A good coincidence with Daisy’s visit was a gig by Wolfstone in Portree on the Isle of Skye. This seemed like a great opportunity to visit Skye, take Daisy out to see one of Scotland’s great live bands and get away for a short weekend. Couldn’t blag Friday off, so had to set off on Saturday morning. As usual, getting the ladies away early was fine in theory, but different in practice, so we set off a little later than planned, but c’est la vie. Half an hour later I was unlocking the back door again so that Daisy could collect a bag she’d forgotten, but c’est la fille. Driving up the bends on the road to Oban the car was behaving very wierdly and the electronic stability system was cutting in determinedly. Stopped the car to check and found a rapidly-deflating tyre at the rear. A quick change of wheel and up to Oban for what turned out to be two new tyres. It’s at times like this it’s great to have a company car – just leave the car at the garage and come back half an hour later to drive off with the new rear rubbers. The girls took advantage of the unplanned stop to go shopping and get more clutter for the back of the car.
The route north to Skye took us up to Fort Bill and then up the Great Glen to Invergarry to pick up the A87 through Glen Garry and over to Cluanie before descending Glen Shiel to Dornie and the Kyle of Lochalsh before crossing the gracious new bridge to Skye itself. The weather was very kind to us and the autumn colours along Glen Garry were stunning: here there are stands of birch and larch set on browning brackens and against backdrops of spruce plantations skirting the moutains. The road itself ran between endless golden stands of birch trees in glorious array. There was some cloud on the summits of the Five Sisters of Kintail, but they stood proud sentinals along Glen Shiel as the road swept down and down past waterfalls and rainbows to the sea. The drive up to Portree was equally spectacular; visibility across the sea to Applecross and the islands around Skye was excellent and there seemed to be no end to vistas of sea, islands and mountains.
We found our way to Portree in good time and located our B&B, only to find we’d been farmed out to the mother in law next door. No problems with that, good rooms and only a short stagger to the town centre. After a walk around Portree and a good look in the shops to keep the ladies sweet, we drove out around the Totternish peninsula in good time to watch the sun setting down the Minch with the Western Isles in the distance. On the way, we stopped and looked in astonishment at the rocky pinnacles of The Storr. Down to Uig to watch the ferry leave and to grab a meal in the Pub on the Pier, accompanied by the Peatbog Faeries as we ate.
The Western Isles from Trotternish on the Isle of Skye
Wolfstone were playing in the Community Centre, which we eventually located after exploring some of the smaller lanes running out from the town square. The place was infested by drunken fifteen-year-olds and other assorted yahoos, but there was a smattering of what we might describe as more mature fans among the crowd. A bit concerned to see one of the fire exits at the side of the stage was obstructed by flight cases and lengths of gantry that had the bad habit of falling down behind the doors. Close inspection of the second fore exit revealed similar circumstances so had a word with the security gorillas. After chewing the scabs off their knuckles for a while, they concluded that their job did not include safety and the fire exits weren’t their problem. After a little further quiet discussion, their supervisor lurched over and demonstrated some awareness of the proper range of duties for security industry staff and the troop lumbered into action, securing at least some possibility of escape in the event of emergency.
After all of that, and the support act, it was time for the main event and Wolfstone took the stage. They were enormously good fun, very loud and The Queen of the Chooks kicked off her shoes and jigged the night away. Excellent music and some fantastic musicianship; definitely will see them again.
Daisy sloped off early on in the evening only to be found at the end of the gig exchanging contact details with a local lad with whom she’d made friends. Huge joke when a few of the local boys who’d seen her earlier in town thought she looked very good for 20; she told them she was 25 and they fell for it. She’s sixteen and looked stunning and very much more classy than the local girls.