mead magic


Last summer, when we were walking on Jura, we buried some home-brewed mead above the gulf of corryvreckan. Yesterday we retraced our steps, and returned to find it.


I heart Jura.


Seven miles and a very enjoyable walk later, we climbed up a cliffside on the remote and empty north-west of the island and wondered if we would be able to find our bottle. Last August, we had dug a hole near the heather line, covered up the mead, and placed a large stone to mark the spot. Since then, the heather appeared to have receded, and other visitors had added other stones to ours.


The site now resembled a small burial cairn — which I suppose is exactly what it was. Underneath the stones was a bare patch of ground, and what seemed to be solid peat. Tom began to dig. Was the mead still there?


Of course it was!


It is hard to convey just how excited we were to see this bottle again. It had spent three seasons in the ground of Carraig Mhór, above the swirling, whirling, myth-infused waters of Corryvreckan. Our mead had lain there, quietly wintering with with Cailleach Bheur above the whirlpool in which Orwell had almost drowned. As a friend of ours said after a few in the bar of the Jura hotel on Saturday night, “that bottle is bigger than both of you.”


It tasted damn fine, anyway.


I can also confirm that the returning foot miles seemed to pass by rather quickly in a sort of warm, meady fug. Which was good, since we were walking into a headwind. Slainte!