The Blue Cabin - Living by the Tides on Islandmore
by Michael Faulkner
Publishers: Blackstaff Press (2006)
Paperback w/b&w illustrations
The Blue Cabin – Living by the Tides on Islandmore tells the story of our first year on Islandmore, an otherwise uninhabited island close to the western shore of Strangford Lough. At first, we were reluctant castaways. Having established two careers and a home in Scotland, we expected to live and die there, but with the collapse of my furniture business and the consequent loss of our much-loved farmhouse, we were in need of a base from which to take stock and look forward.
The Blue Cabin was acquired in 1969 by my father Brian Faulkner, the last Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, and during the tumultuous years that followed it became increasingly important to him as an occasional base for precious family time – however interrupted by political events – during the summer months.
Over the years following my father’s death in 1977, all of us came to the cabin from time to time, but until Lynn and I crossed Ringhaddy Sound in November 2001, with a cargo of cardboard boxes and our two terriers, Jock and Rab, no one had ever spent a winter there.
It was to be both challenging and rewarding. The cabin had just one wood-burning stove and no insulation; power was provided by a splendid, and splendidly eccentric sixty-year-old generator; there was boat-only access; and Strangford Lough turned out to be quite capable of changing from benign waterway to treacherous sea in the space of half an hour…
In 2006 Textualities, the online literary magazine, described The Blue Cabin as ‘beginning with disruption and concluding with discovery’, and I don’t think I could put it any better.