Seil, Tourism

Summer

June has arrived and more lovely sunny weather. Late Spring and early summer are often the nicest times here on Seil. This year  I’ve had more time to look around me and appreciate the flowers and the birdsong.

Here are some of my favourite pictures from my daily walks.  You’ll have to imagine the birdsong

It hasn’t been sunny all the time,

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in fact it was a bit grey the day we crossed the Atlantic.

But whatever the weather there’s always something  to enjoy.

And we’re looking forward to sharing that enjoyment with our guests again.

Stay safe. x

Food, Tourism, Uncategorized

It’s not business as usual

It’s another lovely sunny day, it was the Spring equinox yesterday,  and a week tonight the clocks will go forward marking the start of British Summer Time. On Thursday I saw the first lamb locally – though I think it would have been an unexpectedly early arrival. It’s the time of year when I start thinking about welcoming our guests.

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Sorry not just now

But not this year.  Please follow government and NHS advice and don’t think about travelling, don’t ignore the restrictions. I appreciate that it might seem tempting to escape the cities in search of isolation in the Highlands but it will cause chaos in rural communities.

I’m often asked about life here on Seil,  “idyllic” is often mentioned, and yes, we are very lucky to live here, we have beautiful surroundings, clean air and a wonderful community.

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Spring bulbs, a “thank you” from friends a few years back, still going strong

But It’s going to be a hard time here too. So many people earn their living from tourism and hospitality and have seen their jobs disappear overnight. But you can help. Eventually the restrictions will be lifted and we’ll be able to welcome you back. In the meantime, if you can,  and I know many people have lost their jobs too, think about buying vouchers and mail-order items. That way there’s a better  chance they will still be  here when you can come back.

Everything* takes longer to get here, we pay extra for our online orders;  never mind the bridge we’re an island when it comes to delivery charges.  Don’t get me wrong,  we might complain about these things in the pub, but we do love living here.  But at the moment the pubs, as well as all the cafes, restaurants, museums and other attractions  are  closed.

We’re half an hour from  our local district hospital but our nearest  intensive care unit is nearly three hours away in Glasgow.  Our  health centre is great, but it’s designed to cope with our small population. They’ll happily treat emergencies among summer visitors but can’t cope with large increases in patients.

Our local producers and shops are working hard to maintain supplies and make sure we have food and access to it, but our supermarkets are struggling too. We love serving you our freshly baked bread, but flour has disappeared from the shelves – perhaps in a future post I can share how we’ve been utilising less common ingredients?

 

Here are a few Seil and Easdale businesses who are selling vouchers:

The Fisherman’s Kitchen

Sealife Adventures

Seafari

the Puffer Bar and Restaurant, Easdale

 

Wherever you are, stay safe and follow the guidelines.

very cute Bramble pic

 

Caroline, George and Bramble

*Not the actual post, we have a remarkable postal service, occasionally it seems as if things arrive even before I’ve sent them.

Producers, Tourism, Uncategorized

Sunshine in uncertain times

Gosh such a lot has happened since I wrote my Happy New Year post.   I was quiet on the blogging front as January is panto time on Seil and George and I were both involved.

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can you spot us?

February saw us planning the jobs we needed to do before Spring,  and an exciting new venture for us. Did you notice the badge? We were accepted into the Sawday’s family of Special Places to Stay.  We were also still busy with the drama club,  George producing and me acting in the Seil entry for our local drama festivals. We wondered whether we could sneak in a quick trip to Spain or Portugal for a bit of sunshine before we started welcoming visitors again.

we decided on some new suppliers and had some lovely photos taken*

And then March. Well I don’t need to tell you what happened then,  and over the past week our lives have changed drastically as things closed down and events were cancelled.  We had our first cancellation today and I’m not expecting to see many,  if any guests this year.

But, Seil is still beautiful, we have plenty of marmalade – though we might have to get inventive about what we spread it on as flour seems in short supply! Our lovely local community is pulling together to support those who are having to isolate and distance themselves. Our super local shop is setting up an order and delivery system and our farm shops and shellfish fishers have lots of delicious food for us. I finally got around to curing our own bacon, report to follow….

