Friday, July 31, 2009

TK on Tiree #5/Building Design Exhibition/Tiree Regatta

TK on Tiree 5 is almost here!

A week of kiting, relaxing, meeting new friends and catching up with old ones.

From the 1st August until the 8th AugustTraction Kiting 
will be on Tiree enjoying the vast beaches the island has to offer. The forecast currently looks like the group will be based on Gott Bay, the island's largest beach, for most of the week with strong onshore southerly winds looking to be the wind direction of choice this year.

In addition to kiting, Owain and Judith (TK founders) will be bringing along 2 X-Sails for the week which means they can be out in the rain so no matter what the weather, as long as there is wind they will be on the beach!

If you would like to try kiting or X-sailing while the team are on Tiree, please contact either Owain or Judith on 07732060459 or 07879626677. If there is no answer, please leave a message as mobile signal on the island isn't great.

We look forward to seeing you on Saturday!

TIREE EXHIBITION OF BUILDING DESIGN Also on Saturday 1st August, at An Talla between 11am - 4pm, there will be an event including an exhibition of the award-winning architectural student project 'Renewable Communities' by Michael Holliday and the launch of a new design and build co-operative.

This will include 'surgeries' where there be on offer free architectural and engineering advice to the people of Tiree.

Among the items covered will be design, drawing, planning permission, building warrant approval, the construction process, craft, materials, low/zero carbon technology and energy efficiency. Just take along whatever problems or ideas you have and you can be advised how best to take them forward.

TIREE REGATTA The 2009 Tiree Regatta will be held on Saturday 1st August in Scarinish Old Harbour.

On the water a busy race card includes Lug Boat Race, Dingy Race, Day Boat Race and the famous Tiree Fishing Boat Race.

There is also a packed schedule of shore events and food and entertainment all day.

The Schedule:

0930 - 1200 Registration & Handicapping 1230 Skippers meeting 1300 - 1700 Races & Shore Events 1730 - 1900 Prize giving 1900 - Celebrations!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Video: Tiree Pipe Band at the Sports Day

Here we see Tiree Pipe Marching and playing at last Saturday's Sports Day at Cornaigmore.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Alison Spence, Access and Conservation Officer

The new Access and Conservation on Tiree is Alison Spence.

Part of Alison's remit is to identify suitable overnight camping sites around the island to cope with the increase in campers and camper vans. She is interested in hearing from anyone who could potentially be interested in offering this service. Small areas for use by 5 or 6 campervans require minimum set up and are easier to establish than may first be thought. Alison can provide information to anyone interested.

Alison would like to hear your views on a Voluntary Permit System aimed at everyone using the parking and access points around the island. A nominal monitory contribution would be implemented for the upkeep of existing sites but also to provide new sites where needed. Providing designated parking and access would help prevent the further development and erosion of the many tracks across the Tiree machair. Alison is also looking for your idea for the issuing of such permits are to make them available at local shops and businesses, public facilities and to add an optional fixed sum to accommodation fees.

Your views are also welcomed on the current public facilities available on the island. At present the only public toilets are in Scarinish. Alison will be working with Frances Woodhead, the local power down officer, on the possibility of providing further facilities such as composting toilets at other sites across the island.

You can email me Alison at: or call to see her at the Rural Centre on Monday, Wednesday and Friday 1.30 – 3.30pm Tel:220677 and at other times on 07765449487. She looks forward to hearing your views on these points or any other issues of access and conservation on the island.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Sivananda Yoga Starts Tonight

The Sivananda Yoga system aims to retain the vitality of the body, retard the decaying process, and decrease chance of disease, by simply and naturally cultivating the body.  And, beginning this week, Sivananda Yoga comes to Tiree.

All the classes are held at the An Talla 'small hall'.

The beginners' class is for those new to Yoga and who want to learn more. The class begins Tuesday 28th July, 5pm -6.30pm. £10 per person

The Intermediate class is for those familiar with Yoga postures. The class begins Tuesday 28th July, 6.45pm - 8.45pm. £10 per person

Children's yoga (ages 4 - 11 years) aims to develop social and and emotional skills by working on concentration, self control, imagination and well-being. The class begins Wednesday 29th July 10am - 11am. £5 per child, 20% family discount.

The surfers' class is designed to improve stamina, balance and mental focus while strengthening and stretching surfing muscles. The class begins Thursday 30th July 7pm - 8.30pm. £10 per person.

