...Hebrides countdown shots yet?
Regular readers will recall that around this time of year I have usually started my regular weekly posting of a shot from a previous years Hebrides shot, in order to "count down" to the next trip up there. This year, however, our timings are slightly different and we will be going across later in the year than normal - a great chance to see the islands at a slightly different time of year, along with all the different wildlife and plant life that should mean, too.
Going across later has meant that the finances have had to be given a tough evaluation. Going in a more "peak time" for tourism meant that our regular holiday cottage was simply too expensive for us, so we'll be staying somewhere new, albeit just a little further along the same road. It will be the first time we've stayed anywhere different since 2007, so it will be exciting having a new "home" to explore! The ferry tickets are the same price as they would have been had we gone up at Easter - once the summer timetable is set the prices are fixed, but we have had to book a lot further ahead than normal to be sure of getting our crossings. The majority of other expenses will only have increased according to inflation, but one thing we have given some thought to is the question of food costs. In terms of eating out, there is a chance that some of the hotels etc may have increased their prices a little for the tourist season, but the slightly odd one that might affect us is that, when we're planning to cook our evening meal at the cottage, we often call in to the Co-Op as we're passing in order to see what is reduced, and then plan our meals accordingly. It helps us to keep our costs down, the bargain hunting is fun, and it ensures a certain "Ready, Steady Cook" twist to our menu, as well! The question will be, will there be fewer (as more people about) or more (as more stock bought in, and most tourists will avoid the reduced stuff) of the yellow stickered items to be hunted down? It will be interesting to see!
The shot above is Castlebay, Barra, familar to viewers of BBC TV's "An Island Parish" - and somewhere we usually try to take a day-trip to while we are up there. Barra was the location for the filming of the 1949 Ealing Comedy "Whisky Galore" based on the book by Compton MacKenzie, who lived on the island, and is buried at Cille Bharra cemetery.