Sunday, December 20, 2009


I have always really liked the photograph, taken between Christmas 1999 and New Year 2000. I took it with a low quality digital camera - my first actually, and back then they were still a novelty.

As long as you don't zoom in to much it still looks quite decent. I remember taking Joanne to work on the day I took this picture. It took me almost two hours to get from Cornaigmore to Scarinish, a journey that usually takes me 8 minutes!

Today, here on the Isle of Tiree, it's absolutely freezing! 'Baltic', as they say! Hector is looking at my longingly, wondering why we've not been for our walk.  Just hang on a wee bit longer, Hector, it's bound to get a little bit warmer ... surely?

Saturday, December 19, 2009


Discover Simple, Private Sharing at
Almost two months ago my friend over in Oxford, New England, Mr Steve Walker, asked me if I would consider recording a seasonal song for his Phedippidations running podcast. I didn't have to think twice. I've been listening to the show for almost four years and find it inspirational, motivational and downright entertaining.

Coincidentally, I was just about to take receipt of brand new recording equipment. And here's the first fruits of the new gear: Joy To The World. Yes, it's the hymn ... sort of. But there's drums in here, guitars, some of them distorted, there's hard bass and there's me singing. I played everything apart from the drums - and before you ask, no, Andy Findo didn't play on the track!

Oh, did I mention it's in swing time? To me it sounds jazzy. My old friend Chris, down in Glasgow, says it sounds 'positively psychedelic'. Well, you decide. You can play the track here, at the blog or you can go to to download it in MP3 or very high-quality WAV format.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Tiree Roads in December 09

From my good friend Paul Veverka via You Tube.

Paul writes, "A short video filmed along various Tiree roads in December 09. Heavy rainfall in November left a few of the roads flooded. Apologies for part of the video viewed on its side!"

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


A little bit overdue this one, but here goes. It's always great to see new businesses developing on the island and especially one which is fast gaining a great reputation for quality and excellence. The Rockvale Guest House is situated in the township of Balephetrish.  I really enjoyed exploring their website and I'm sure you will too.  Make a point of looking at the 'gallery' of photographs. CLICK HERE

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Video Blog - Ben Hough 13th December 2009

It was a lovely morning here on Tiree. Here's a video blog made on top of Ben Hough with me rambling on about mountain climbing, 'Munro bagging' and initials etched in stone.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Backing for bid to control Tiree campers: P & J Article Link

A bid by people on Tiree to manage the soaring numbers of camper vans which visit the island was supported yesterday by a senior councillor.

Tiree has witnessed a 154% increase in the number of camper vans visiting the island in June and July 2009, compared with the same period the previous year.

READ MORE  Comments on this topic are welcome.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009


This is the report by Alison Spence, Tiree Access Officer, following the recent island-wide vote.

After public consultation, the votes are in on implementing a scheme for motor homes/camper vans visiting Tiree, which would ensure that the number of these vehicles arriving on the island would be restricted to the number of overnight parking sites available for them. The public vote found an overwhelming majority in favour of this scheme. The aim of the scheme is to provide designated legal overnight parking places away from the sensitive machair land. June and July 2009 saw a 154% increase in the number of these units coming to Tiree, compared to the same months in 2008 and this trend is expected to continue next year. The erosion caused by the increase in vehicles is visible across the island and the overnight parking scheme is part of an island-wide access programme which aims to prevent further deterioration of these sites. Included in this programme are plans to provide improved access tracks and parking, better facilities and improved signs/interpretation in order to improve the visitors experience whilst at the same protecting the island's natural and cultural heritage.

The aim is to provide enough designated legal overnight parking places for all motor homes and camper vans visiting the island. The achieve this we are looking for the co-operation of crofters and land managers on Tiree to provide suitable sites on fenced croft land. This would give crofters the opportunity to generate extra income over the summer months by receiving a nightly fee from the customer. Argyll and Bute Council planning department have stated that a crofter can site three vehicles per croft between April and October without seeking planning permission. All that is required would be a dry level area of ground with easy road access, clear of farm implements and livestock. It is planned that a central waste disposal and water collection site will be available to visitors, as it is not feasible to have these facilities on every croft. It is also hoped that all reservations would be made through a central booking system on the island.

If you are interested in providing an overnight parking site and would like to discuss the matter further please contact Aliston Spence on 07765449487 (if unavailable please leave your contact details) or email her at