My Material Life

Lost in Jura

Jura Bay Source:

Jura Bay

I’ve been exploring the island of Jura (part of Scotland’s Hebrides) from my computer and imagining a trip there.  Would you like to join me?  We might stay at the Jura Lodge

Jura Lodge Source:

Jura Lodge

but only if you’re paying because it’s a bit out of my price range.  Heck, I’m not even sure it’s open to the public anymore because I can’t find any current information about staying there.  That’s OK though.  There’s always the Jura Hotel or the Ardlussa Estate.

Jura House Gardens Source:

Jura House Gardens

I wish we could take a walk through the Jura House Gardens, but wouldn’t you know a very rich man bought the property and closed it to the public.  Nothing stays the same, not even on an island with only approximately 200 human inhabitants.

Boat Trip to the Corryvreckan Whirlpool Source:

Boat Trip to the Corryvreckan Whirlpool

You might be able to talk me into one of these boat rides to the Corryvreckan Whirlpool, but it looks a little dangerous.  Aren’t boats supposed to stay away from things like this?

Georgina Kitching Serving Tea Source:

Georgina Kitching Serving Tea

I’d much rather join you for tea on the beach that we could order by walkie-talkie and have delivered to us.  Even the cows seem to like this spot.

The Beach at Inverlussa Source:

The Beach at Inverlussa

I’ve been working my way through Alexander McCall Smith’s Isabel Dalhousie series (his 44 Scotland Street series is my favorite; I haven’t started the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series yet though I did see the HBO version).  In the last book I finished, The Careful Use of Compliments, Isabel, her younger lover Jamie (Isabel is in her early forties) and their baby Charlie visit the island of Jura.  In the story there is a famous or somewhat famous Scottish artist who is supposed to have drowned (suicide perhaps?) in the waters of the Corryvreckan off the coast of Jura.  So I decided to do a little research and see if any of this was true.  Does Jura exist?  Yes it does and so does the Corryvreckan though I don’t believe any Scottish artists drowned there.  George Orwell, however, did get into quite a tight spot there in 1948.  Luckily, he and his companions survived the incident.

The funny thing was I found myself getting all caught up in this interesting place and a few of the things that I could gather were going on there.  I had questions.  Questions I’ve answered here.

Will former hedge fund trader Greg Coffey reopen the Jura House Gardens?  Click here for the most likely answer and to see what else he has planned for the island.

Will licensing and insurance issues endanger Georgina Kitching’s burgeoning business, Tea on the Beach?  No, I think that was a temporary problem, but you can stay up to date on her facebook page here.  She’s even posted her recipe for chocolate brownies.  Maybe you could eat them on your own beach if you can’t get to the Hebrides.  I love that word,  Hebrides, don’t you? So wild, so romantic.

Will the islanders find a new doctor?  Click here for the answer.  Reading about this made me think of Doc Martin.  Do you know that show?  I can’t wait for series 6; I think they’re going to show it on public television in the San Francisco Bay Area in March, so that’s something to look forward to.

Will Google Maps put the island back on it’s map?  It has, but you can read the story about this here.

When I was researching Jura, I discovered that a movie I’ve already written about, I Know Where I’m Going, takes place on the island. I knew it was in the Hebrides, but now I know it’s Jura.  Some day I hope to get there myself, but in the meantime I’ve got to see that movie again.

For a good way to keep up with the island, visit the Isle of Jura Blog.  Ron’s posts are very enjoyable.

With thanks to Alexander McCall Smith for broadening my world and introducing me to quietly engaging characters who are a pleasure to spend time with.


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