Like most of you I am sure, finding a bright side to this whole Covid-19 situation has not been easy. For me what was to have been a very busy and enjoyable year has just disappeared. As most of you know the two industries that I work in have been hit hard, namely Cruise Ships and Theatres. To see any light at the end of the tunnel is still futile, hence the ‘downbeat’ state that I am currently working through. Travelling with my work and visiting new places and meeting fellow entertainers are things I really miss.
Due to all the madness of the current travel restrictions and the possibility of having to quarantine meant that even taking a short break abroad was best avoided. So, what to do? and then I had an idea.
I have friends who had moved to live way up on the Moray Firth coast of Scotland and so decided a Staycation would be as good a thing to do for a long weekend as anything. Go and visit them. A trip across from Belfast to Cairnryan with Stenaline, then a five hour drive up through Scotland and a stay in a guest house that once once a Georgian mansion was planned and booked.
It has been quite some time since I used the ferry and I must say I was very impressed. I paid a few quid extra for premier boarding and lounge access on board and have to say it was money well spent. I sailed out at 9.30am so had a lovely breakfast on board, social distancing measures in place of course with waiter service and… calm seas. I did enjoy being back at sea again even if it was a ferry and not a Cruise Ship! I was very fortunate to have hit Scotland in a week of glorious sunshine and the drive was most enjoyable.
I had never visited the area I was in before, but it was just stunning. Beautiful little seaside villages with quaint harbours (see pic)and friendly locals made it an idyllic weekend, not to mention visiting my friends and enjoying their fabulous hospitality. Also I can highly recommend Durn House which was my base. The chef was amazing as indeed were the staff. They even upgraded my suite. Could it get any better?
Yes, is the answer.
I got a message on my phone from a fellow guest entertainer called Wendy who performs on the ships in a very talented group called Ida. (look them up on FB or Instagram) Wendy lives about ten minutes from where I was. I had no idea. She saw my pictures on instagram and sent me a message. So we arranged to meet on the Saturday morning in Buckie for a catchup and coffee. It was just lovely. Sometimes the best days are days that are never planned in the first place. Just little surprise encounters. I had the best time ever without leaving the U.K at all.
So, if you can get away for even a night do it. I know it was the best thing I did since March. I will do it again.