The warmth and stillness of the early morning brought the promise of a fine day, but also the threat of the midge. For that reason, we decided it was not the day to finish the peats - instead, with nothing else too pressing, we would have a day out. John had a Gaelic group session in the morning, at the community hall - a very important source of local information, so not to be missed. James and I packed up a picnic.
Spanish tortilla - the perfect picnic food, potato crisps, cake, juice and a flask of tea. By this time, we had decided to go to the beach at Bosta, about a 20 minute drive away.
I posted a picture of my ready-to-go beach bag a couple of weeks ago...but is is amazing how much extra stuff I seem to need right at the last minute. Some frantic rushing around, finding other bags and flinging things in "just in case" (2 books, knitting, extra clothes, embroidery - embroidery? well- you just never know) and we were nearly ready for the off. I suppose I could have swept the floor....ho hum... my floors are spotless in the Winter - honestly!
Just as we were heading out of the drive, a friend of John's came screeching up in his car. An old building was being demolished in the village right that very moment and they could help themselves to the wood. Not too sure of the substance in this story, but very keen on the idea of free wood, we dutifully trundled down after him. We watched the demolition for a while, and ascertained that while part of it had been spoken for, we could have some - the operators said that they would put all stuff to be reclaimed aside. Thankful that we didn't have to deal with a ton of lumber right then, we headed back to the truck. Another couple from the village had arrived by this time,to photograph the demolition. While chatting to them, we discovered that tickets were available for a concert in the hall that night, as part of the HebCelt fesitval, so after duly purchasing these, from the centre, we finally set off for the beach.
Picnic time and settling down to read, dig - maybe sew? And then along came someone we knew! She was there with her sister, father and 4 year old nephew. James and M hit it off right away and before we knew they were digging down to Australia - hoping to see kangaroos - and then running about wildly and diving on the sand. We had a lovely peaceful chat with no need of other diversions.
But the call of the sea became insistent. James and M headed down to the shore with our friend. I followed, camera in hand, but once I got my feet in that water, I knew what I had to do.
It has been a long long time since I swam in the Atlantic waters of North West Scotland, but it felt amazing. A wee bit cold to start with, but so pure and crystal clear. It soon warmed up and we stayed in for ages. No photos of J here, as he wasn't exactly decent - small boy on the beach and all, but it was such fun. I had forgotten how good it feels to swim in the sea.
We stayed so long, we were almost late for our concert. We made it - just - and sat there, glowing, at the back of the hall, with our hair still hanging in damp salty clumps and our feet covered in sand.
We heard some great Scottish traditional music from the Rua McMiIllan trio.
and then some fabulous Bluegrass from the Coal Porters.
A lovely, endless, timeless, perfect Summer day.
(ps - Remember to check out my lucky bag giveaway.)