Just when I’ve been waxing lyrical about the changing seasons the first of the winter storms hit. Wild weather left the island cut off for a day last week. Ferries and planes were cancelled due to high winds. Doughball the cat made the most of it. She didn’t know which property to take shelter in, having discovered that all the Persabus guests staying last week were ‘cat’ people. It was a tricky decision, but I am assured that she managed to share her time equally between the cottages, calling by for breakfast scraps, a belly rub and a quick snooze by the Rayburn.
At Machir Bay it was almost impossible to stand in the gales. Some of our guests braved the high winds and went for a very brisk beach walk to experience the Atlantic rollers crashing in with the storm. A trip to see the huge waves at Portnahaven and they were entertained by the seals who appeared to be in their element ducking and diving in the stormy seas. The seals must have missed the weekly visit of the ice cream van though. I am told that when the tinkling jingle of the van begins to play 16 or so seals can be seen suddenly popping their heads up out of the water in unison. The island seals love it when they hear music being played, unfortunately I doubt they have had the chance to sample one of the delicious 99 ice creams that are served up from the van. If the weather’s good Monday night is ice cream van night at Persabus.
By the weekend the weather had settled, and the sunshine returned. For the Happy Farmer this was fantastic news. It had been a ‘nail biting’ week when squally weather looked like it might cancel ‘play’, and his annual trip to the Jura Music Festival was in danger of being aborted if ferries were cancelled. The sun came out just in time then, the wind disappeared without a trace, and the Happy Farmer and eldest skipped gleefully onto the ferry on Sunday for an afternoon at the festival. The wild weather may have passed but a wild time was had by all. Parties were happening across Craighouse. Eldest managed to grab a guitar and perform in the open mike tent. There was piping in the Hotel and then Rhuval followed by Skippinish in the Cooperage, with dancing on barrels, shoulders and feet. The final magic was captured by the transport laid on to get Islay visitors home. A moonlit trip from Craighouse, on Sandy’s and Nicol’s ribs, to Port Askaig, gliding through the dark inky waters with the light of a nearly full moon bursting from the sky. Maybe next year we will make it for the whole weekend of the Jura Music Festival.
Until next time…