Thursday, December 23, 2010

Tiree Fitness: Winter Wonderland

From Will Wright:

Love it or hate it; the snow on Tiree looks stunning. Here's a couple of
pictures taken en route around the 3 peaks the other day. Happy Christmas
everyone! Balephuil Bay. Filed under News Created by will on Dec 23rd 2010.
<http://www.tireefitness.co.uk/news/winter-wonderland/

Saturday, December 18, 2010

National recognition for Tiree Renewable Energy Limited

On 2nd December 2010, Tiree Renewable Energy Limited was declared winners of the Scottish Green Energy Awards 2010 ' Best Community Project Award'.   These are the premier Scottish energy industry awards and this year they were hosted by personality Fred MacAulay at a glitzy night in Edinburgh's International Conference Centre.  READ MORE

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

AUDIO LINK: PROPOSED TIREE WIND FARM ARRAY DISCUSSED ON RADIO SCOTLAND

Here is a link to a debate on Radio Scotland this morning concerning the very controversial proposal to build a wind farm array near the coast of Tiree. Several islanders feature, making their points of view. CLICK HERE

Saturday, November 13, 2010

CAMPAIGNERS SAY 'NO' TO TIREE WIND FARM ARRAY

This press release was sent to us by Robert Trythall of Cornaigmore, Tiree. I do not necessarily agree with the views expressed here. Do you agree or disagree? Please feel free to send me your comments.  
       
