Saturday, June 15, 2013

drimnin+iona (1-12 June 2013)

I’ve been reflecting on a wonderful time that Moira+I have spent with great friends Bob+Christine at the Old Schoolhouse, Drimnin (thanks to Richard+Sarah’s generosity). The last time Moira+I were there was the summer of 2006, but this holiday echoed a time we spent here with B+C fifteen years ago. It’s a stunning location – situated some 11 miles west of Lochaline on the Scottish mainland, looking across the Sound of Mull towards Tobermory on Mull (near enough to make out the town’s colourful, harbour facades).
You do NOT venture into Scotland without being prepared for very wet (and cold?) weather and so, we duly armed ourselves with waterproofs, fleeces, thermals and plenty of jumpers. What we experienced was very, very different…
We had wonderful, warm, sustained SUNSHINE every single day (intermittent on the first day and mixed with some brief showers on our final day). Apart from one day (when we had an excellent lunch on the terrace at the Fish Café in Tobermory), we had a daily picnic lunch. We spent huge amounts of time sitting in the garden reading – or, from time to time for me, drawing.
We did plenty of walking – although I did feel somewhat restricted due to my hip/leg problems – towards Aluston Point, the Old Castle, Ardtornish House gardens, St Columba’s Chapel, beside Loch Arienas/Teacuis and Tobermory (as well as countless walks along the shoreline).
We also spent two lovely days on Iona – staying at The Argyll Hotel (at last!). Stunning sunshine, the beauty of the island and a chance to catch up with some very good friends (made during my time volunteering there last year). Again, picnic lunches consumed at the stunning Port Ban beach and at North End.
We’ve seen plenty of wildlife – including, THREE eagles (together, and between say 100-250m from Old Schoolhouse), several red/roe(?) deer (one relaxing in the garden for some TWO HOURS in the early morning of our last full day), a pine martin (again, in the garden… twice), a porpoise (well, almost certainly,… near Tobermory), a jay and at least a couple of common sandpipers… plus buzzards, herons, ravens etc!
I think the overriding memories – as well as very enjoyable times with very good friends – were a) the simply AMAZING number of bluebells, wild garlic and gorse, b) the sound of bees, birdsong and boats, c) the vibrant sunsets, d) meeting up with old friends on Iona and e) the incredible weather.
We feel very blessed.
Photo: trying to convey some of the good times with a bundle of holiday images.



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