Every year the place I work at close for a fortnight in July. This year me and Liam were intending to travel to the US for those two weeks to attend his sister’s wedding. After our flights had been cancelled once I got some news from home which meant that even if I could go to the US I should really be going home instead.
What would have been a fairly melancholy visit home turned out to be quite rushed and stressful. We were booked to fly out of Benbecula to Glasgow on the Saturday, with Liam travelling on to Boston on Sunday and me to Gothenburg on Monday. But the flight was cancelled due to fog and there were only ten places available on the Sunday flight – none of which me and Liam could get. So we both missed our flights, even I who had left two nights in between my connections. The next flight to Gothenburg wasn’t until Friday, so I had to stay for three nights in Glasgow and one by Edinburgh airport.
We went for brunch on Saturday after finding out about the cancellation (and being put on Monday morning’s flight) where we tried to organise to get off the island by ferry instead and take the train or bus to Glasgow. But Lochmaddy, Lochboisdale, and Castlebay were fully booked and couldn’t even take two foot passengers. So we went home (and then to the neighbour’s for a drink) and on Sunday we took the boat out to Calabhaigh for a quick picnic. Liam caught two mackerel which we gave to the neighbour, and a large saithe which we had for dinner.
I’m not one for city holidays anymore, I can tolerate maybe two nights but an unplanned four night stay was not very enjoyable. I made the most of it by staying in the west end of Glasgow, where I went to university, and met up with two university friends (one very unexpectedly as I was exiting a book shop, we were joking that it was like the plot of a rom-com). I also tried some boba, or bubble tea, which I loved so much I ended up getting every day.
But I get really restless with the heat and the noise (and stench) of the city. I tried sitting in the Botanics but even that was really busy, and you can’t get away from the noise of traffic anywhere. Whereas Uist is full of things to do for free, the city is a place where you can’t do anything without spending money.
Once I got to Sweden I only stayed in one place for a maximum of two nights. So I’d stay with my mum for a night, then at my dad’s, then at my sister’s for two nights before going back to my dad’s. It was hectic but we tried fitting in as many things as we possibly could. We prioritised visiting my grandmother as well as stocking up on tea, so I don’t feel like I missed out on anything important even though it would have been nice to be able to stay for the full two weeks as intended.
I managed to squeeze in a little bit of foraging. Veronica’s neighbour as a morello cherry tree that hangs over into their garden and I collected 700g from that which we ate in the next day and a half. I also found a couple of blueberry bushes that were ready, even if it’s still a little early for them. I was also really happy to see the stargazer lilies in bloom. I haven’t seen them in bloom at home for several years, and they’re the reason why I have a few bulbs on my own, so it was really lovely to see and scent them.
We’re now back in Uist, both covid-negative however Liam has picked some other cold virus up. The garden has grown well which I’m happy about, and this morning before heading off to work I saw that four of my poppies have flowered in beautiful shades of pink and purple. I’m really looking forward to this weekend so I can get back into my garden. Hopefully the weather is dry enough to strim the grass, which will make all the difference I think.