OUR short break to Oban started at The Great Western Hotel. The party welcome night was in full swing, with a musician playing the accordion and another singing Scottish songs.
One guest from Gateshead asked for ‘Blaydon Races’. I was surprised when the organist said he hadn’t heard of it. However, he did play a tune which sounded like ‘Geordie Hinny’, so that made up for it.
Our trip to Seil Island and Easdale the following day to meet some author friends could not have gone any better.
We travelled 16 miles from Oban through beautiful countryside and snow-capped mountains to Seil Island and the tiny island of Easdale. We had visited a few years earlier to meet the authors of a best-selling book and were keen to meet up again.
On Seil Island we stopped at an 18th century inn next to the historic famous bridge over the Atlantic. This little pub, Tigh an Truish, means house of the trousers and comes from the period after the 1745 Rebellion when kilts were banned and islanders heading for the mainland stopped to swap their kilts for trousers.
We enjoyed a delicious bowl of Scotch broth and Scotch baps followed by oatcakes and tea.
We enjoyed a walk around the white-washed cottages, around the harbour and the art exhibition where we purchased a memento to take home with us. Finally we made a crossing on the ferry to the tiny island of Easdale with a population of around 70. Sadly once we arrived our friends had just left.
It took us four hours to drive back to Berwick and we arrived at the Garden Centre, East Ord for a late lunch. Most of the food had been cleared and there were few people left in the restaurant, but staff were very courteous and provided warm soup and rolls, which were most welcome.
When we arrived home there was a message on the answer phone from our friends on Easdale island. “We missed you by seconds. Do return and come and see us again.” I know I will.
•Maureen Raper tutors creative writing in class or by distance learning in Berwick.