Mind the cows

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I’m getting better at driving on single track roads. You have to be alert for oncoming traffic which occasionally the landscape allows. Slower vehicles usually pull in at passing places, allowing overtaking. This prevents the creation of convoys behind lorries, buses etc. Sometimes you have to reverse to a passing place. Sometimes there is little margin for error as a misjudgement would have you in a ditch or worse, rolling down an embankment. But mostly the roads are empty, the scenery is beautiful, you drive at a sensible speed and watch out for sheep and cows tucking into top quality grass by the roadside. Cyclists would love it. But take supplies.

From the pictures you can see how green the landscape is, even at this time of year. Most days we have sunshine, cloud and rain. Last night it was torrential and I changed plan of walking into town centre. We are staying at the top of town.

Today we visited Iona, where Christianity was brought to Britain from Ireland 1500 years ago. That sounds long but it’s only 30 times my current lifespan. Now the Ice Age, that really is beyond comprehension.

To get there it’s nearly two hours drive, a distance of just over 50 miles. Two return tickets cost £6.60. Foot passengers only. It’s a small island with one road and a population of 80.

The fare across to Mull on the ferry was just under £20. The fares have been reduced under a scheme setup by the Scottish government and the result is more visitors to islands, more ferry crossings, more jobs. Socialism in action. The only downside is that islanders can’t get onto the mainland without planning and booking in advance. And they do have to as facilities on the island are limited. There are a few Spars and a Co-op but if you want clothing it’s a trip to Oban, which boasts a New Look. Which in all likelihood Penny and I will be visiting tomorrow as we’re getting low on supplies.

Returning to Oban wasn’t part of plan but as I’ve just realised there’s no other way off Mull on a September Sunday it will have to be.

Iona is the burial place for many Scottish kings, including Macbeth. Also buried there is John Smith, whom our host referred to as the greatest Prime Minister we never had.

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His early death, whilst still only in his 50s meant an opportunity for a young Labour MP called Tony Blair to stand for leadership. In hindsight John Smith is even more missed as a result of what occurred in the Labour Party afterwards.

Which brings me to the present and the current leadership election. Which wasn’t necessary after the one that occurred last year. The Labour MPs who have tried to bully Corbyn into resigning have behaved disgracefully.

If Corbyn wins again they will have to consider whether to back the leader or oppose the decision of the members. One of the issues in this leadership election is nuclear weapons. So it was interesting to find this in the Abbey at Iona.

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Thanks to Jafer for texts about Palace. We won! We’re 12th!

Things I recommend, peace

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