Sunday 13 September 2009

on leaving Mull

We said goodbye to Oran-na-Mara (Song of the Sea) B & B and our lovely hosts, and pootled up to Craignure for the lunchtime ferry back to the mainland. We had time for a whistle-stop tour of Torosay Castle and gardens, first glance fetching us up with a shock at how much we were reminded of our old boarding school. Inside, the similarity vanished; our school had certainly not been homely, warm and welcoming. This had been a family home, and it showed: signs invited visitors to sit down if we wished. The views from every room were lovely.

Entrance through the shop, naturally.

Ooh-er, feels like being back at school.... where's my hockey stick and tuck box?

A glimpse of the Italianate gardens, and much more that sadly, we didn't have time to explore.

Duart Castle in the distance.

For Your Interest:

This was our school, where we met when Tricia joined us, aged 14; we have been firm friends ever since. A lovely building, in acres of land, but entirely devoid of soft furnishings or home comforts, and full of Chapel, Disapproval and Rules instead. Please Do Not Sit Down If You Wish... or whistle... or run... or have too much fun... shudder....

A quick cup of tea, and then it was time to queue for the ferry. Once on board there were free samples of Tobermory whisky. Tricia had to try it, having bought a bottle to take away with her, and said she felt giddy on just the teaspoonful she received. Not the woman she once was, I can tell. And there was chocolate haggis, which looked very odd, but which tasters pronounced delicious; cruelly for them, this was only sold on Mull, and the ferry was going in the opposite direction.
And so began a long drive home.

We skirted the seemingly-endless and beautiful Loch Lomond, and watched the highlands dwindle, until at last we reached the Borders, stopping briefly to say hello to Tricia's cousins in Gretna Green.

A nightmare final hour and a half on the road from Carlisle to Newcastle, with a magical full moon in front and a long, clinging queue of cars behind that didn't seem to want to overtake even when they could - nerve-wracking! - and we were home. The Lovely Son let us in, clearly traumatised after five days of solid rain, solitude and boredom, and we found that Lesley had left us one of her renowned fish pies for supper. We fell on it like ravening wolves, and despite having had a glorious break, found that we were very glad to be home again.


judy in ky said...

Chocolate haggis? For real?
And, how exactly does one pootle?

Pam said...

Oh, lovely lovely. Maybe we'll go to Mull next summer.

(September wouldn't be your favourite month if you were a teacher (she said sourly).)

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

Your school sounds like mine ! It seems odd that one's parents paid to give one a life of hard chairs , blancmange and endless prayers . But it made us the comfort-loving adults we are now , always ready for a good time !

mountainear said...

Just catching up - have loved travelling around Mull with you.

rachel said...

And it's been lovely to know that people enjoyed their vicarious holiday! Thank you all for the appreciative comments. Now it's wall-to-wall kitten tales for a while, but even I will get bored with that soon.

rogern said...

gorgeous photos lady

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