Every year members of the Court and their partners meet for a weekend arranged by the Master to talk, walk, drink and get to discuss shared lives without the time constraints of normal meetings in the City. Master Neil Sandberg arranged the 2022 Jolly to the Island of Mull, where he and his wife, Milly, have a home. On Saturday, 30th April, a group of 45 assembled at Tobermory on the north coast of the island to make the most of this beautiful setting and to enjoy the opportunity of one another’s company.

The business of the Jolly began with members sitting down for a serious tutored whisky tasting that showcased the differing liquors distilled on the islands of Mull, Islay and surrounding areas. None of this delayed a prompt start the next morning for a boat journey to the most eagerly anticipated part of the weekend – a visit to meet the resident puffins on the Treshnish Isles. With their unlikely colouring, a shape far from aerodynamic and their excavation of nests in underground burrows, it is no surprise to discover that the collective noun is an ‘Improbability of Puffins’. They appeared entirely incurious at the arrival of a Jolly of Paviors, who they allowed sitting within a couple of feet of them as they continued their nest-building. Their visitors were engaged by what was happening immediately in front of them. Leaving these charming inhabitants behind, the party returned to Tobermory via the Island of Staffa, where the opportunity was taken to view Fingal’s Cave.

Later that day, the party moved over to the east of Mull to be hosted by Sir Lachlan Maclean, Laird of Clan Mclean, to be shown around his home at Duart Castle, which included being welcomed by his personal kilted piper. The weekend progressed with cheese and biscuit-tasting at a local family-run business and then a visit to have tea at Milly’s home-kitchen table, accompanied by much good conversation. The Jolly culminated in a gala dinner in the Western Isles Hotel arranged by the Master who wore a striking kilt for the occasion. There was a competition to forecast the destination of the 2023 Jolly, which nobody guessed correctly to be The Hague. It will be tough to match the visit to Mull for its fellowship and relaxation – a view perhaps shared by the puffins.