Island at the Edge

Island at the Edge
The Gathering, Cable Bay, Colonsay

Wednesday 1 August 2012

Where have I been...

There have been sad times on our wee island. Don Macleod passed away after a long illness. He was a great guy, very, very much liked and respected here. Kapitein and I will miss him. We have very fond memories of the short time we knew him and will never forget his amazing sense of humour. Our thoughts are with Mary and the family.

So, what else has been happening!

The Festival of Spring was in full swing! And a great time has been had by all those who attended the myriad of activities on offer. I believe Lovejoy’s sessions were some of the best. Bread making took on a whole new slant! I only hope he continues these sessions ‘out with’ the Festival of Spring. So come on Lovejoy, head for the ovens and continue to make  the temperatures and dough rise (for the good of the island of course!)
Activities also included Foraging, Archaeological and historic walks, Tea parties, the list was endless.
I had several participants on the short knitting courses. I thoroughly enjoyed teaching ‘folk’ knitting. From beginners, intermediates and experts, they all took away ‘something’ from their time here. Laughter was the most prevalent aspect of our sessions; even I learned a thing or two, and not just about knitting!! It amazes me when you are with a group of people from very diverse backgrounds and of varying ages how the conversations can vary from second to second!  And the topics! Well, I think as our readership covers ‘young uns’ too, I couldn’t possibly say, other than even I blushed on the odd occasion.
Thank you so much to all those who supported the Festival of Spring – especially the Knitting Workshops, I can’t wait until next year – and the new patterns are ready now!! So let’s get knitting!! 
Overall, the initial feedback is that the Festival of Spring is now going to be an ongoing yearly event. I think year on year, it will be a not to be missed time to visit Colonsay.

So where exactly have I been, I hear you ask!
Well, where do I start!!

We have had a very, very exciting time here on our wee island.
All things knitting have been in full flow. I have had several Gansey commissions – this keeps me out of mischief I can assure you. They are now ‘World Wide’ with Ganseys in Australia, Canada, Wales, London, Scotland and with commissions continuing to come in thick and fast, I now have two on the needles (at varying stages of completion) in readiness for Birthdays and of course the new ‘must have’ fashion accessory. I thoroughly enjoy knitting these, above all, in the knowledge that the lucky recipient has a jumper that will last a lifetime.
In the midst of knitting Ganseys, I have designed another sweater (which will be launched in the near future) I am just working on the finishing touches and that should be it completed. I am looking forward to see how this one will be received.

Ongoing interest in our ‘Island at the Edge’ has even brought us Journalists! I believe we will be in national magazines later this year... I will keep you posted.

Lambing was a huge success this year, Ewan (the new Tup) really did us proud and our newest editions are fit, healthy and strong. Mind, it may be that we had a mini heat wave just at lambing time due to the ‘Jet stream’ flowing further south than usual – great for us, naff for Blighty. At one point Kapitein and I thought we were going down with heat stroke!
As the ‘all things sheep’ calendar has progressed, the sheep are all sheared and the fleeces are just to be graded and are then ready for sending to the Mill.

Wedded bliss! There have been more weddings here on Colonsay. What more perfect setting could a bride and groom wish for than Kiloran Bay or the Priory on Oransay. We wish them all health, wealth and happiness in their future lives together.

Our main activity of late has been the Bed & Breakfast. We have had some wonderful visitors to the Homestead from as far afield as Dubai, Sweden and the four corners of the UK. Only two of our guests have been frequent visitors to the island, all others were on their first visit and say they will return. How wonderful that new visitors to our island are as delighted with this wonderful place as we continue to be. I keep saying this is a little piece of Heaven on Earth and it is....

We have been awarded a pass rate from the Food Standards Agency after a visit from Argyll & Bute Council Environmental Health department for the Catering side of the B & B. You can see the listing on the Food Standards Agency website.

We were delighted with this, especially as I offer three course evening meals for our guests. The feedback has been wonderful, thank you to all those who have written in our guest book. This is a new found interest for me; I didn’t think I would enjoy cooking so much! It is so satisfying to see guests take pleasure in what I prepare for them. Mmmnnn...

Local Langoustine 

We celebrated the Queens Jubilee in style here with a wonderful bonfire above the pier. Ironically, the initial E appeared in the embers! LOTI was berthed that evening too, the fire must have looked spectacular from the deck.

Kapitein has been shackled to the inner sanctum for several weeks of late keeping the wheels of Europe turning, but he does get out and about as often as possible. He has numerous skills – too many to mention. One is to track animals! I’m sure he can track humans too! But we won’t go into that!
He spotted seal tracks and low and behold, there was the young seal, right in front of us. Wolfie was ecstatic! The smell of the seal must have triggered something in his psyche as he howled and better howled at the seal.  (sadly I didn’t have the camera) but Wolfie was as excited as Sampster when he gets a sniff of a Pheasant - especially as he had thought they were extinct!

With so much going on, I am sure I have missed lots out, but I will be posting up again in the next few days, so keep a look out.
In the meantime, if you are on our island, enjoy your stay, if you are planning to come to our island, we look forward to seeing you very soon.

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