Rain, Kombucha & Eibhlin…

March 1, 2012 § 2 Comments

There had to be a point in this whirlwind romance with Mull where we would hit a bump in the road…. Our newbie astonishment on hearing any kind of discontent from the islanders, as we conveyed our glee and passion for all things Mullish, must have rather grated on the locals…(though they hide this very well).

As some, if not most of you, already know…the weather here truly SUCKS at times.  To say it has been grey, wet and windy of late, is frankly an ironic distortion of the truth…it has been miserable.  More so for Ian who works outside and has been forced to take vitamin D drops on his tongue daily to fight the grey sky blues.

Ian has been very good through all of this..considering the fact that he is from “America” – (cue hand on heart and wistful sigh out to the horizon line and beyond), this sort of weather in its grey banality does not exist over there.

Despite all of this however, Ian is fiercely devoted to Mull and shows no signs of ever wishing to leave, which is incredibly touching and one of his finest qualities.

Perma-grey

Other victims of the weather include our potted herbs..they are currently held in captivity on our window sill inside to protect them from the elements and enhance what sunshine we get.  A few have sadly already died.

1 unhappy camper

So we are currently experimenting with angle poise lamps to see if we can simulate a more tropical climate.  Time will tell…

home made Hawaii

I however am not suffering so much from the winter blues at the moment for a couple of reasons:  1) I am lucky enough to skip to Edinburgh once a week where I am attending a textiles course and 2) I have a serious new passion known as ‘Kombucha Tea‘.

Kombucha, kombucha, kombucha…I salute you.  I love you.

Whilst this is already a popular drink in the States, it is little known in the UK and I hope to be a disciple in turning people on to it here.  Kombucha is not a new thing, it has been around for more than 2000 years and is known as the ‘elixir of life’ (hinting at immortality on many websites) – quite a claim I agree.  Rather than bleat on about this myself – see link to one website (of which there are thousands) outlining the basics:

http://www.foodrenegade.com/kombucha-health-benefits/

Essentially to brew kombucha – you need the following:  tea bags, hot water, a large glass jar and a kombucha ‘mother’ (a.k.a. ‘scoby’ – symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeasts).

Black tea fermenting, green tea kombucha bottled & grape juice & green K.T

I do not wish to brag (I do) – but I feel extraordinarily well after drinking this daily for a few weeks – my mood has improved, skin cleared, energy levels have leapt, and a few other things which I know I shouldn’t mention on a blog !  I do not even care if people think it’s psychosomatic or otherwise…it is irrelevant – I feel awesome.  If you are even slightly open to this kind of thing – I would strongly urge you to give it a go also as it is one of the most delicious drinks when brewed at home…the taste is a kind of magical combination of iced tea and beer.

My last piece of life changing news tells the tale of a small wild animal that we have adopted..

We first met Eibhlin (pronouned Eileen and named by Ian) on our frequent trips to the island when she lived in a barrel.  We know from the previous tenants that she is about 15 years old and has lived outdoors for her entire life, having occasionally sought shelter in the sheep barn amongst old fleeces.  She is, to all intense purposes, a feral cat (a wildcat descendent I like to believe).  Unfortunately, she was matted all over and slightly unnappealing to touch (I cross myself when I say this with the guilt)…she wanted attention but was so mangy and not exactly accustomed to much human contact. When the previous tenants left a couple of years ago – sweet Jimmy (mentioned in my last blog) would come up to the house and feed her when possible.

Eibhlin has been tugging ferociously at our heart strings since we moved here…every night when the wind was blowing and horizontal rain crashing down – I had to fight back the tears.  In fact, my brother Charlie aptly said she should be renamed ‘guilt’.  Unable to withstand her allure, Ian and Martin (good friend and short term next door neighbour) – built Eibhlin her very own 5 star kennel to live in, they lined it with insulation and added an extra lining of sheepskin.  She took to her kennel immediately and refused to abandon it at any given moment.

Eibhlin's kennel

Fast forward 1 month to our friends arriving for New year – cue daily hurricane force wind storm and E’s kennel blew over – crippling our resolve to leave her to nature’s fate.  With much encouragement, we started letting her into the house for an hour a day to see how she would react.  She liked it….a lot.  Noting her true desire to be indoors, Ian and I tried to tackle the fierce matting on her back.  Without going into too much detail – all 3 of us were hysterical after the matting tore at her skin when we tried to cut it out.

Pre makeover

The next day I drove her kicking and screaming to the vet.  The wonderful vet shaved her and despite the initial freaking out, she is now a very happy ‘house trained’ puss who absolutely loathes the outdoors… Cruel as we are – we put her out sometimes so she feels the benefit of the soft breeze caressing the fur on her face..

Post makeover - E shares the coveted radiator spot with Ian's boots

Needless to say..she will not touch her kennel anymore for love nor money…kennels are for ruffians.

She is just little.

We love her intensely..
So Ebhlin..this is for you.
I have inserted the words before should you wish to learn them…
GERALD GRIFFIN (1803-1840)
EILEEN AROON’
WHEN, like the early rose, Eileen aroon ! Beauty in childhood blows, Eileen aroon ! When, like a diadem, Buds blush around the stem, . Which is the fairest gem? Eileen aroon I
Is it the laughing eye ?
Eileen aroon ! Is it the timid sigh ?
Eileen aroon ! Is it the tender tone, Soft as the stringed heart’s moan ? Oh ! it is Truth alone,
Eileen aroon !
When, like the rising day,
Eileen aroon ! Love sends his early ray,
Eileen aroon !
1 Eibhlin a ruin, Eileen, my treasure.
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