COME WHAT MAY, MAY SHALL COME
Updated: Sep 18
Okay, so here’s what I think we should do. We’re going to forget about Birthday Boy Boris, who’s decided he is not missing his bash two-years-running but knows opening up on his actual birthday would have been too obvious; and we’re going to forget about Nicola who, probably much like the rest of us, has clearly forgotten how to party altogether.
Never have I felt so elated and deflated within such a short period of time. With one telling us we’re all going clubbing in June and the other remonstrating that we’re grounded for even thinking about it, it’s little wonder so many of us are despairing. I hadn’t even wanted to go clubbing until Boris mentioned it. Clubbing was probably as far from my mind as it could have got. Right over there next to dropping acid. In the space of 5 minutes it became all I wanted to do. And then in comes Nicola right behind him, in her imaginary pinny, shaking that imaginary rolling pin; ‘Clubbing? I’ll show you clubbing!’ she says, hitting us over the head with it.
Forget them. If only for as long as it takes to read this. Instead, let’s focus entirely on the positives.
1. SPRING is round the corner. Snowdrops tell us so. They are out in abundance and a glorious sight after so much gloom. They are a sign of rebirth and good things to come. I barely gave them more than a nodding glance before, but… now, today, they are tiny, beautiful beacons of hope. Which is more than can be said for Norris and Doris.
2. TIREE IS BEAUTIFUL, as are many of our surrounding islands. Sun, sea and sand could not care less for pandemics or politics; it waits regardless, always with open arms and bright blue, gushing hospitality. And any day now…. any day… life is unfolding, houses are being dusted down, hope springs eternal and soon you’ll be here, lounging in contented bliss, surrounded by its beauty and freedom, lovingly watching the incoming tide and blazing sunsets. And if not here, on Tiree, then somewhere. The world – the UK bit of it anyway – is your oyster. Go get it.
3. WE, LIKE EVERYONE ELSE, ARE PREPARING TO OPEN TO THE WORLD AGAIN and yes, it will be May BUT it may also be wonderful. Nay - it SHALL be wonderful. If you really try.... just close your eyes for a second and try, you might smell the rich aroma of our Brazilian coffee, freshly tampered and poured, and savour the deliciously chocolatey or light, floury flavours of our home baking. You’ll sit at the window and watch the throngs come and go as the ferry docks and another boatload meanders up from the pier, laughing, smiling, ecstatic to be at liberty to return after so long away. You won’t even care if it’s a howling gale force 9.
4. WE WILL MEET AND HUG and announce with wide grins and sheer delight; ‘It’s been soooo long!’ We won't gush and say, ‘I love you SO much and have missed you,’ because we’re Scottish and all have a bit of the Nicola in us, but we’ll say something similar, like, ‘How have you been?!’
5. WE’LL COUNT OUR BLESSINGS to have survived what many have not, and take the greatest pleasure in the smallest things. Walks together, talks together, hugs, receiving big smiles and wide grins up close, holding hands, rubbing shoulders, joking and laughing over beer or coffee in cafes or pubs, eating out at a restaurant and chatting to those on the table right next to you, going to theatres, music gigs, tourist attractions, boat trips, sporting events. Being together.
6. WE WILL THROW A PARTY to welcome all the visitors, in that hospitable way for which Hebrideans are renowned, ideally sometime in August to give us time to prepare. Yes, I know, this is a bit of a curveball, but hear me out. We all know parties are sometimes a hit and a miss but this one can’t fail. The outline is a bit sketchy but it goes something like this:
Venue – An Talla, Tiree
Music – Trail West, Skerryvore, Skipinnish, Buddha & The Band
Food – Lodge Hotel, Aisling at Cobbled Cow, Croft to Creel, Tiree chocolates, Tiree Bakery. Yellow Hare happy to throw in a sponge, but probably won’t be needed.
Beverages – Tiree Tea, Yellow Hare Coffee, Tyree gin, Ceabhar Brewery
Hospitality Gift Bags - Candles of Tiree, Eileen Soaps, Tiree Chocolates, Rebecca Wright Jewellery, Tiree Sea Tours
Accommodation – Lodge Hotel, Reef Inn, self-catering
Guests – anyone who’s on the island and who has been coming to Tiree for more than 5 years (by this time, residents will have been partying since June and will have no interest in participating other than to offer help).
Everything will be free and donated. No personal gain. No profit. All for the joy of it.
We’ll dance until dawn and sleep where we stand, if we sleep at all.
7. SO I MADE THE LAST ONE UP, BUT… Seriously. Spring is around the corner and summer will be hot on its heels. Days are getting longer. We are, quite literally, coming out of the darkness. All we have to do is behave a little longer. And because we want something really, really badly, most of us will do just that. There will be rebels, of course; there always are, but in the main we shall mostly behave and wait patiently for the reward. That glorious feeling of sheer delight in having what one has hitherto been denied for so long. Freedom! (For those who have a mental image of Mel Gibson galloping towards them; this is not that).
We are on our way out. Let’s hold that thought and enjoy the moment.