The Raasay bothy is a favourite bothy to go to. It is a very busy place so we usually meet some interesting people. The floor is not very even that is why the MBA installed a platform which is level. But it can also be used as a stage!
While we had installed ourselves in the little house we heard some voices from outside. A large group of people came inside. 6 adults, 6 children and a guy, the bothy was full.
It was a family group of brothers and sisters with their spouses and children. They made the trip to this bothy annually. It was an adventure for the children with the walking and camping and in the evening a good fire in the fireplace and a performance of every member of the group.
We were adopted in the group immediately. We were chatting like we knew everyone and we shared food and had a very nice smoky tea. We were challenged to do a performance as well. Oh my God, that was not in the planning. What to do, what to do???? We both like to go to a theatre but to perform ourselves that is a totally different thing. We got a bit of stage fright.
The stage was lit with candles and first the children made their performance.
We did not know what to perform. In the way up to Scotland, we listened to a CD with children songs of a Dutch band. And we picked a song called ‘Leve het nijlpaard’. It is a fun song about a hippo and the moral of the song is that it does not matter what you look like as long as you are happy.
The song has a nice Amsterdam slang to it and a Dutch folksong sound with a mild version of Portuguese fado. Our Dutch culture is not as hot-tempered or emotional as the southern Europeans are.
We could mess up the entire song and no-one would notice it. Very good. And we performed the song, did not remember all the lyrics but we did alright. The crowd loved it or were they just polite? It sounded Scandinavian to their ears mixed with German. But the hard G’s and R’s made it a bit…..different.
One of the group was a creative writer and was very interested in the song and the translation. As the last member of the group he told a story, he performed the story with different voices and the use of a rain poncho. He really took us along in the story. It was magical in that bothy, in candlelight and a roaring fire in the fireplace with people we only just met, sharing food and drink and stories. That is what good ceilidhs are made of.
After the stories and songs, it was time for bed. The thinnest of insulation sheets were taken out of a backpack and rolled out on the floor. They all lay down next to another and slept under woollen blankets and sleeping bags. I bet that bit of insulation stuff did not provide a soft bed.
The next morning everyone woke up to a lovely sunny day. No one complained about the hardness of the floor or the lack of comfort of the insulation sheet. And we all went our separate way.