If you need any further information call Lala on 01879 220619 or 07721913512.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Video: Skipinnish and Friends, An Talla, Tiree, Saturday 25th July 2009

As promised, here's the second video from Saturday's concert at An Talla. This one features Skipinnish with Skerryvore, Norrie McIvor and Rachel Walker. Do your neighbours a favour: open the windows and turn up your speakers.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Video: Skerryvore at An Talla, Saturday 25th July 2009

What a remarkable night this was! To see two top class Scottish bands - who can both trace their genesis to the Isle of Tiree - performing at the peak of their powers for a tenner! Thank you lads for a great night. Apologies for the poor sound and poor clarity - we did the best we could. Tomorrow, Skipinnish and friends.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Video: Another selection of melodies from Tiree Pipe Band

This is the second of two short videos shot at yesterday's Agricultural Show. Enjoy!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Video: Tiree Pipe Band at the Agricultural Show

Today's Tiree Agricultural Show was bathed in warm sunshine. A huge number of people attended and every aspect of the show - competitions, stalls and organisation - was perfection itself. Here is a video of, the first of two, featuring Tiree Pipe Band playing a selection of Scottish tunes at today's event.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Video: Skipinnish

On the evening of Saturday 25TH popular traditional music band Skipinnish (featuring Tiree's Angus MacPhail) will be performing a concert at An Talla to celebrate the release of their latest album. The concert will be followed by a dance, also at An Talla. If you haven't heard this remarkable band before, here's your chance.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Tiree Show Day Friday 24th July

From the pages of the last edition of An Tirisdeach with acknowledgement to the Show Committee:

Show time again! Schedules are out for all sections of with Show with classes for EVERYONE to enter. Bring along you favourite calf, ewe, pet lamb, pony, dog, hen, lettuce or jar of jam.

Exhibitors, PLEASE return entry forms to help us with the numbers for setting up pens.

Tiree Show has become an annual day away for a good number of mainland farmers and their families. It is the island's 'shop window' and the positive comments come rolling in each year. The 2008 Champion calf from Heylipol and the Reserve Champion calf from Ruaig were sold at the Tiree February sale and went on to stand Champion and Reserve again at the April show and sale at Perth market. Further publicity for Tiree livestock!

This year we are having a Tiree Sheep Breeds display. Come along and find out about all the different breeds on the island and then see if you can identify them as you travel around the island. We also have the Mull Rodeo coming across with their mechanical bucking bronco. Who do you think will stay on the longest?

The Pony Section always draws the crowds so come and watch the enthusiastic competitors put their ponies through their paces. Remember to watch the fancy dress classes too. The pet section promises to be as entertaining as ever and we encourage you to bring along your pets, old or young, with 4 or 2 legs. The dog agility class has become a major competition and an interesting obstacle course is planned again this year.

Other Main Ring events include the popular Tiree Pipe Band, a Team Tug o' War competition and the Tossing the Sheaf.

Does Tiree have talent? An entertaining section of the Show giving 2 minute slots for performing on the stage, complete with judging panel. Interested? Register before 2pm at the Secretary's tent.

The new MacPhail Shield is being presented to the best tractor from vintage to 10 years old. Lots of different categories to suit all tractors, so bring them all along. Good to hear that there are some tractors already painted waiting for their big day. Once again this will be followed with a tractor Run on Saturday from the Rural Centre to the Tiree Sports Field.

Go shopping in the Craft marquee to stalls with Tiree calendars, wooden items, jewellery, cosmetics and other Tiree gifts. Find out about the work on Tiree of The Crofter's Commission, RSPB, SNH and the new Powerdown Project. The Home Industries Marquee opens after judging at 2pm, some wonderful baking, handwork and interesting creations are entered each year, as well as garden produce.

The day will be rounded off with the Presentation of Cups, which are all on view in the Royal Bank at Scarinish prior to Show Day. Remember to buy your raffle tickets for the Grand Raffle Draw which will follow this. Lots of super prizes to be won.

Finally come along and dance to Deoch n Dorus in An Talla. Dance tickets (£10.00) will only be on sale at the show.

The committee wish everyone a successful and great day out.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Tiree Association Sports Day

There's a lot happening this weekend on the Isle of Tiree. Tomorrow, we'll be featuring Friday's much anticipated Agricultural show.

Today, though, we'd like to remind everyone to consider attending the Tiree Association Sports Day at the High School playing grounds at 1:30 pm this Saturday, the 25th of July.

As Association's website says, "there are races for all ages, including field and track events and the ever popular heavy events. The highlight of the day is the resident versus non-resident men's tug o war and yes there is one for the ladies too. Finally, the winning ladies take on the winning men".