          Campaigners on the tiny Hebridean island of Tiree have vowed to fight the development of a gigantic windfarm just five kilometres from its pristine shores.  They believe that the island, which is only thirteen miles long, is under serious threat.  This is because not only is the physical fabric of Tiree and its wealth of wildlife in jeopardy, but also the unique nature of its way of life. Tiree is famous for its crime free community, its culture and heritage, its peace and tranquillity and the breathtaking seascapes which attract visitors from all over the world. The weather experts will also tell you that it is well known as one of the sunniest spots in the whole of Britain.
            It is the UK's premier venue for wind and kite surfing and has already held a World Cup event.  International sportsmen and women come every year for the Tiree Wave Classic, which is beamed around the world.    
             Scottish Power Renewables, wholly owned by the Spanish energy giant Iberdrola, is planning to develop a massive windfarm three times the size of Tiree and as close as 5 km to its shores.  The windfarm planned by this energy mogul will contain between 200 and 500 turbines, some of them up to 180 metres high.  These come very close in height to that of the famous 'Gherkin' building in the city of London.  Make no mistake, this is a huge development, a monster windfarm which will cast a great shadow over the island, the most westerly of Scotland's Inner Hebrides.
            The plan is to create one of the biggest windfarms in Europe just off Tiree's shores.  The visual impact of these gigantic turbines and the physical destruction brought about by the onshore installations to service them will be enormous.
     Huge ten megawatt turbines will tower over the island's Bein Hynish which, at 141 metres is the highest point on Tiree.  Besides the looming turbines there could be industrial-sized buildings, the permanent loss of familiar landscapes and massive light pollution out to the west which will destroy forever the crystal clear night sky and the glorious Hebridean sunsets which so many people do not have the chance to appreciate anywhere else.
     No other proposed Array in Scotland, or anywhere else in Europe for that matter, will have such a detrimental impact on its proximate community.  The sheer size of the development will engulf its tiny neighbour Tiree and will change the island forever.
      Current group spokesman Robert Trythall said, "This is a real David and Goliath situation, but we have to take a stand against possible irreversible damage to the island and its community." Unlike larger land areas, the island is too small to absorb the social and environmental impact that this proposed development will make.  The magnitude of the planned windfarm is completely out of proportion to the size of the island.
    If future plans to blight the rest of the Western Isles with these giant windfarms are put in place, Tiree may even end up as a 'hub' for the supply and maintenance of other Arrays. Instead of a crofting haven which welcomes windsurfers and tourists it will effectively become nothing more than a much industrialised, wrecked and soul-less piece of real estate in the middle of a giant power station.  This will happen simply because it was conveniently situated at a time when subsidies and profits lured a Spanish multi-national and its subservient Scottish holding, Scottish Power Renewables.
      The 800 residents of Tiree have been given no chance to visualise all this for themselves, for despite repeated requests, Scottish Power Renewables has refused so far to offer any montages showing the visual impact people can expect.
      For many months now there have been discussions amongst all stakeholders about the implications of this for Tiree and its people. Out of these discussions a No Tiree Array group has emerged and a 'whisper of discontent is fast becoming a roar of defiance'. This is not an anti-renewables or anti-green energy campaign. Everyone supports these aims, but not at the expense of small communities who, despite the Scottish Government's much vaunted rhetoric about democracy in decision-making, have little or no say whatsoever in their own future.
                        The decision to place this Array on the Skerryvore Reef and inshore on Tiree is based purely on a thirst for commercial gain and political power, with scant regard for the environmental, socio-economic and cultural impacts on such a small island.  Such disregard sets a very dangerous precedent for other Scottish coastal communities, whose identity and way of life could also be seriously threatened if such windfarms are allowed to go ahead.  Many of the glorious seascapes of the Western Isles could be ruined beyond repair.
            The objectives and strategy of the NO TIREE ARRAY group include a determination to persuade SPR to site the Array much further away from the island.  In most people's judgement, off shore means out of sight out of mind and this was certainly the UK government's intention in the 1990's when it began to build its offshore legislation.
        At that time the Department of Trade and Industry stated that this was achievable 24 km and beyond from the coastline.
     Since then, Scottish National Heritage has insisted that such is the nature of the Scottish seascape the Scottish equivalent ought to be at least 35 km away from land. Indeed Scottish Power Renewables themselves and maritime renewable energy companies in general have acknowledged that research and development is now in process to place huge windfarms in deep water, far away from communities and the coastal environment.
            The NO TIREE ARRAY group wants to persuade SPR to adopt in full its own research and development goals and delay the planning process for the Tiree Array in order to place it and any other proposed Array development completely off shore, which means at least 35 km from the proximate community.
            The group will also require that all associated construction, support, maintenance, operational infrastructure and personnel associated with any Tiree Array development to be placed at least 35 km from the shores of the island. Campaigners want to ensure that these operations do not, at any stage, interface with or impact upon Tiree's unique community, culture or natural environment in any detrimental way.
            The group will lobby all organisations and individuals who directly or indirectly, support the Tiree Array.  These will include, but will not be limited to, the Crown Estate, the Scottish Government, Argyll and Bute Council, Marine Scotland and Scottish Power Renewables.
        It will try to persuade developers and strategists of any 'proposed or existing strategic energy legislation' to create such legislation that operates from the community level upwards.
            It will also consider legal action when and if appropriate.
      As the issues are expanded it will communicate them to supporters and interested parties.  This will ensure all are mutually and consistently well-informed to secure the primary objective, and that is to STOP the destruction of Tiree's community, culture and natural beauty. Unless a brake is put upon windfarm development in Scotland, both offshore, inshore and onshore, Scotland's priceless heritage of wonderful land and seascapes will be lost forever.
            All those who care about Tiree and Scotland are welcome to support the NO TIREE ARRAY group. The island is part of Scotland's heritage and should be seen as something to treasure, not destroy.

WE DO NOT INHERIT THE LAND FROM OUR ANCESTORS; WE BORROW IT FROM OUR CHILDREN.

If you need any more information on the campaign to save the community, culture, heritage and environment of the Isle of Tiree, call Robert Trythall on 01879 220646, or e-mail him atrobtrythall@gmail.com

Friday, November 12, 2010

CAMPAIGNERS SAY 'NO' TO TIREE WINDFARM ARRAY

This press release was sent to us by Robert Trythall of Cornaigmore, Tiree. Do you agree or disagree? Please feel free to send me your comments.  
       
