Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Run and become

I came to Camas just three weeks ago. What a place! And more to the point, what a garden. Those vegetables sure get a fine view. Waking up these still-chilly mornings and looking out onto the bay, I can't quite believe it. Mary, Emily and Josef have been helping me get settled. Three duvets are keeping me snug. We are munching through the last of the winter kale in increasingly experimental/desperate ways. Quite how it happened that I was here alone to host the first guests, I don't recall. But so it happened...

Fourteen runners were coming to stay. These were no run-of-the-mill runners. These were World Harmony Runners. By 7pm they hadn't shown up and they hadn't called. Maybe they had run off elsewhere? I went to put the kettle on just in case. A knock at the window and a bemused bunch of people rushed in from the cold, amongst them a Russian, a Canadian and a Guatemalan. This was to be my first go at hospitality, Camas style. Someone else did an expert job lighting the fire and a few courageous cooks got busy in the kitchen. Meanwhile, I did my best to bustle about and earnestly thrust extra blankets and duvets onto people assuring them, apologetically, that it would be a VERY cold night. With everyone fed, watered and to bed, I was satisfied. I had only to conjure up porridge early next morning and wave them on their way...

Turned out for breakfast in matching blue tracksuits our runners posed for their official photographer. Camas looked great in the morning light. Someone mentioned that often its 5-star hotels that put them up. I gallantly made some 5-star porridge. This thing was perhaps bigger and a little more orchestrated than I had imagined from the candle-lit chatter the night before. Carrying a flaming torch, they run all over the globe as a gesture of peace and goodwill. They were going to commence their remarkable run at Iona Abbey. From there, to Moscow! Would I like to come and see them off? As I grabbed my coat, someone asked if there was someone to 'say a few words' when we got to the abbey. I explained that the community on Iona had decamped on mass to Glasgow for training. Maybe you could say a few words, Becky? So there I was ceremoniously lighting the flaming torch, symbol of world harmony. And away they ran. I came back to scrub the porridge pot.

See the pics above and see how far they've got!


Friday, 5 March 2010


So you'll be glad to know that we all made it home find that Becky, Chevaleresse of Camas, who'd returned early to hold the fort, had hosted some interesting visitors in our absence. I'll let her fill you in, meanwhile, the rare bird we spotted 2 weeks ago was a ptarmigan, not very common on the hills of Mull, and looking very beautiful in its white winter plumage.

I'm reliably informed that Chevaleresse is the French word for a female knight (well it sounds much cooler than Dame - we couldn't let Josef take all the credit...and emergency chocolate was definitely more crucial to our survival than the crisps!).

Em, Chevaleresse of Camas

Monday, 1 March 2010

The Glasgow adventure!

Before I start telling the tale of the Glasgow adventure, let me just say: WIND! Finally, we have wind. After having to save our electricity for the essentialls (which apparently does not include trying to catch some of the Olympics on the internet) for two weeks, we now have electricity up to our ears! Wind means electricity, electricity means hot water, hot water means less smelly staff, and less smelly staff means... well, cleaner staff. And the most important thing: The battery never got so low so that the fridge stopped working, which means that my icecream was still in it's original state, and I got to celebrate these new windy times with a good half a tub of chocolat icecream, while watching Sweden vs. Great Britain in curling. Happy Days!

Ok, so now over to the tale of the four brave Camasites, who dared to leave their home, battle through the snow and rain just to reach their goal: The City of Glasgow!

So, the four brave camasites set out from Camas early (not really) on the Thursday morning. The plan was simple: step 1, walk up the track. Step 2, get in the car. Step 3, go to Glasgow. A well thought out plan if you ask me. but they where all of them decieved...
The wind that we have all been waiting for, was like many other things not only a blessing, but also a curse. The waves were to big for the ferry to run. But the four were not to be beaten down but this. Legends say that this was the time when Josef, Knight of Camas, spoke those immortal words: "let's get some crisps and try the other ferry." This uplifted the moods of the others and after buying emergency crisps and bisquits, off they drove to catch the Fishnish - Lochaline ferry.
Once over on the mainland, they all were to regret their decision. On the drive from Lochaline to Oban they got almost completely stuck. The snow and wind made it almost imposible for them to make their way forward. Several other cars were stuck, and an extraordinary sense of comradery was shown when people emerged from their shelter to help their fellow travellers to push cars up one hill after another. This was teh second time that Josef, Knight of Camas, raised his voice to say: "let's eat some crisps and play 20 questions". So they did. And after 16 questions, they reached the correct answer: Arnold Schwarzsenegger.

Finally in Oban, after over seven hours, they decieded to leave the car and go by train. A wise move, and they did arrive safe in Glasgow after a total of eleven hours of travelling.

We have had a good weekend in Glasgow with our hosts, the glasgow and Iona team, and are now looking forward to coming back to Camas. Hopefully in less than 11 hours.