of Islay.
The dogs are getting treated to several walks a day. A morning run through the fields, which are laden with clover and buttercups just now. Beach time calls in the late afternoon. The shimmering turquoise sea of Machir Bay with golden sands stretching before you. Dipping our toes in the waves we paddled the whole length of the beach, the waters warmed by the heat of the sun on the sand. In the evening the woods are calling. Walking from the farmhouse, through the Dunlossit woodland track, the dogs get to cool off in Loch Ballygrant.
We were away on a short break to visit the Royal Highland Show in Edinburgh. A trip which couldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for our amazing team of helpers at Persabus who took care of everything in our absence. The local Mod was on here, and the Nairn Gaelic choir were staying at the farm. They phoned tonight to say a great time had been had by all, even in the Happy Farmer’s absence, Islay did not disappoint with its warmth and hospitality. The choir got treated to an excellent warm welcome from everyone, enjoying fantastic hospitality across the island, but especially from Ardbeg Distillery, when they had called by for a quick tour. They went on to win a trophy in the Mod, followed by an evening of songs and a good traditional ceilidh on their return to the farm. The Happy Farmer was really disappointed he missed out. The choir departed on Sunday having really enjoyed all Islay has to offer.
The Royal Highland Show did not disappoint either, although as usual we did not get to see everything. The hospitality in the Scottish Farmer tent was at its best, the Happy Farmer seemed to keep getting waylaid there, like a magnet it kept drawing him back! We were treated to drinks in the big house, such was the hospitality of the directors and farmers. Hospitality we hope to return when they all venture west for Islay’s Agricultural Show later in the summer.
Until next time…