Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Chill out time

Eilean Shona - Scotland in miniature

Colin and I have just come back from a week’s holiday on Eilean Shona, a wee island off the west coast of Scotland. The ferry (small rubber dingy) picked us off the mainland at 5.00pm on Saturday, we were walked to our cottage and left to enjoy the peace. We had enough food, drink and books for a week.
Eilean Shona is a sort of mini Scotland. It has some reasonable hills to climb, a diverse international forest, lochs, fine walking, history, wildlife and a fabulous white sandy beach.

The Perfect Red Cottage

The island has a number of holiday cottages. We were staying in Red Cottage which was up a hill on the edge of a forest. There was so much storm damaged dead wood lying around we were encouraged to have a camp fire, which we delighted in doing most evenings.

Afternoon tea at the cottage

Being a mad recycler I was keen to keep the rubbish we produced and left behind to a minimum. The new estate managers, Rose and Ali, had told me that they hoped to create a vegetable garden. I asked if they had a compost heap for my vegetable scrapes, not yet but they had something better. Three pigs who were employed as environmental rotivators, churning up the vegetable patch and grateful for anything you threw at them.

The Three Composters

We failed to see the promised wildlife of pine martin, otter and sea eagle, but we did manage to see deer and grey seals and plenty birds. And we brought some wildlife back with us; the walk to the beach had us wading through some pretty long heather. As a result of this heather bashing both Colin and I have been plucking tics out of our skin ever since. I thought April would have been too early for Scotland’s nasties, but apparently not.

The sun sparkled beach - was it really April? Yes, that's why I still wore my hillwalking boots on the sand

WWF Earth Hour

Just because I was on holiday did not mean I forgot a very important appointment. At 8.30pm on Saturday the 28th of March, Colin and I sat in our wee Red Cottage and watched our wood burning stove glow while we turn off the lights for an hour.

Earth hour - check out how the rest of the country spent the hour