inside Thistle Doo
"...But I must own that Icolmkill did not answer my expectations; for they were high, from what I had read of it, and still more from what I had read and thought of it, from my earliest years."

Boswell on Iona
10/11/96 - The day with Horizon began badly with pissing rain, lost bank cards and refusals from lots of B&B's for the next night - on the understandable grounds that they didn't want the crew of 4 trailing round one of their rooms with a tripod and fluffy boom!

Once we finally got away things picked up and the Craig in Salen came up trumps with a room offer for later. We drove down to Iona being frequently overtaken by them, only to fly by them in a lay-by minutes later before they'd had a chance to get the cameras out. Queued with the hoards of other tourists to hit Iona, and had to do a bit of moody walking on and off ferrys on camera.

By the time we reached the Abbey the weather had picked up but spirits were still a little low - the Horizon gang had the excuse of a ton of heavy equipment that they weren't allowed to take into the Abbey grounds - we were just knackered and wondering what to do! We spoke to some older folk who'd lived on Iona for years but really the whole experience was predictably disappointing. Iona does have beautiful unspoilt parts (Bay at the edge of the Ocean?) but along side 50 other cagoul rustling tourists being followed by a camera and wondering if they can hear everything you're saying through the microphone pack is not the way to enjoy these.

Back on the main land we drove round to look at Inch Kenneth - the strange small Island where B&J stayed but which is now in private hands. They decided to film the interview here and Karen and I had a complete laugh looking like an advert for a knitting pattern on the beach while the Horizon crew ran about with a hand held Super 8 camera! They were all actually very relaxed and friendly and made being trailed by 4 people when you are also trying to interview people as easy as it could be! They also took us out for dinner - we are easily bribed with any food - even that found in the last restaurant open on Mull at 9.00 pm.

11/4/96 - The late running filming meant that we had to have another session at the B&B the next morning - cameras on the shag pile whilst we messed about with Fetch. The inevitable 'establishing shot' - fake walk into B&B carrying no luggage - was promptly followed by camera problems and the team disappearing in a rushed cloud of tension with only 20 mins to catch their ferry back. Don't hold your breath for the programme it's not until the 4th of November - TV anniversary.

Free from the crew we were able to regain our dignity, swallow our pride & drive all the way back to Iona to collect the camera with all our slide film in we had very professionally left in the cafe there! Now hopelessly behind schedule and off route we took the Angora Rabbit Farm detour we had joked about only 24 hrs ago. Due to the over zealous owner we found ourselves once more hairing along trying to catch the Oban ferry. Once back on the mainland we drove through a couple of B&J locations barely glancing at them and got stuck into the tea/coffee making facilities at Thistle Doo - probably our last Bed and Breakfast of the trip - but what a send off - logo on the lawn in miniature daffs!

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