Friday, 9 July 2010

Summer in Scotland

Well I arrived back.... eventually. Actually even getting to Holy Isle was a bit of a trial as they had to lay on a special rib, brought all the way round from Brodick to Lamlash Bay due to rough seas. It was rather funny as we had taken the bus after getting off the ferry, when we could have just got on the rib at Brodick and been taken straight over. The rib was fun though, rather like being on a fairground ride.

The weather on Holy Isle was unbelievable with high wind, high waves and driving rain at times, so a decision was made on Monday that we either had to leave on Tuesday (a day early) or on Thursday (a day late) as no boats were going to be braving the waves on Wednesday. My co-leader wanted to get home to Inverness and wanted to leave on the Tuesday, so that left me staying to carry on regardless.

Half our number had to leave on the Tuesday, but those that were left reformed, restormed, renormed and reperformed, and actually it was brilliant. It was like two separate retreats had happened, the first one went really well, but the hardy folk who decided to stay on had a sense of togetherness that only adversity brings, and it brought a whole new aspect to the second one.

Thank goodness for my Handpresso. I was utterly exhausted with leading on my own and my morning caffeine fix was much needed. It also became a real talking point, with the resident Rinpoche being absolutely fascinated by it. Every morning became like my very own meditative coffee ceremony and added to the whole experience. The Gadget Queen definitely reigns!

What was a little weird was that when we arrived on Arran - a mere mile or so from Holy Isle - the weather was completely different. I'd left Holy Isle wearing as many layers as I could and while waiting for the ferry to take me from Brodick to Ardrossen I had to strip down to my vest top as it was so warm.

Of course by the time I'd arrived back home in the Borders, the weather had changed again and, although slightly warmer than on Holy Isle, was still rather October like and dull and overcast. According to the weather forecast we are now due loads of rain.

Don't you just love the Scottish summer!

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