Saturday, May 27, 2006

Boo Hugh

Two weeks exactly until the Tiree 10k and once again the wind and rain has stopped me from going out to do any serious training. I ventured out on my bike this morning, though: a quick 6 miles or so just to get out of the house and in to the fresh air. And boy, was it fresh! The wind out of the west was very strong - according to the BBC it was something like 25 mph - and I 'granny geared' it all the way back from Crossapol where I'd gone to try to find my digital camera.

Some of you will know already that I work for Argyll and Bute Council. On Thursday evening my colleague Allina Langley and I took a few of the older folks who come to the Lunch Club at Crossapol out to the concert given my Cliar at An Talla. This highly rated Gaelic band were performing during A 'Bhuain and they were certainly worth going to see. Somehow I misplaced my digital camera after the gig and this morning's cycle was an attempt by me to 'retrace my steps' in the hope of coming across it but it was nowhere to be seen.

So it was a wild and windy morning. Already the island seems a lot quieter, something I'm a little sad about. All the folks from Canada, the States, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and elsewhere were so nice and it was a pleasure to meet them all. In fact, during the interval at the Cliar concert I got a tap on the shoulder and when I turned round the gentleman who stood there introduced himself as Archie MacKinnon, a long-time email contact. It was wonderful to meet him. Archie - like so many other people during this week - told me how much he had appreciated Isle of Tiree Online News and how sorry he was that it was no longer available.

In retrospect I'm also sad that I didn't get to most of the A 'Bhuain week. Ideally I would have taken the entire week off work so that I could attend more but alas this wasn't possible. Most of the organising of the event took place in the office adjacent to my own, at the Business Centre in Crossapol. To my mind Liz Lapsley worked like a Trojan to make the thing run as smoothly as possible. Everyone who had anything to do with A 'Bhuain should get a medal.

As I mentioned in the last post my time away has been spent pursuing other projects. Apart from the singing and writing that I've been doing - and learning how to run a 10k without having a heart attack! - one of my other long-time ambitions was fulfilled and that was to act. Again, it was A 'Bhuain which enabled this long cherished wish to come true. Along with a number of Tiree friends I appeared last week in a play directed by Mabel MacArthur of The Glassary. The play was a re-enactment of The Napier commission visit to Tiree in 1883.

I played the part of Hugh MacDiarmid, the factor on Tiree at the time. Mabel asked me to play the part very sleazy and I duly obliged. In fact when I volunteered to take part in the play I stipulated that I would only do it if I could play a 'bad guy'. Mabel duly obliged. I tell you there is no buzz quite like that of being booed and hissed at by 300 men, women and children. What a buzz! Everybody who took part was great and I've got to hand it to Mabel - she's a great organiser and a great director. Word is that the week after next we will be putting the play on again, this time so that the Tiree folks who were working can get a chance to see it.
The digital camera? It turned up wedged under the seat of the bus we'd used to take the folks to the Cliar concert. I found it only after I'd searched the bus a second time.
It will take a while to get all the links to other sites re-established but while I'm doing that I'd like to bring to your attention Keith Dash's Home Page (the link is under 'useful Tiree-related websites'). Keith was the moderator of the Tiree branch of the Rootsweb genealogy website. (I'm not sure if he still is - my mate over in Guelph, J. Scott Cameron, may be doing that now.) While I've been on sabbatical Keith has put his fantastic site together and you genealogy buffs are going to love it.
One last thing: at the bottom of each of these postings you can click on a link to leave your comments. A pop-up window should appear and you can then type in your message. Scrolling down you will be asked to provide to provide your 'Blogger' ID, an 'Other' ID or whether you wish to stay anonymous. My feeling is most of you will not have a 'Blogger' ID so it's going to be one of the other two. Finally you will be asked to key in one of those random letter generator things which prevent the site being over-run by hackers.
I hope to be hearing from you!

5 comments:

Gordon said...

Hi. Like I said in today's blog this is where you can leave your comments. I'll be glad to hear from you. If you don't have a Blogger ID you can either choose to put in your own name (by choosing 'other') or go anonymous by - well, er, selecting anonymous! Remember also to key in the requested random letters.

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