I was up at 3 am this morning and headed out to lay past ghosts to rest, which of course was to participate in this year’s Gaelic festival of fire, Beltane (Bealltainn), all part of our wee islands Festival of Spring activities.
I met with Eskie senior (junior was there to meet me too, but didn’t join us for the torch lighting) so off we went yomping towards Dun Eibhinn Fort.
We took with us coffee, biscuits, (a must for any discerning walkers) torches, fire beater (you just never know when you may need a beater on this island) water and sand. The latter equipment was more of a just in case, so we could light our torch in the sure knowledge that ALL health and safety needs were met (to satiate the needs of the sceptics amongst us) and as responsible adults (which we are) any ‘just in case’ scenario’s.
04.15 hrs, lighting up time, with the aid of swan vesta matches we eventually lit our custom made torch. Fantastic...
We looked all around us and across towards Dun Ghallain, Beinn nan Gudairean and Balerominmore to see some of the other torches. It was delightful to see and hailed in the summer with traditional Gaelic style.
We watched the sun rise over Beinn nan Gudairean on this perfect morning and looked down at Scalasaig, where LOTI was berthed ready for her early departure to Oban. Truly magnificent.
|Looking down at Scalasaig - LOTI all in lights
|Sunrise over Beinn nan Gudairean
Eskie and I enjoyed our coffee, and as the sun rose up over the hills, we checked our torch, which had burned out (and cooled down) before packing it away then headed back down towards Scalasaig. At this point, bacon sandwiches would have been wonderful (it never ceases to amaze me why bacon sandwiches pervade all thoughts when one is up with the larks) only, Gavalus Gavalar had declined the offer to open this time. Such a shame Gavalus, you would have had quite a bit of custom from us hungry revellers.
A memorable morning, for all of the right reasons! I look forward with great anticipation, to next year’s event.
So, what else has been happening...
Our lambing has been hugely successful this year. We started on 16th April and our last expected lamb arrived yesterday. We have been blessed with lovely sunny weather so the wee ones can grow strong. They have the most wonderful fleeces, just like Ewan (the Tup) I can hardly wait until shearing next year as I think we may have pure black fleeces. But if their current antics are anything to go by, these ‘spring loaded’ lambs gambolling across the in-by fields may take a bit of catching!! As it happens, we don’t use a dog with our flock; therefore they are very tolerant, even allowing us up close and personal with their offspring. What more could a budding shepherdess wish for.
We like food, any type of food, so when a fishing boat came into Scalasaig a few days ago, I decided to be presumptuous and ask if I could buy some fish. An undisclosed amount of money changed hands and I came away with several large Languistine, 4 whiting and 2 large cod. This puts healthy eating back on the agenda, and we thoroughly enjoyed our booty, so thanks lads, and we hope to see you again very soon.
Our first international shipment of a Gansey was dispatched to Australia last week. The recipient is absolutely delighted with their package. They commented:
‘The patterning is beautiful, but probably what impressed me most straight away was the wool itself – the springiness and the colour. With the autumn sun (he is in Australia) slanting across it seems to light up with all sorts of green and blue flecks’.
I must agree with him as, in my opinion, the wool is the softest 5-ply I have ever worked with and the rich chocolate brown (with hues of purple, green and blue) is just superb.
He also went on to say:
‘It is very dark, with more of that scrunchy springiness than you find in mainstream wool’
Our wool is available on our website, try it for yourself and be prepared to be amazed.
We have new retail outlets for our products!
Oban Airport and The Pantry in Oban are selling our products. Pop in to either venue, they will be more than glad to help.
There is a lot more to report, but I will save that for a rainy day!