Posted by: lucylastic | June 28, 2010

Iona – part the second

Iona – that’s us, looking happy!  That’s me, eyes closed, looking dippy – we had been singing a moment before, so I think I must have been drawing breath!  Anyway, I said I would do more on Iona, but I think I have left it too long – it’s now very much a distant memory, (we’ve been back 4 weeks after all) and my weekly commute to Copenhagen is taking it’s toll – or at least, seems to be tampering with my short term memory, I am struggling to think of something witty and amusing to tell you!

OK, some random memories at least…………….. drinking ‘lucozade’ on the beach with other members of our gang; nothing wrong with this you may think, except that the Abbey itself keeps alcohol free and none is allowed on the premises, last year, the group discovered that a drop of fine single malt looked exactly like lucozade when decanted into the eponymous bottle, so nudge nudge and all that.  The wind – despite glorious blue skies and sunshine, the wind doesn’t ‘alf blow up there in Iona – apparently, it’s too strong even to walk in sometimes in the winter, on our stay it turned the temperature in a sheltered corner down by about 10 degrees C when the wind changed direction – one minute you wanted a t-shirt, the next minute a thick winter coat!

As well as being an alcohol free zone, the Abbey serves a mainly vegetarian menu – I imagine that this saves them money, but it plays havoc with digestive systems more used to high protein intake – and I never knew one could actually crave meat – but by Thursday lunchtime we just had to sneak off for a dose of red meat – sadly, the best on offer in the limited island hostelries was an Aberdeen Angus beef burget for the princely sum of £10.50.  Dear Reader – even I didn’t want meat that much!  So we settled for a more competitively priced haddock and chips at the pub for £5.95.  Had steak when we got home though!

The music in the Abbey was very uplifting, there is a clear Iona ‘style’ and they have their own hymn and prayer books, but they included music from various Christian traditions as well – including my very favourite ‘How great Thou art’, which also got an outing at our wedding service.  It’s a beautiful church with good acoustics, and just listening to some of the music was very moving in it’s own right.

The ‘Agape’ communion on the last night – a lovely farewell, with a very long, white-clothed table down the centre and passing around oat cakes and honey and juice for a ‘last supper’, followed by a rousing rendition of ‘Walk in the light’, always good for setting toes tapping and bodies swaying.

That’s it for now.


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