Saturday, May 27, 2006


After a decidedly average Little Chef breakfast (happily 25% off due to the understanding nature of the manager who recognised the irony of the tokens the Travelodge had given us: “25% off breakfast (only accepted after 2pm)”), we head off.

After a couple of leisurely hours drive, we arrive at Oban and having picked up some sandwiches and petrol at Tescos we pull into the queue for the ferry.

At that exact moment, I receive a text message from Sally saying that despite staying in a hotel a matter of yards from the port, they’ve missed the early ferry. If we ask her very nicely maybe she'll tell the full story to Blogland in her on inimitable fashion.

I phone with a small wind-up in an attempt to lift the mood. Sally’s response is simple and to the point “now is not the time for jokes...”.

I hang up the phone – “apparently ‘not funny’...”.

On the plus side it means we all travel on the ferry to Mull together and arrive at Fionnphort in time to catch the same ferry to the island that will be our home for the next week.

The weather has been somewhat overcast since Oban, but as soon as we land at Iona, the heavens somewhat ominously open. The short walk to the abbey is enough to have us arrive like drowned rats.

After a welcome tea, we attend the welcome session run by the community. We’re each asked to give one or two words that sum up our hopes for the week. I’m very close to saying ‘liturgical dance’, but decide to behave at the last moment.

Recognising that I need to do my joining-in in small doses if I’m to stay sane, I skip the evening service and head straight to the pub with some other like-minded folk.

When the others arrive a little later, they bring with them news of the horror that was communal dancing on the part of some rather over-eager community residents.

I’m glad of two things; number one that I skipped the service and number two, that I bit back my sarcastic welcome session comment.

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