Bute Newcomer’s Blog

Introduction.

I used to live in Belfast and I had never heard of Bute. One day I came home from work and Mrs F informed me that she had spotted a job on the Scottish Island of Bute. I immediately had visions of us getting the Stranraer ferry then a 17 hour drive to be met by a fishing boat where we would be hurled about in 20 foot North Sea waves. Then, after landing in a hurricane we would have to get into a cart drawn by Shetland ponies over a bog to a cottage with only a howling gale and a raging ocean between us and the North Pole. So I looked it up and found out it was only 33 miles from Glasgow!

Proximity to Glasgow

So we decided to go and have a look, and discovered we didn’t have to book two ferries and a Shetland pony express. We ended up flying to Glasgow in 30 minutes a 50 minute train to Weymss Bay and then a lovely 35 min ferry ride to Rothesay which we found out was the main town on Bute and seaside holiday destination for Glaswegians, some of whom love it so much they decide to stay! It was a beautiful day and the locals assured us it was always like this!

Moving to Rothesay

Of course we decided to move to Rothesay on the 1st of April, and it was the worst weather of the winter and we drove from Stranraer to Weymss Bay in a howling gale and driving rain. Unfortunately the Weymss Bay ferry was off (a rare occasion). Luckily there are two ferries that go Bute, so we had to go via two ferries from Gourock to Dunoon and then to Colintraive where you get a 5 minute ferry to Rhubodach (pronounced Rubber Duck by non locals). It was here that I realised there was a different pace to life. When I drove up to the ferry terminal in the still howling gale and rain I got out of the car and asked the only driver in the queue in front of me how to buy a ticket as the office looked closed. He said somebody would come out. When the ticket seller came out she was none too pleased and asked why I hadn’t gone into the office, I didn’t like to say it looked closed so I blamed the driver in front and said he told me to. She gave me a withering look and said that usually it would be OK but had I seen the queue behind, I apologised and paid for the ticket. After she left I took a furtive glance around to see the huge traffic jam of two cars behind us! This is when I realised that living on a small Island was going to be fun!