          Campaigners on the tiny Hebridean island of Tiree have vowed to fight the development of a gigantic windfarm just five kilometres from its pristine shores.  They believe that the island, which is only thirteen miles long, is under serious threat.  This is because not only is the physical fabric of Tiree and its wealth of wildlife in jeopardy, but also the unique nature of its way of life. Tiree is famous for its crime free community, its culture and heritage, its peace and tranquillity and the breathtaking seascapes which attract visitors from all over the world. The weather experts will also tell you that it is well known as one of the sunniest spots in the whole of Britain.
            It is the UK's premier venue for wind and kite surfing and has already held a World Cup event.  International sportsmen and women come every year for the Tiree Wave Classic, which is beamed around the world.    
             Scottish Power Renewables, wholly owned by the Spanish energy giant Iberdrola, is planning to develop a massive windfarm three times the size of Tiree and as close as 5 km to its shores.  The windfarm planned by this energy mogul will contain between 200 and 500 turbines, some of them up to 180 metres high.  These come very close in height to that of the famous 'Gherkin' building in the city of London.  Make no mistake, this is a huge development, a monster windfarm which will cast a great shadow over the island, the most westerly of Scotland's Inner Hebrides.
            The plan is to create one of the biggest windfarms in Europe just off Tiree's shores.  The visual impact of these gigantic turbines and the physical destruction brought about by the onshore installations to service them will be enormous.
     Huge ten megawatt turbines will tower over the island's Bein Hynish which, at 141 metres is the highest point on Tiree.  Besides the looming turbines there could be industrial-sized buildings, the permanent loss of familiar landscapes and massive light pollution out to the west which will destroy forever the crystal clear night sky and the glorious Hebridean sunsets which so many people do not have the chance to appreciate anywhere else.
     No other proposed Array in Scotland, or anywhere else in Europe for that matter, will have such a detrimental impact on its proximate community.  The sheer size of the development will engulf its tiny neighbour Tiree and will change the island forever.
      Current group spokesman Robert Trythall said, "This is a real David and Goliath situation, but we have to take a stand against possible irreversible damage to the island and its community." Unlike larger land areas, the island is too small to absorb the social and environmental impact that this proposed development will make.  The magnitude of the planned windfarm is completely out of proportion to the size of the island.
    If future plans to blight the rest of the Western Isles with these giant windfarms are put in place, Tiree may even end up as a 'hub' for the supply and maintenance of other Arrays. Instead of a crofting haven which welcomes windsurfers and tourists it will effectively become nothing more than a much industrialised, wrecked and soul-less piece of real estate in the middle of a giant power station.  This will happen simply because it was conveniently situated at a time when subsidies and profits lured a Spanish multi-national and its subservient Scottish holding, Scottish Power Renewables.
      The 800 residents of Tiree have been given no chance to visualise all this for themselves, for despite repeated requests, Scottish Power Renewables has refused so far to offer any montages showing the visual impact people can expect.
      For many months now there have been discussions amongst all stakeholders about the implications of this for Tiree and its people. Out of these discussions a No Tiree Array group has emerged and a 'whisper of discontent is fast becoming a roar of defiance'. This is not an anti-renewables or anti-green energy campaign. Everyone supports these aims, but not at the expense of small communities who, despite the Scottish Government's much vaunted rhetoric about democracy in decision-making, have little or no say whatsoever in their own future.
                        The decision to place this Array on the Skerryvore Reef and inshore on Tiree is based purely on a thirst for commercial gain and political power, with scant regard for the environmental, socio-economic and cultural impacts on such a small island.  Such disregard sets a very dangerous precedent for other Scottish coastal communities, whose identity and way of life could also be seriously threatened if such windfarms are allowed to go ahead.  Many of the glorious seascapes of the Western Isles could be ruined beyond repair.
            The objectives and strategy of the NO TIREE ARRAY group include a determination to persuade SPR to site the Array much further away from the island.  In most people's judgement, off shore means out of sight out of mind and this was certainly the UK government's intention in the 1990's when it began to build its offshore legislation.
        At that time the Department of Trade and Industry stated that this was achievable 24 km and beyond from the coastline.
     Since then, Scottish National Heritage has insisted that such is the nature of the Scottish seascape the Scottish equivalent ought to be at least 35 km away from land. Indeed Scottish Power Renewables themselves and maritime renewable energy companies in general have acknowledged that research and development is now in process to place huge windfarms in deep water, far away from communities and the coastal environment.
            The NO TIREE ARRAY group wants to persuade SPR to adopt in full its own research and development goals and delay the planning process for the Tiree Array in order to place it and any other proposed Array development completely off shore, which means at least 35 km from the proximate community.
            The group will also require that all associated construction, support, maintenance, operational infrastructure and personnel associated with any Tiree Array development to be placed at least 35 km from the shores of the island. Campaigners want to ensure that these operations do not, at any stage, interface with or impact upon Tiree's unique community, culture or natural environment in any detrimental way.
            The group will lobby all organisations and individuals who directly or indirectly, support the Tiree Array.  These will include, but will not be limited to, the Crown Estate, the Scottish Government, Argyll and Bute Council, Marine Scotland and Scottish Power Renewables.
        It will try to persuade developers and strategists of any 'proposed or existing strategic energy legislation' to create such legislation that operates from the community level upwards.
            It will also consider legal action when and if appropriate.
      As the issues are expanded it will communicate them to supporters and interested parties.  This will ensure all are mutually and consistently well-informed to secure the primary objective, and that is to STOP the destruction of Tiree's community, culture and natural beauty. Unless a brake is put upon windfarm development in Scotland, both offshore, inshore and onshore, Scotland's priceless heritage of wonderful land and seascapes will be lost forever.
            All those who care about Tiree and Scotland are welcome to support the NO TIREE ARRAY group. The island is part of Scotland's heritage and should be seen as something to treasure, not destroy.