2020 batch

it’s that marmalade stack again 

Who knows what is going to happen over the next few months? It’s going to be very difficult for people in the tourism and hospitality sectors and for many, many other small businesses.  If you have them in your area, support them, buy a voucher, order a take away meal.     You’ll want them to be there when restrictions are lifted.

We hope to get all those little jobs done, improve the garden and be here for when you can travel again.

 

Keep safe,

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Bramble deep in contemplation

 

Caroline, George and Bramble

 

*photographs courtesy of Giulia Giannetti

 

Days out from Sheiling BnB, Food, Tourism, Uncategorized

Monday blues, but not the bad kind

Two weeks ago  we had our trip down to Kintyre, today and last Monday we stayed a little closer to home and enjoyed what our beautiful neighbouring islands have to offer.

Seil has ferry links to two of the other Slate islands, last week we took the “big” ferry (it takes cars) over to  Luing. We weren’t lucky enough to see the dolphins* we’d spotted on our last visit but the view is beautiful even without cetaceans.

at south cuan

We drove up to Cullipool for a walk along the shore and lunch at The Atlantic Islands Centre.  Bramble loves it there, not only is she welcome at the centre but there are sooooooo many stones to chase on the beach.

Today we took the little ferry (passengers only) to Easdale our nearer neighbour. It’s a great place for dog walking as there aren’t any cars. We took the paths around the old quarries and climbed to its highest point  (not that high, around 38 metres). After that it was back to the friendly Puffer Bar and Restaurant for coffee and a scone. Dogs aren’t allowed in the tearoom but are welcome in the bar, there’s also plenty of seating outside, which is where we enjoyed our drinks today.

 

So will we get another “Blue Monday” next week? Fingers crossed.

 

*when I  didn’t have my camera

Uncategorized

Snowtime

So far we’ve escaped the Eastie Beastie*, we’ve had a dusting of snow and the hills are spectacular,  but it is certainly very cold and windy. And Storm Emma may yet give us a a pasting. The tidal pond was frozen earlier

frozen pond

 

and the birds have been glad of the seeds and fat balls in their feeders, and  seem to add variety to their diet with titbits from the compost bin.

It’s St David’s day today and we don’t quite have daffodils but they are trying their best.

daffs

And the primroses have made a brave show.

primroses

We had a great walk today over on the mainland, up past the standing stones to the trig point. It was a bit, shall we say brisk?  to take photos at the top but here are some taken from the garden later.

Hope you’re safe and warm wherever you may be.

 

*a variation on “Beast from the East”, and something I was called when I explained I’d moved here from Edinburgh.

 

 

Days out from Sheiling BnB, Tourism, Uncategorized

Signs of Spring

It’s only the 4th of February and some recent sunny days may have turned my head but I think there are signs of Spring in the air.  I’m definitely noticing longer days, it’s so nice when it stops being dark by 5pm. On my walk this morning I spotted these pushing their way through the roadside verge.

green shoots

Soon there’ll be daffodils brightening my way.  The view down to the bay was extra beautiful   too.

balvicar today

We decided to drive down to Arduaine gardens to see how Spring was looking there.

And I think beautiful is the word?

Then stopped off for a bite of lunch at The Lord of the Isles at Craobh Haven and enjoyed more gorgeous views. It’s dog friendly too.

Back home I was pleased to see these signs of Spring in our garden

and hopefully there’ll be more ready  to welcome guests soon.

 

Food, Uncategorized

Spring

We might not have a Superstore on Seil but we do have a super store. We go there most days, for our newspaper, eggsjam and other essentials. For the past few months we’ve been trying to make the journey on foot which though admittedly challenging on our more humid days is a much more sociable way to travel.

B at the shops

Bramble waiting outside the shop 

 

The weather has been lovely for the past few days  and it’s brought out a wonderful display of flowers, in gardens and growing wild. I can’t name them all, but here are just a few from this morning’s walk.

And then there are also these cute youngsters

ropped cute lamb

Which did give me qualms about some of the contents of my shopping bag, but it’s all part of the cycle of life, here on Seil.