It was a week of wild weather.
A week when wind and rain conspired together.
A week when ferries and flights were cancelled.
It was a week when shop shelves could not be restocked.
Some days there was little mail to be delivered.
The mail arrives from Glasgow by plane.
No plane! No post!
It was a week when you had to watch your car door.
The wind could easily snatch it from your hands.
Or it could slam it against your lower limbs.
On the Tuesday morning the ferry was on an alert.
The concern was the strength of the wind and the swell.
Even opening the door of the pier office was extremely difficult.
The Mighty One, the MV Clansman, safely berthed.
For a moment or two onlookers held their breath.
But this was to be the last sailing until Sunday.
Even then Sunday’s sailing was delayed.
The dominant colour for most of the week was grey.
Some mornings at sunrise there was a hint of colour.
Out at sea the grey was only broken by the white horses.
From our south facing windows the scene was often dramatic.
The wild water sent waves and spay crashing over the headland.
A Festive Coffee Pot
Yet in no way was it a dull week.
Personally there was so much going on:
The much appreciated invite to the School Christmas lunch.
The Coffee Pot Christmas Special with its festive home baking.
On Friday the Parties Committee were busy.
They held the annual Christmas Parties for the children.
And on Saturday they held the annual party for the over sixties.
Oh what fun!
It was a wild evening.
Yet not many were deterred from coming.
How hard the Hall and Parties Committees had worked.
There was an excellent Christmas meal, with music, song and dance.
Saturday’s flight was cancelled.
The Church of Scotland’ visiting preacher had to cancel.
So on Sunday morning there was a united service at An Talla.
The Baptist Church’s Sunday Club shared their Christmas Presentation.
Sunday’s sailing was delayed from 11:05 until 14:20.
This was an attempt to let the swell abate.
It was a wise decision – the ferry berthed.
We were able to board.
Our one regret was missing the Carols For Christmas at Baugh.
Carols were sung, the story retold, and Christingles given out.
This year was the 50th Birthday of the Christingle in the UK.
There was even a Christingle cake to help celebrate.
Christingles and Christingle Cake at Baugh
Photographs courtesy of Sue Bottmley
The MV Clansman brought colour to Gott Bay.
It was not just the impressive crest on her bow.
It was not just the CalMac colours of her funnel.
The vessel was festooned with festive lights.
As usual the crew were a credit to the company.
They are friendly, courteous and most helpful.
A wintry approach to Coll
Our arrival in Oban was under the cover of darkness.
It was only then we appreciated the full effect.
The Clansman’s festive lights were amazing.
There was no doubt this was the Clansman.
This year we are spending Christmas with our family.
For us it has meant leaving our life on Tiree.
It has meant travelling to the Mainland.
Our journey will take us to Oxfordshire.
It is a reminder of the true Christmas story.
Jesus left the wonder and splendour of heaven.
He came down from heaven to the world he created.
Yet it is a world spoiled by sin and often divided by hatred.
At Christmas God drew near.
Jesus is Emmanuel – He is God with us.
Through faith in Jesus we can know God living in us.
This is ‘Life on Tiree’.
Reporting from the Mainland