Island at the Edge

Island at the Edge
The Gathering, Cable Bay, Colonsay

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Ganseys. Kapitein, Danger Mouse and Gavalus Gavalar...

Goodness me!! Where to begin!!
Poor Kapitein has been a wee bit neglected of late. I have been so busy here at the Homestead, I think I saw him the other day, well, I think it was him busying away in the inner sanctum. His beard and other things are nearly down to his knees it's been so long... 
I decided to check out the sheep shearing equipment, ahead of this years annual clip,  so I dragged him out and set about the task of shearing Kapitein, with very good results apart from the nose hair which is very very difficult given the size of the comb on the shearer. Kapitein isn't like a Hebridean sheep (which fights to it's last breath) he is more compliant, though not entirely. Despite the look of terror in his eyes, a couple of elastoplasts later and the nose hair had been successfully trimmed to an acceptable length, this allows him to appear in public again without frightening any of the tourists that have now descended on the island.

Kapitein has also resumed scraping 'barnacles' off his bottom - it is amazing what he is inspired to do when the sun shines! He needed industrial machinery this time as tentative scratching at his bottom had little effect.  He did change his appearance somewhat whilst he worked, sporting a nice shade of royal blue on his bonce! - this was just in case anyone recognised him, as it isn't every day you see folk scraping their bottom with a sander now is it!! Then to my amazement, he started polishing his sides, buffing so furiously his arms ached, I've never seen someone buff with such vigour. I tempted him in for some sustenance - after his complexion became a deep red, then had the onerous task of encouraging him to remove his hair dye, it took more than a little gentle persuasion, I can tell you as I think he quite liked it. But with the offer of tripping the light fantastic at the Ceilidh later in the evening, thank goodness, he gave in. Kapitein did do some dancing at the Ceilidh.
The Ceilidh raised in excess of £400.00 for the Marie Curie Cancer Care fund. Well done to Hollie for organising things.    

I have been off island to catch up with all things 'mainland'  but, latterly  when I go off, the ferry seems to be cancelled when I am due to return- the occasional high winds of over 50 knots does hamper berthing here on Colonsay. (No! I'm not the jinx - honest!) However, my last trip, I had to make alternative arrangements to get back home - namely flying back on the Saturday morning Scholar flight. I did bring with me a very special person. She informed me she was a nervous flyer, and with winds of over 30 knots, I was a little apprehensive to say the least as to how she would cope with the wee bumps you can experience whilst flying. However, all of her fears - and mine, were allayed as Hebridean Air Services pilot, Alan - the veteran boy racer of the flying world, brought us safely to Colonsay unfettered. A fantastic flying experience, especially as we flew over Balnahard and Kiloran Bay, before a flawless landing. It never ceases to amaze me how our wonderful pilots, Julie, Sebastian and Alan make one feel so safe. Its well worth coming to Colonsay, just to fly here.

Anyway, I digress.
Pretty Miranda came to knit the Colonsay Gansey. And knit she did... She also is just as enthralled with our wonderful wee island as we are, including meeting the sheep (who did the honours of allowing her up close and personal on several occasions) The Big Fella, was extremely taken with Pretty Miranda, I think we could have spent hours preening and stroking the sheep. But, we had knitting to do. 
Pretty Miranda was also introduced to 'May's Sugary Wonders and Gavalus Gavalar's fine coffee - with a wee spot of lunch too. The Pantry is a wonderful place where everyone makes visitors to our island feel SO welcome.
It was a pleasure teaching Pretty Miranda - we mused over tales of 'Call the Midwife' amongst all things 5 needles and motifs. And we munched our way through a veritable profusion of goodies.
Her journey home, to Cumbria was better than expected, as she travelled through tunnels of snow to arrive home safe and well...  We look forward to seeing completed, her traditionally knitted Colonsay Gansey in the near future (no pressure there then!) 

Kapitein and I have been in regular contact with Danger Mouse the Lonely Shepherd, who is currently on a major mission in Kintyre, tending to sheep, cows and all things agricultural. With the recent snow storms, he reported that the drifts were in excess of 60ft! He was without power for 5 days and informed us he was heating his remaining tin of beans on the dying embers of his last log, washed down with the last dregs of his home brew.
As the snow fell, the following morning, Danger Mouse opened his back door to find a huge drift! Not a good sign, and with 420 sheep out on the hill this was a worrying time.
The last we heard, only 71 sheep had been found alive and with lambing due to start, this will have a major impact for the foreseeable future. 
Like everyone else in Kintyre, Arran and the surrounding area, the snow brought havoc to their daily lives. Local stores and even Tesco had run out of food! 
So we do hope that Danger Mouse will be ok. We will keep you posted...

The Pantry had a very, very special, high speed delivery this week.
Gavalus Gavalar has been inspired, and started the 'Fresh Fish Wednesday'. With delightful hand cut chips. But oh dear, there was a misshap!
The fresh fish was delivered to the courier, but someone, somewhere, forgot to put it on the boat! With 36 hungry mouths to feed, what was to do! Well, the courier decided to charter a rib from Coastal Connection and the fresh fish was duly delivered to the Pantry and Gavalus Gavalar was able to deliver his much sought after fresh fish on time. Now that's what I call service. 
Gavalus Gavalar has also 'refined' his menu.  Kapitein and I decided to have a take-away. I was offered battered local Langoustine rather than scampi. I couldn't stop salivating, before, during and after this wonderful meal - topped off with hand cut chips and wonderful home made coleslaw... Mmnn, delicious. Well done Gavalus, this is a 'must have' for all those discerning diners currently here on Colonsay.

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