The Inner Hebrides (new version)

Isle of Bute

 Summertime came and I hadn’t seen my mother for some time, I am guessing 1969.  It was suggested we should go away on a round tour by coach.This trip went more or less like this: London, Bath, Edinburgh, Loch Lomond, Isle of Bute, Gretna Green , Lake District, London.

It was a good opportunity for us to talk and my mother had plenty of news concerning not so pleasant events after my departure from Portugal in 1968. 

According to my sister Joana who was about 11 at the time I had taken my very sharp and elegant,green 3 piece suit. She also wondered why I was drinking pints of beer and having to go and visit the toilet after that. She couldn’t really see the point. Explained like that neither can I…

This tour by coach was a unique experience. People on the bus were friendly but we didn’t actually spend time getting to know any of them. According to my frail memory we stopped in Bath but looking in the map it does not make much sense, I am sure we went to Edinburgh and probably stayed the night there. We carried on to Loch Lomond where we spent the night in a hotel overlooking the lake. Next day off to the Isles of Arran and Bute, after all, the destiny of this excursion…I believe there was a last night stop around Windermere in the Lake District.

 On our way down south, quite a lot of history and the importance of Robert Burns in poetry and Gretna Green on the significance of getting married across the English border.

On the day I am remembering my mother’s first year of passing it felt important to remember that outing where mother and son tried to come nearer and I believe succeeded in an ever lasting effort to join past and present and where childhood and adulthood try to come to terms with each other.

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