I exit to the mainland, leaving the Happy Farmer to ‘sail the good ship Persabus’.
There are the usual tasks, changeovers to be organised. Breakfasts to be cooked. Pottery orders to be posted out. Kiln firings to be completed, together with farming duties, oh and a shelter to be built for the horses.
In my absence we also have a business party arriving from South Africa on a ‘team building’ adventure at Persabus. They have booked a morning session in the pottery workshop and are also looking to do some farming activities as a group. Luckily the Happy Farmer does not do ‘stress’. He feels ‘stress’ is wasted energy. I do try to aspire to his mantra, but even island living doesn’t succeed in eliminating the ‘in built’ programme in my mind to stress about everything and anything that life throws my way. The Happy Farmer on the other hand, takes people and situations as he finds them, dealing with them in his naturally positive and cheery way. He is a ‘people person’, always happy to stop for a chat, he loves nothing more than welcoming people from all around the world to the farm and sharing his history, culture and island ways with them.
On Friday he started ‘sailing the good ship Persabus’ in his own unique way. He welcomed our guests to the farm. Luckily for him it was the lovely Prarthana and her partner Ewen. Prarthana first stayed with us at Persabus two years ago. She is from Mumbai and happens to be an amazing cook. The Happy Farmer was more than delighted when she stepped off the ferry and happened to remember his love of Indian food. In my absence Friday night in Persabus kitchen became ‘curry night’, a hub of fabulous cuisine, as Prarthana cooked an amazing Indian feast for the Happy Farmer, Ewen and our son. It is always lovely to welcome old friends back to stay with us at Persabus. Prarthana is one of the family. The Happy Farmer organised trips to Bunnahabhain Distillery, Finlaggan and of course the Lochindaal Hotel making sure the weekend included all Prarthana’s favourite haunts on the island. Best of all Prarthana did not forget me and there is a good portion of curry put aside for my return to the farm, thank you so much Prarthana! The Happy Farmer does seem to have perfect strategies in place when I exit for the mainland. Only he could have guests stepping off the ferry and cooking amazing food for him. He is already excited at what the South African crew will have on the menu tonight.
A short trip to Glasgow for me and of course the obligatory visit to one of my favourite haunts, the Uni Café, in the heart of the city’s west end. One hundred years old, still owned and run by the same family, the interior boasts all its original fixtures and fittings. The Happy Farmer’s family have gone to the Uni Café over the generations since it opened. As sweets were scooped onto the scales for a ‘wee’ after lunch snack, I couldn’t help smiling at Gino’s promise to come and visit Islay soon with the offer of an evening of Italian food into the bargain.
Life at Persabus brings a lovely mix of people, culture and diversity. The Happy Farmer is enjoying all the friendship and fine food his farm diversification seems to attract. With the sheep and Highland cows coming to the fence to pose for another photo opportunity for the passing tourists it seems the Happy Farmer is not the only one.
Until next time…