WE DO NOT INHERIT THE LAND FROM OUR ANCESTORS; WE BORROW IT FROM OUR CHILDREN.

If you need any more information on the campaign to save the community, culture, heritage and environment of the Isle of Tiree, call Robert Trythall on 01879 220646, or e-mail him at robtrythall@gmail.com

Sunday, November 07, 2010

HANDS UP FOR TRAD: VOTE NOW FOR TIREE!

Tiree and Oban are up for a lot of awards, can you please vote on the Trad Music Awards website, for Oban High School Pipe Band (Scottish Pipe Band of the Year), Gordon Connell (Music Tutor of the Year), Skerryvore (Live Act of the Year), Skipinnish Ceilidh House (Venue of the Year) and Trail West (Scottish Dance Band of the Year)! Vote now in the MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards 2010. Go to http://www.handsupfortrad.co.uk/ and do your bit for Tiree!
On page of the form you enter your name and email address. They click on the 'next' buttons at the bottom of each page to vote in the different categories.
Use your vote!



Monday, October 04, 2010

FAREWELL TO AVIGNON

Today we begin the long, hard slog north to meet up with our ferry at Calais. Here’s some photographs from our weekend in Avignon, featuring the Palais du Papes and the Pont d’Avignon.

IMG_0037   IMG_0036IMG_0027 IMG_0026 IMG_0014 IMG_0008IMG_0056

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

GREETINGS FROM SAN TROPEZ!

I heard from a friend on Facebook that the weather is awful back home so I'd better not rub it in too much ... Oh, what the hell, here in St. Tropez the weather is in the mid-twenties, we are camping today at the campsite managed by our friend Andy, sitting outside in the late afternoon sunlight drinking from our 3 litres bottle of red that cost something like 7 euro ... all is well and God is in his Heaven.

Yesterday, we left our hotel and ventured up the other side of Lake Como in Italy in search of the chapel of the Madonna del Ghisallo. I provide a link here in case you are a cycling fan. The significant thing about this little chapel is that the Madonna is the patron of cyclists. The chapel contains many mementos of the great cyclists past and present and, touchingly, many remembrances of competitive cyclists who died while competing in the sport.



Unfortunately, I took many a wrong turn trying to get to the Madonna and managed to pee Jo off a little bit.  But it was just something I have always wanted to do ever since I became aware of this particular little church.

