It was exciting visiting the Mainland, spending time in Falkirk and district before travelling down to meet up with family in London. It was a real joy and pleasure to be able to join in celebrating our elder daughter’s 40th birthday, even if the celebration was a month late. Each member of the family is special, but grumps did enjoy playing with his grandson and taking him to see the fish in the aquarium at the Horniman Museum and Gardens. After a most relaxed meal on the Saturday evening, we spent time together on London’s Southbank on the Sunday.
It was almost unbelievable to think that there are more people on a single Eurostar Train (the trains that go through the Channel Tunnel) than live on Tiree. We would find ourselves thinking, more people must have passed through the restaurant this evening than live on Tiree, or there are more people in this one street alone than live on Tiree. In many ways life is so different on Tiree, but people are people wherever they live, and in everyone there is a God-shaped hole that only God fill. The preacher in the Bible says, “He has also set eternity in the human heart.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11)
In spite of a strike on the London Underground, we had a pleasant journey back to the port of Oban, where we stayed overnight, as our sailing was at 6.45am with an even earlier check in. We must have travelled over 1,100 miles there are back, but it was good to be together as a family.
The news in the morning was of the damage to the rail network in the South West of England caused by 90mph winds and wild seas battering the coast, and of the flooding inflicting misery on the Somerset Levels – areas that we know well. The West Coast of Scotland too has had its share of extreme weather, but our captain welcomed us on board with the assurance of a pleasant crossing. We left Oban on time and in the dark and arrived at Gott Bay, Tiree, to be greeted by sunshine.
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It has been said that the best thing about going to the Mainland is coming back to Tiree.