But of course you don't have to be a competitor to enjoy all the fun and excitement so do consider coming along!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Video: Capercaillie perform 'Breisleach'

Greetings from Cornaigmore, Isle of Tiree.

Last Monday I told you all about my love for the song 'Breisleach' and my intention to learn it. Today, I thought you might like to hear the song itself as performed by the Scottish Gaelic group Capercaillie. Refer back to last Monday's post if you would like to follow the words, either in Gaelic or translated into English.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Video: Skerryvore perform 'Home to Donegal'

Friday's feature on Skerryvore (featuring Tiree's own Daniel and Martin Gillespie) was so popular that we're pleased to present a video of the band performing the song 'Home To Donegal' at The Ferry, Glasgow, in January.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Facebook Group for Tiree Genealogists

Tiree Ancestral Roots is a Facebook group aiming to be 'a meeting place for all those who can trace their ancestral roots to Tiree'.

"If you have an ancestor who emigrated from Tiree to other parts of the world, we welcome you here. Whether you are down under in Australia, New Zealand, in the beautiful mountains of Switzerland, in South Africa, in Canada, the United States or wherever in this world our ancestors roamed, this page is for you. And lest we forget, those living on the wee island or Scotland herself are also enthusiastically welcomed. Share your stories, post your searches, tell of your visits to the dear little island,share your photographs, tell us about your kids. We want to hear it all. You may find that long lost cousin."

You will have to be a registered Facebook user to join the group.  The group is open and anyone can join.  The URL for the group is

The group is administered by Barbara Humphrey of Minneapolis.  If you have any questions you can email Babs at

Friday, July 17, 2009

Video: Skerryvore Interviewed at T In The Park.

The Main Stage may attract the biggest stars and the Slam tent the most cutting edge dance artists but T in the Park regulars know the Ceilidh tent is where the party never stops. caught up with Skerryvore, "the boy band of  traditional Scottish music" following their set. READ MORE AND WATCH THE VIDEO  ...

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Out & About on Tiree: Free Download

Tiree Rural Development in conjunction with Scottish Natural Heritage have produced a leaflet interpreting the Scottish Outdoor Access Code for Tiree. This free download provides advice for drivers, campers, campervans and caravans and walkers as well as general advice on responsible access.  You can download a copy HERE. Copies of the leaflet can be obtained at local shops and businesses or from the Access and Conservation Officer, Alison Spence, at Tiree Rural Centre (01879 220677).

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Community Powerdown Surgery tonight at the Rural Centre

Tonight, Jo and I will be attending the surgery on Renewable Energy at the Rural Centre. This looks like it could be a really interesting, informative and useful night.

As well as finding out about what grants are available for the micro-generation of renewable energy for homes and businesses we'll get to know and understand a little more about the subject in general.

Local Powerdown officer Frances Woodhead will be there as well as another Powerdown representative called Eamon King.

As Frances says, "the cheapest kilowatt is the one that you don't have to buy". In addition by doing what you can you'll be doing your bit for Mother Earth. I'll see you there.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Tiree Friendly Regatta Saturday 18th July 2009

Tiree Regatta Club will be holding the 2009 Tiree Friendly Regatta on Saturday 18th July in Scarinish Old Harbour.

The Friendly Regatta is the revival of the historic tradition of holding multiple sailing regattas on Tiree during the summer. The annual regatta with it's shore events and motor boat races will be held as usual on the first Saturday in August. The Friendly Regatta, however, will be all about sailing with sailing boats of all types invited to compete. Read More.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Breisleach (Delirium)

Breisleach is the most beautiful song in the Gaelic language I have ever heard. And I'm trying to learn it. My Gaelic is very poor but I intend to learn this song and to be able to perform in public. I publish here the words in Gaelic with an English translation following. I am certain the translation does not do justice to the poetry of the Gaelic version. To be honest I'm not sure the Gaelic rendering is all that accurate either but who am I to say. Hopefully, one day, I'll be able to sing this at a ceilidh on the Isle of Tiree.

