Yesterday morning, I ensured my bag was packed for all weather eventualities, and headed along to Oban’s ferry terminal, to hop on the boat to Mull. It’s a trip I’ve made many times before, but yesterday was also a rare chance to meet up with a fellow Crooked Cat author, Yvonne Marjot. We’d met briefly in York, back in 2015, pre-Kindred Spirits, so being in Oban was an excellent excuse for a tea-and-cake-fuelled natter.
Recently, I’ve only visited Tobermory or Duart Castle, so starting at Calgary Bay was the perfect reminder of just how stunning Mull is. The beach itself is beautiful, all pristine sands and rolling waves. Perfection.
We then stopped for the afore-mentioned tea and cake at Calgary’s Art in Nature project, where I saw what I suspect will be my one and only basking shark of the trip… I love when artists work in and with nature, and these were brilliant examples. Next stop, Tobermory, yes, AKA Ballamory. We didn’t see the famous Tobermory Cat, himself, but Yvonne’s cat more than made up for it – I was more than ready to steal her!
Sadly, by then, the ferry home was calling, and we were Craignure-bound. Sitting on the terminal wall, the mist looked so pretty, lying just above the water. It wasn’t quite so pretty when we were sailing through the heart of it.
Visibility was down to practically nothing, which made for a very eerie trip, with no sign of land virtually the whole crossing.
It was just as bad when we got back to Oban. After a 7hr stint of window-watching on Sunday, Monday was a minute-by-minute update of how little we could see!
Still, even mist can have a silver lining, and as we sailed past where I presumed Duart Castle was lurking, I got a real sense of how it would have been to do this when the castle was in its hey-day. As Yvonne and I had been saying earlier in the day, we aren’t so different from our historical counterparts. The context has changed, yes, but we still have the same worries and fears, and the same emotional problems to deal with as we make our way through life. A nice link to our ancestors then, and one which got my little grey cells whirring away quite happily.
When you add to that the cosy crime idea that crystallised during Death at the Docks, I’m already sensing the need for another visit. I do believe in rigorous research, after all…