If the chapel wasn't enough, though, right next door was the Museum of Cycling!  Bikes from the dawn of cycling, recent Tour de France machines, winner's jersey's, loads of mementos and the history of bike racing, all in one building.  Needless to say, I bought the t-shirt!

More from me tomorrow.

Monday, September 27, 2010

GREETINGS FROM LAKE COMO

Hello Everyone!

 

Another couple of wonderful days although blighted in part by bad weather. When we left Konstanz we soon got lost on our way south.  If only we had decided to go through the Swiss border check point only a few hundred yards from our hotel. But we had to try to be clever and try to head south through Austria.

 

Eventually we ended up in the town of Imst, nestled in the Austrian Tirol.  What lovely views of the mountains from our campsite! The next day we took a drive to Innsburck and wandered about the town for the afternoon.

 

Today has been a day of extreme weather changes. We headed south through St. Moritz (zero degrees celcius) until Imst (19.5 degress celcius).

 

Tonight we went for an evening meal out on the terrace of the restaurant area of town. It was great to sit out in the evening air, in September, and enjoy a meal with a good red wine.


No pictures today simply because I haven't had a chance to check them out.

Friday, September 24, 2010

GREETINGS FROM KONSTANZ, SOUTHERN GERMANY

We were on the road early this morning and drove south east, in the general direction of Austria, trying our best to hug the southern shore of the Bodensee.

IMG_0016 (2)

The town of Konstanz is a large, cosmopolitan town which, interestingly, has the border with Switzerland running through it.  We went out for a walk tonight and visited Switzerland for ten minutes before we got fed up and returned to Germany.

 

IMG_0010

For those of you who were fed up with my comments yesterday about all the beautiful sunshine we were having you will be pleased to know that it rained this afternoon when we were out exploring the town. And boy, did it rain! We hadn’t been expecting the rain and certainly weren’t dressed for it. We got soaked! Tonight when we went out for a further look around we were sure to put on our waterproof jackets and take our umbrellas with us!

IMG_0013

On the plus side, though, I have to point out that the weather outside is currently in the region of 16 degrees C – at 9pm!

Onward, tomorrow, to Austria!

 

Thursday, September 23, 2010

GREETINGS FROM FRANCE! GREETINGS FROM GERMANY!

Hello everyone and greetings from the German town of Appenweirer on the fringes of the Black Forest.  We are having a wonderful time so far on our drive around central Europe.  In fact, we can’t quite believe how much we are enjoying ourselves – or how good the weather is.  Since Monday the average temperature has been about 26 degrees Celsius with loads and loads of lovely sunshine!

We came off the ferry at Calais in France on Monday at about 11am local time and charged along the autoroute headed for Reims.  There we met up with our good friends, the recently married James and Magali Christie at their flat, a short distance from the magnificent Reims Cathedral.

IMG_0022

What a wonderful time we had with this lovely couple over the next two days. We visited the cathedral, we did a tour of the town, we visited Magali’s parents (whom we first met at the wedding), we ate well and we shared a few beers.

IMG_0024

The town of Reims is historic but there’s just too much to go in to at the moment.  Reims suffered terribly in both World Wars and there is much evidence of this still in the town – for instance the lower walls of the cathedral, pock-marked with machine gun and shell-hits.

The hospitality shown to us both by Magali and James and Magili’s parents was very touching and we will never forget it.

IMG_0046

On Wednesday morning we said farewell to Reims and headed east, for Southern Germany and based ourselves at the Hotel Adler in Appenweirer.

Today we went exploring the Black Forest area.  How beautiful! Again, there’s just too much to say in a quick blog post but hopefully I will get some photographs and more wordstogether for posting soon and keep you all up to date.

And tomorrow? Who knows!  More of Southern Germany I expect before we head down to Austria.

We are having a blast!

