For all the obvious reasons, it’s been quite a year. The world we confidently set out into back in January is a very different one from where we find ourselves today.
No amount of pre-planning could have prepared us for what 2020 brought with it, and life and work have changed enormously, not just here in Harris but across the world.
Thankfully, we had our distillery values to help us navigate new waters, particularly the emphasis on connection, community, and the simple creed of ‘life takes time’, helping us to survive the storm intact.
Along the way we’ve also managed to play our part in rising to meet the less obvious, more personal, challenges of a global pandemic.
From making and distributing hand-sanitiser to creating mindful moments from the island, we’ve been able to share our island experience of this historic time with thousands of people across the world in a positive way.
As a second wave of the crisis took hold towards the end of the year we had no idea what the festive season would bring, or how the mood would affect the seasonal celebrations.
Happily, it soon became clear that after all the bad news of the previous months, the world's Christmas spirit was stronger than ever.
Behind the scenes here at the distillery, our team of elves have been toiling away like never before, dealing with the daily deluge of online orders across the UK and beyond.
A huge thank you to them (see below for a shout out!) and everyone who chose to give the gift of our Outer Hebridean gin and glassware to their loved ones, or themselves, this year.
The last date for guaranteed delivery in time of the 25th has now passed, but we continue to send our beautiful bottles from these shores to your door for all orders placed up until the 21st of December.
If you’ve managed to miss the boat then don’t despair, our Click & Collect service remains up and running for immediate local collection over the coming weeks thanks to our 100+ partners all around the UK.
We also have two safe and socially-distanced shops still open, one in Tarbert and another in Glasgow. The distillery shop remains open until 3 pm on Christmas Eve while the city pop-up is open to the public until the 23rd.
A sense of seasonal calm deepens here in Harris as the big day approaches. Coloured lights line the handful of streets in our small village and fires are being lit in hearths and hearts across the island.
For a few weeks, we’ll lock our distillery doors and spend time walking empty beaches, relaxing within our family ‘bubbles’, and enjoying plenty of good food and drink along the way.
We’re also looking forward to 2021 and the opportunity to share even more of our Harris home, and the people who live and work in this wonderful corner of the world.
As the last ships laden with Isle of Harris Gin set out across wild waters this winter, we’re reminded that while we may not be able to change the direction of life’s winds, we can certainly adjust our own sails.
Who knows quite what next year will bring, but we're ready to rise to meet each and every challenge together with you and yours.
Until we meet again, we wish you a very happy, safe, and peaceful Christmas.
A huge thank you to all the Isle of Harris Gin production and logistics elves for their amazing work behind the scenes this year:
John, Malky, Harry, Joanne, Sarah, Cameron, Erika, Stevie B, Becca, Wayne, Donald, Kenny, Donnie, Domhnall, Norman, Billy, Rebekah, Phil, and Stevie P.