Some very special people left the island this morning at the end of their stint of volunteering: Tereza, Ann, Krystof and Franziska. Franziska is one of my fellow-shopworkers and so we’ve got to know each other pretty well over the past few weeks (I’ve previously posted a note about the weekly Taize services at the Abbey – which she has been running). She’s definitely a very intelligent, larger-than-life character and she’s made me laugh and smile throughout our time together. Her language skills are hugely impressive – but she was always querying something I’d said and asked why the English used a particular phrase or word… in the end, my frequent answer was simply “because we do” in order to avoid further prolonged (but hilarious) discussion. We play music all day in the shop (usually from the “Wild Goose” stuff we sell) and she was frequently prone to bursting into song herself (sometimes at quite high volumes!)… one day, a customer asked me: “does she work here?” – I was tempted just to shrug and suggest she was just one of our many happy customers, but…(!). The weather on the island has been pretty good throughout my time here (so far) – indeed, on occasions positively balmy. Franziska always seemed to be overdressed (in terms of layers of clothes); on one hot day she proudly announced that she had decided to dispense of ONE of her pairs of leggings (and, indeed, her leg-warmers and her fingerless gloves)!!Franziska has also become my adopted daughter - she kept referring to me as “Daddy” – so, it’s a great shame that she won’t be on Iona when “step-mother” Moira comes this weekend!
As you can imagine, there were lots of hugging when we said our farewells on the jetty this morning.
I’ll miss her hugely and am just grateful for the time we worked together.