With the Islay Whisky Festival happening last week, and Persabus being the gateway to the north Islay Distilleries, our very own Brand Ambassadors, were out in force, forming the welcoming party for the north Islay Distilleries. It appears no one thought to tell them that the whisky festival was only happening in a virtual world, online, this year. Completely oblivious to such a world, even though they appear regularly on it, our Highland cows stood patiently, gathered by the gate. Their hair especially coiffed for the occasion, awaiting the arrival of the VIPs from around the world to celebrate Islay’s Festival of Music and Malt.
They missed you all. We missed you all. The only camera clicking away this year came in the form of the Happy Farmer and family clicking away for a special Persabus edition lockdown birthday video. It was a week of sneakily taking snapshot clips and stalking everyone online to participate in the lead up to eldest’s birthday extravaganza. Trying to make the special occasion as exciting and special as you possibly can with lockdown restrictions in place.
The final piece was a fabulous celebration of contributions from her childhood pals, Uni friends, Winnie and Nina from the infamous The Park Bar. Uilly from Peat and Diesel, the boys from Trail West, Martin, from Skerryore, playing a few tunes on his accordion. Big Kenny on Mull, and big Angus from Skippinish, all sending their very best birthday wishes. The film featured clips with some hilarious takes on those ‘lockdown looks’, who knew your hair could resemble matted fleece that even the best sheep would be proud of? And then of course, the ‘Sponge Bob Square Pants’ cartoon spoof featuring the whole Fletcher family, completed with clips from the Handsome Farmer, with his dram of Octomore, and Archie Bread, in between his deliveries. Finally,…there was the Happy Farmer’s contribution….
The Happy Farmer decided that for his part he would like to feature alongside the Persabus Ambassadors, who were still gathered at the roadside. Still waiting for the festival taxis, cyclists, and walkers, still oblivious to the fact that there would be no visitors this year.
The Happy Farmer took along some feed for the assembled throng as they stood, putting on their absolute best pouts. Locks all blow dried and curled loosely from the warm sea breeze, waiting patiently. He clambered ever so carefully over the electric fence. I stood patiently, poised with camera in hand. All was going well. Even Hansel horse trotted up to make an appearance in the birthday video. Just as the Happy Farmer called for ‘action’, and the camera began to roll, it appears the bull, who, in the sunshine must have been feeling ever so slightly amorous in amongst those beautiful ladies, took the Farmer’s words quite literally. That rampant youngster began putting on his best performance too. At this point I could not speak for laughing, as amidst all the excitement, chaos broke out as those highland girls positively danced and sashayed around the Happy Farmer. He skilfully managed to dodge those huge horns and avoid the passionate advances of one Happy bull, managing to climb back over the fence without injury.
In the heat of the afternoon sun, just as the whisky festival is about weaving magic, creating camaraderie and happy memories, know that in your absence, our Persabus Ambassadors partied hard, and next spring will be delighting you with more happy calves to join their committee to welcome you all back.
We hope you enjoyed the virtual festival. You can capture it here. The usual frenetic buzz of energy that fizzes and bubbles across the island at festival time was replaced with a quiet calm as lockdown continues.
Wild storms had ravaged the island in the early part of the week. At the beach, huge waves uprooted a whole jungle of seaweed, transporting and depositing giant sculptures, resembling our very own Persabus Ambassadors, along the shoreline. It appears even the oceans were getting in on the ‘Persabus’ act, before the sun shone brightly again.
We missed you all last week, but know that once this has passed, and it is safe to travel again, a warm welcome will be waiting for you all at Persabus.
Until then stay safe and take care.
Until next time…