Posie's Blog. Tales of island life on a hebridean hill farm

Posie's Blog. Tales of island life on a hebridean hill farm

Monday, 25 October 2010

We have been living out of suitcases for the past few weeks, with a string of mainland parties to attend, coupled with dental visits and trips to relations. At last youngest got a chance to visit the pet shop and choose a couple of goldfish to replace her beloved Raisin and Tieger, and son was able to buy a companion for his show fish, Orangina.

Seanmhair (Gaelic for Grandma) was eighty on 17th October and being a very ‘with it’ Seanmhair she celebrated in style at a Glasgow curry house, hosting a lunch party for forty family and friends. The room decorated with helium balloons as young and old reminisced and tucked into huge platefuls of delicious curry. Cousins of all shapes and sizes, but the most talked about, arrived, looking as wide as he was tall, complete with an ever so slightly short kilt and a shopping trolley, filled with heavy hard backed books for his train journey from Edinburgh to Glasgow, the one and only cousin Archie. A true gentleman and an exceedingly eccentric character. A fun packed hectic time was had by all; son donned a kilt for the first time, making his Seanmhair exceptionally proud. Uisdean and Donnie MacCalman serenaded Seanmhair with their Gaelic songs, as she blew out the candles on her birthday dumpling baked with her own fair hands as no one makes a clootie dumpling quite like Seanmhair! The partying continued well into the evening as Seanmhair and the younger grandchildren (she has 13 grandchildren from her seven offspring!) headed back to the flat while the remaining revellers headed on into town to celebrate further.

After a rather late night, the following day saw us heaving heavy bags and belongings from the flat to the jeep, and heading off up the road for the ferry, heavily laden with suitcases, shopping, children and of course the three new goldfish sloshing around in their Tupperware container at the back of the jeep. Two minutes into the journey and a text came from the Calmac ferry company to say due to the severe weather conditions all ferry sailings were cancelled until further notice. Faced with three tired and disappointed children, not to mention the adults, and a jeep loaded so full that not an ounce of spare space existed, the thought of having to abandon our journey home was not one we relished. We headed first to auntie’s for a morning coffee and then onto the friend’s for a big cooked brunch. The jeep still heavily laden, we contemplated another night on the mainland, when a text came through to say the ferry may sail that evening.  We decided to make for the ferry and headed up the road through driving rain, the wind lashing the sides of the jeep as we made our way through the mountains and over the Rest and finally across to Kennacraig. I gingerly stepped onto the ferry, dreading the journey ahead of us, only to find the seas had calmed down quite a bit, and the sailing was all in all a very pleasant one. We finally headed off the ferry and up the road, sprits truly lifted as we saw the glow of the farmhouse, and arrived to a roaring fire, Grandma and grandpa had been there before us.
Until next time....

6 comments:

Elizabethd said...

What a lovely family party that must have been.
I've been on that ferry when the weather was awful!

Preseli Mags said...

What a party! Archie sounds like a real character. And how do you pronounce Seanmhair? I always feel we're miles away from everyone and everywhere in Pembrokeshire, but we haven't got a ferry in the way (although I do love travelling on the CalMacs). We'll find out what that's like when my Dad moves to Mull later this year.

jane said...

Posie I love your sunset and rainbow pics - it sounds like a wonderful family get- together in Glasgow - what is a clootie dumpling - is it the same shape as a birthday cake?

Pondside said...

Gorgeous, gorgeous post, Posie! You had me every minute. How lovely to come home after a hair-raising sail to find the lights on and the house warm and waiting. Bless Grandma and Grandpa!

bayou said...

Wonderful story, Posie. I love that picture with the rainbow!

Posie said...

Elizabeth, I hate travelling on the ferry in bad weather.
Mags - Seanmhair is pronounced shennifer. The ferry does get in the way of travelling, I grew up in the Midlands and from there you could access so many places really easily, now trips always have to be planned and several days allowed for travelling.Maybe you will get over here one day on your travels up to Mull!
Jane- a clootie dumpling is a traditional scottish recipe, it is a fruit pudding, steamed in linen, delicious.
Pondside and Bayou, thank you!