Day seven on Lummi commenced with the mother of all lie-ins. Our pesky feline friend had somehow made its way into the van so was duly placed on the roof for some thinking time. With no idea how to navigate his way down we truly though a lesson had been learned. After grabbing some grub at the Cafe we shot some hoops at the Boys & Girls Club before making our way to the Lummi’s other bar/café on the other side of the island, The Willows Inn – a charming wood-fronted bar-cum-restaurant that has been serving guests since the early 1900s. Here we grabbed a few beers and juices before chilling in the sun with Britt and Sara for the afternoon.
That evening, with the girls working, we headed to the Cafe’s beer garden for a Dave McAdams and Gary MacDonald’s gig. With a beer in hand it was lovely to chill out to some live music. The interval was interesting, in a manner of speaking. Doc Jones’s wife nipped up on stage, supposedly to sing, but proceeded to talk and talk and talk to the point that even Doc Jones himself was prompted into heckling “stop talking / play something” towards his beloved partner. After a sprinkling of E and A chords and a few minutes of “both amusingly and awkwardly high-pitched howling” (to quote this author’s travel journal), the main act thankfully returned.
It was a quality gig, with some cracking blues tunes and some more refrained numbers busted out. I was amused to note that front-man Dave McAdams looked like Eric Clapton, wrote songs like Nick Drake, and had a voice that was comparable to Bob Dylan – a veritable smorgasbord of musical mixings if ever there was! With a number of the locals having a dance and getting into the swing of things it was a very enjoyable evening.
That night we headed over to Eden’s, picking up some apple and cinnamon moonshine on the way – good old Lummi. Beverages were sunk and guitars were jammed as we let the good times roll. Two songs in particular stood out, ‘Rubber in Your Pocket’ and the Almond Butter song; both remain classics.
The next morning I ran Eden across the island to work, before the three British travellers tucked into some notably chunky pancakes, far cry from the skinny ones we tuck into once a year back in England. We made our way over to Gary MacDonald’s to watch the World Cup final in what turned out to be a rather hilarious afternoon. There was plenty of laughter gleaned from the contrasting Anglo-American understandings and interpretations of soccer, and notably from when we realised that Doc Jones was a spitting image for Spain’s manager Vincente del Bosque. We barbecued, played foot-volleyball, the Doc invited us to golf at his again, whilst Gary got all nostalgic as we chatted about his days back in England.
Afterwards we headed for the beach, picking Britt and Sara up en route, and of course copious amounts of beer (once again, Busch was the unanimous choice, purely because of its name). We were joined on the beach by a few other Islander’s as well as Sara’s lovely dog Beagle, who was calmness personified as sunglasses and a fedora were placed on the head of Lummi’s coolest canine. Sara – who, it seemed, had developed a penchant for pinching my straw Stetson – and I entertained ourselves for a full hour by trying to chuck little stones into each other’s beer whilst shooting the breeze about all manner of random things.
The group kicked back and enjoyed the sun and each other’s company – books were read, Busch was pounded (our favourite phrase of the fortnight!), stories told and more. One Islander even praised us for bringing such great weather with us to Lummi! Oh the irony. Young Ry had one beer too many, pushing Britt into the sea as his shorts fell down, which provoked both hilarity and rage – depending on if you were Britt or not – for the afternoon’s beach-dwellers.
Island legend and purple bus inhabitant, the perma-smile wearing Taylor, joined us, shortly followed by Ty and Travis, the latter telling us a few crazy stories from his past about island hopping and earning something like $75,000 for a winter’s crab fishing. Chris belatedly rocked up, and we chatted deep once again, with topics ranging from literature, music and artistic integrity, all the way through to life philosophies and our place in the solar system. Back at the airstrip Winty was once again joined in his tent by the young cat that was now scratching and ripping the sidings, so a strategic decision to “make” said cat a “bed in a box” was taken. For once, Winty slept soundly.
With the cat still alive, Winty kicked off day nine by collapsing his tent and hiding on the trampoline. We made our way to Britt’s house where we chin-wagged with her mum (Wendy) and aunt, before heading off to the tennis courts with Sara and a few others. Busch was simultaneously pounded as we knocked up on court, whilst little Sonny spent the majority of his time working out ways to attack us. Later on we headed over to Sara’s where met her lovely family, grabbed several much needed showers, and made use of an impressive telescopic lens.
We hit the Beach Store Cafe for pizzas that evening, grabbed wine and beers for the festivities and headed back to Sara’s for Ping-Pong, Jethro Tull, the Grateful Dead, some darts, and a genuinely quality night. Ads made friends with a hair model before a totally sober coconut-loving member of our group drove us back over to Eden’s for the night. Ads displayed his artistic prowess, I went for a wander around the garden, and Winty tried to learn guitar; his cat was nowhere to be seen…