Final Visit Scotland bulletin

It was wet on Mull – not just an Irish ‘soft day’ but properly sodden.  But apart from that it was great.  We set out to do a cliff walk but it was so wet that we ended up on the ferry to Iona.  Iona in the rain is a damp place rather than a thin place.  We sat in the pub near the pier and nebbed as one of our American friends rang home: ‘I’m in the Inner Orkneys …’

Best was the wildlife tour led by David.  What he does looked difficult to me.  Drive a minibus all day on fairly poor, single-track roads, be friendly and knowledgeable, keep the patter going, provide quality food constantly and, above all, find the wildlife that the customers have paid to see and let them look at it through the big telescope.  And he did it well. We started with a family of otters – looked like any other lump of seaweed but it was a mother and two cubs.  Amazing in close-up.  Then there was the Peregrine Falcon sitting on a lonely crag and a constant supply of local sea birds.  Then it became a struggle to find the Sea Eagles and the Golden Eagles as the weather deteriorated.  Eventually, as he drove down a steep and twisty hill, David pointed to a tree close to the top of a hill about half a mile away.  And in the tree was a young Sea Eagle.  I’d love to have seen it fly …  but maybe next time.  And, in a strange way, the best of it was that you couldn’t manage to photograph any of it – you just had to see it, savour it and take the memory of it away.

Meanwhile, Poppy really enjoyed her holiday at Blogstead Emeritus.  So kind, so attentive .. I think she feels we take her for granted.