Last Saturday found me on my way to the tiny Badentarbet Pier near Achiltibuie to load up the good ship Patricia with myself and lots of yarn. The Tanera Mor Retreat 2013 was about to begin. The weather looked like being a re-run of 2012 as we approached the pier with rain pelting down over the hills:
Once on the Patricia, however, the skies began to brighten, and by the time I had climbed the hill up to the Farmhouse which was to be my home for the next few days, the clouds were going and the sun was out:
I only had time to get all the Tanera "Bundles of Yarn" bag sorted out:
Before it was time to head down to the pier to welcome the other retreaters.
We had a wonderful few days on Tanera Mor. We were incredibly well cared for by the owners, Richard and Lizzie, as well as by Sian and Kevin who help on the island over the summer. The food was wonderful, to say nothing of just simply being able to sit down and have food put in front of you. Those of us who were there are desperately trying to persuade Sian and Lizzie to produce a series of recipe books based around the recipes they use. I think top of the favourites lists were the Risotto, the chocolate torte and the delicious Thai Fish Curry. And of course, the Beetroot Walnut Hummus, while a little alarming in colour, was a huge hit again this year. We didn't quite eat it for breakfast, but it was close.
My mate, Lizzi (different one to Tanera Lizzie just to avoid confusion!) and I set off for a gentle stroll on our second morning there, only to find ourselves quite near the start of the climb up to the highest peak on the island. So as the weather was glorious we continued going and before we knew where we were we were on top of Meall Mor, admiring the stunning view:
Lizzi looked rather pleased with herself:
as we both did in this rather scary "selfie" we took:
Richard treated us all, once again, to a lovely boat trip.
The weather was considerably more clement this year, compared to last year, and we were able to go right around the outer islands in the Summer Isles group, as well as get really, really close to this magnificent rock arch which is on one of the smaller isles:
He managed to get the boat almost right into the arch, and looking up at the rocks I was amazed to see how smooth the rockface was - almost as if someone had come along and plastered it:
Unfortunately the weather was not perfect all week, but despite doing its best there were some who were not to be put off reaching either the highest or the second highest viewpoint on the island:
And the views were still wonderful, and as usual there was colour inspiration to be found everywhere!
Suffice it to say that there was much laughter, talking, singing (anyone for "Three Men Frae Carntyne"?), yoga outside in the rain (next year, Maggie, I promise!), sewing, crochet, baking, eating, drinking, walking, did I mention talking?, and a few tears when it came to saying "cheerio" to everyone.
All too soon I was having to wave cheerio to the first departure from the island carrying away half the attendees, and it was my turn to get on the Patricia and head back to the mainland:
[caption id="attachment_6791" align="aligncenter" width="810"] Arriving back at Badentarbet Pier
Photograph Stevan Lockhart[/caption]
Thank you to each and every one of you who came along on this year's retreat. I loved it. And as I was leaving the Pier Richard said he would be in touch soon if it looked like we'd be able to do it all over again next year. So, watch this space!
EDITED TO ADD: As you will see from the comments, I may have forgotten to mention one tiny, but vicious little creature who tried very hard to ruin our time on Tanera Mor - the dreaded Highland Midge. It was the worst I've known midges to be in a long, long time. So much for the theory that they arrive at the beginning of June and go by the end of August!