Breisleach (Delirium)

Chaidh mi 'n-de/ dhan choile chailtainn
shireadh chno han airson bladh
ach 's e bh'air a h-ulle geug ach
d'aodan-sa gam thriall.
chaidh mi 'n-de/ gu traigh a'mhaoraich
de choilleagan a bhuain
nochd a h-ulle slige neamhnaid
d'ailleachd-sa a luaidh

Chaidh mi stagh dhan aon taigh-osda
son do sglu
sadh as mo cheann
h-ulle glainne thog mi thaom do
mhaiseachd aist' na deann.
chiaon mi tra h a-raoir dhan leabaidh
thusa ruagadh as le suain
ach cha tug thu cead dhomh cadai
gus an deanainn duan

Dh'larrain-sa bhith saor od tho
ach gu bheil sinn roinnt o che/il'
do churhadh bhith an ait' do shamhla
agam bhios an fhe/ill
dh'ghag thu mi 'nam bhaothair go
bo/dhradh chairdean le do chilu
nuair a thig thu chi lad nach eil
mearachd ann am fhiu

Chi lad sgurr a' danns le saobh-shruth
famh is iolair' anns an ruidhi'
stamh gu caomh ag altram suh-lair
mireadh mu an sull.
chi lad mis' is thusa sugradh
bil ri bil ar an-anaill aoint'
cniadachadh mar seo gu sior le
che/ile b'e ar maoin

(Translation) Delirium

I went to the hazelwood yesterday
seeking hazelnuts for food
but on every branch and twig
was your pursuing face,
I went to the fertile shore yesterday
to gather cockles for a meal
every single shell was filled with
your beauty my love

I went to the alehouse
to expel you from my head
every glass I raised your beauty
overflowing from it
I went early to bed last night
to escape you in sleep
but you kept me awake till
I'd make you a song

I'd wish we were torn asunder
were we not apart
let your presence replace my image of you
and how I'd rejoice
you've brought me to foolish babbling
tiring friends with praise of you
when you return they'll seet that
my words are true

They'll see mountains dance with ripples
mole and eagle step the reel
red rasp held by kind sea-tangle
sport before their eyes
they'll see you and me make merry
lip to lip our breath as one
caressing thus forever
together our reward

Sunday, July 12, 2009

An Tirisdeach Online

The latest edition of Tiree's own newspaper, An Tirisdeach, came out last Friday and it's a jam packed issue, full of interesting articles and reportage. The paper is undergoing something of a Renaissance since new editor Angela took over. Under her tenure it has become an absolute must read. Did you know that the paper also has its own website?

Go to to get a flavour of what the publication is all about plus selected articles from past issues. Apparently, An Tirisdeach is the best selling newspaper on Tiree and on current form it's not difficult to see why.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Water Shortage on Tiree

I am hearing tonight that there are water shortages on the island. We've been basking in sunshine for weeks now and the cost of this is that the reservoir at Loch a' Phuil is at a very low level. There have been reports of low water pressure and dirty water. I believe water will be brought in from the mainland on tomorrow's boat with supplies being dropped at strategic locations on the island. In the meantime, perhaps we should go easy on shower and bath water. No doubt the good old Scottish weather will come to 'the rescue' soon!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Tiree receives £36,000 grant to revive boat-building tradition

FOR generations, residents of the most westerly island of the inner Hebrides relied on its fishing industry both for food and a source of income.

Now the maritime trust on Tiree is to be given a grant to help it retain its boat-building culture ,,, READ MORE

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Tiree's Andrea tells how heartburn remedies almost wrecked her life.

Here's a very interesting article which the the Mail Online published a couple of days ago featuring Tiree's Andrea MacArthur.  CLICK HERE.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Fèis Thiriodh: Archive Film Night

Last night Jo and I went over to the Rural Centre for 'an evening of archive film and television programmes from the 1930s to the 1980s, from the store rooms of An Iodhlann, Tiree's historical centre.' Although it initially felt a bit strange to be watching a movie in the auction ring it turned out to be a wonderful night's entertainment. Highlights included a film of the first plane to land on Tiree (1929), a home movie from 1957 with fascinating shots of Tiree Aerodrome and other local landmarks (most of which seemed unchanged), a BBC programme about the founding of the Crofter's Union, a visit in 1985 by four Tiree teenagers to Heathrow Airport to see Concord, and a BBC Alba programme about Tiree from 1992 - the year before we moved here. It was amusing at times to see many of our friends looking so much younger on film and a little sad also to once again see those cherished friends who have passed on since the making of these films from the 80s and 90s. The BBC Alba programme was hosted by Simon MacKenzie of Machair fame. I mentioned to Flora MacPhail that Simon had come to my door one night - the house where she and her family occupied before us - looking for her husband Hector. I was saddened to hear from Flora that Simon had passed away last year at the early age of 58.

More information about this year's Feis.