There’s a buzz in the air as the whole island is beginning to shimmy and shake.

Walls have been whitewashed, troughs of colourful flowers have been appearing and ferries have been sailing back and forth, as more and more people have spilled out across these shores.

After months of meticulous planning, lots of team effort and more than a good dash of community spirit, the island is erupting into a huge creative extravaganza, showcasing the character and magic of this beautiful place.

It is a time of celebration of the huge wealth of talent, as pipers, folk groups, dancers, and bands, from across the Hebrides and beyond, perform at the island’s world-famous distilleries, in the village halls, hotels and bars.

The parties will go on long into the 'wee' small hours, as the whole community welcomes back friends, old and new. A time of song and dance, laughter and chatter, good craic and banter, as the island celebrates a coming together of community once again.

Even the Happy Farmer has undergone a much-needed overhaul, a necessary spring clean, as he reluctantly parted with the woolly hat that has been glued to his head for weeks. The padded waistcoat and jacket, that have clung on to his back during the lambing rounds, were finally shed.

Circumnavigating my way around those many pockets was a bit of an epic adventure. Who knew a single waistcoat could come with so many ‘useful’ pockets?

The designers must certainly have had those farmers in mind as they developed those jackets and waistcoats with not just side pockets, but, back pockets, and pockets under pockets, with chest pockets, over pockets and secret pockets hidden deep within the seams.

Or is that just the wear and tear as heavy farming hands, over time, cleverly seem to create yet more space to horde the extra necessities of fence staples, baler twine, lambing gloves, duct tape, lambing rings, nails, and a whole host of other farming paraphernalia?

A handful of ‘treasures’ squirrelled away, as each pocket gradually fills. Treasures that will eventually find their rightful place on the farm, as fences are repaired, lambs are born and marked, wool is packed, tractor tyres are patched, the list goes on.

Finally, the winter layers of the Happy Farmer were surreptitiously bundled into the washing machine and off it went, spinning, and whirring around, working its magic at speed.

It's not for a lack of jackets, waistcoats, hats, gloves, fleeces and woolly jumpers, it’s just that all the ‘extras’ seem to somehow disappear further and further into the depths of the cupboard and so the trusty favourites become the order of the day, leading to a ‘low maintenance’ approach to outdoor life.

The spring-cleaning programme at Persabus doesn’t just stop with the Happy Farmer, as newly painted cottages positively gleam in the sun – when she remembers to shine. May has been a soggy, damp month, but as the whisky festival begins, the sun is making her way through those heavy clouds.

After two years of virtual online festivals the Islay and Jura community will be offering a huge welcome back to friends, old and new. People from around the globe, who have travelled all the way to these island shores to join in celebrating Fèis Ìle, the annual festival of music and malt.

As the hospitality service goes into overdrive with the island’s population more than trebling, all beds will be booked. Restaurants and bars will work alongside the pop-up bakeries, seafood shacks, pie stalls, and pizza stalls, and home baking will be flowing, as pavilions and marquees have been erected and campsites filled.

The island’s artisans share their craftsmanship in pop up stalls and the iconic ceilidh bands of the Hebrides, make space in their busy schedules, to join the party. Accordians, guitars, fiddles, and pipes get those crowds ‘heuching and teuching’, providing their own unique style of amazing first-class entertainment.

There are whisky academies, master classes, tours and tastings of island whiskies, rums, and gins, as cocktails are created, in between the ceilidhs and concerts, the special bottlings, the limited-edition releases of the finest of malts.

Capturing the heritage, music, and culture of these vibrant islands as the crowds are guided on a merry journey from the First Fling, to the ‘Ard workers’ of Ardbeg, with their ‘peaty punky Ardcore’ day. There’s ‘Rock’ndaal’ on the shores of Lochindaal in the courtyard at Bruichladdich Distillery.

There, the sun gods always seem to work their magic and shine brightly as the whole distillery exploded with the rhythm and the beat of the bagpipes and drums. Highland dancers nimbly skip and dance on the balls of their feet, rock and ceilidh bands play, and people soak up the festival atmosphere enjoying true island hospitality.

From the folk nights and quiz nights to the journeys back in time, as the past is married with the present, as participants journey into a distilling adventure, following the process of Islay’s illicit distilling history in the immersive Illicit Distiller Experience.

On the farm, the building projects continue to evolve. The most recent emerged from the Happy Farmer’s shed, as a huge wooden frame, carried across the yard and placed at the front doorway.

This frame has now gradually grown with the addition of bricks and cement, and slates, into a porch. A porch ready to shield the home from the mighty winter storms that lash across the sea, battering the farmhouse in the colder seasons.

Already in my head I have a plan, involving many hooks and a handy boot store. ‘Diversification of the farm porch’ into a Happy Farmer’s ‘dressing room’. A dressing room which will have a ready display of colourful hats, jackets, and fleeces to choose from.

I am already counting the addition of many more pockets, with a growth in the laundry chain, as the washing machine welcomes a more regular turnover.

Of course, it will all depend on whether I can persuade that Happy Farmer to change his ways and if you see the same woolly hat glued to his head, know it can be incredibly challenging to teach an old dog new tricks!