Monday, September 06, 2010

TIREE ONLINE

Although I'm not posting much to my blog these days you can still keep up with me if you are on Facebook, the social networking site. You can find me at www.facebook.com/gdwscott  In the meantime, why don't you check out all the exciting developments over at www.tireeonline.com

Here's founder Paul Veverka to tell you more:

"Tiree Online is a brand new Tiree website launched on 13th August 2010. As well as providing daily news of what's happening on Tiree, the site has a large discussion forum open to a global audience. Over 30 people freely registered to the site in it's first week alone, with many islanders and an international collection of visitors taking part in topical Tiree discussion. However, it's not just a news site! Tiree Online uniquely provides every member their own custom made free blog/diary! It also features around 300 Tiree videos and many hundreds of photos! Members can discuss or start new conversation and can instantly text chat in real time to each other if they wish. Its a social site with a fun aspect to membership. All members collect virtual points for participating, which gradually and automatically unlocks new hidden areas of the site. The more you log in, read and post, the more points you get! If you're passionate and proud of Tiree, then please register. It's free and takes 30 seconds. Thanks"

Thursday, August 26, 2010

VIDEO LINK: New BBC film about Tiree

Just released, this short film from BBC labs was made by and features islanders. It was made during this year's Feis. Although I say it myself, I think this is a great wee film. Thanks to the BBC for all their help, patience and advice.

To view the video CLICK HERE  To access the Tiree video, click the Tiree link in the middle, near the top (among the bucket and spades!)

Monday, August 09, 2010

OH NO ... WE FORGOT TO ORDER THE POPPADOMS!

IT has to be said that the hand-shelled scallop pakora was a little cool when it finally arrived at the table...

But curry lovers Iain and Sophie Isaacson weren't complaining.

For their spicy treat is probably the only Indian takeaway in Britain delivered by bike, then ferry, after a 50-mile journey over land and sea. READ THE FULL STORY

Sunday, August 01, 2010

TIREE ON GOOGLE STREETVIEW

A couple of people have been in touch recently to say that Tiree on Google Streetview is incredibly detailed. I checked it out last night. Here's the view of my house, with the jeep at the back and our washing fluttering in the wind. We reckon they must have been past here about 6 months ago going by the clues we picked out.

Friday, July 30, 2010

REPAIRS TO CLANSMAN COMPLETE

REPAIRS to the MV Clansman are now complete and she has arrived in Oban today (Friday).
She will now pick up the 1415 sailing to Castlebay. (part of the amended schedule) 

The amended schedule for services between Oban and Mull, Colonsay, Islay, Coll, Tiree, Barra and Uist will continue to operate until 0600hrs tomorrow (Saturday 31 July.) 

Thereafter services will return to the normal timetabled schedule. 

Friday, July 09, 2010

Fèis Thiriodh 2010 - 11-16 July

Fèis Thiriodh 2010 will be the 20th anniversary of this wonderful festival and the organisers hope to make it a special year.   This year's programme is available locally.  READ MORE

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Water company springs into action after Tiree’s dry spell

Scottish Water has sprung into action on Tiree, where the longest dry spell in almost a century has left water levels low in the six boreholes that supply the island.

The company is monitoring groundwater levels daily to ensure drinking water supplies are maintained to local residents and visitors following months of dry weather.  Read more

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

WHAT WILL ARGYLL ARRAY DO TO TIREE?

Here's an essential update on the proposed wind turbine farm off the coast of Tiree, courtesy of An Tirisdeach's online version:

... The meeting heard how plans to site between 300 and 500 giant wind turbines (some up to three times the height of Skerryvore) between the land and the lighthouse would require major structural alterations to the Island including a building the size of a football pitch to house the equipment to convert the electricity when it comes ashore and up to 4,000 square meters of office buildings. In answer to a question from a resident, Ralph Thornton admitted that there was no way the islanders could stop the wind farm from going ahead if consent is given by the Scottish Energy Minister ... READ MORE

Saturday, June 19, 2010

TIREE RESIDENTS ANGERED BY WIND FARM PLANS

At a public meeting in the island hall – An Talla – ScottishPower's project leader, Ralph Thornton, delivered the flat reality. Islanders can protest and object all they like but nothing – bar the discovery of the presence of some wildly unique and protected species on the site of the offshore installation – can stop the development. Nothing.  READ MORE AT FOR ARGYLL

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

TIREE 1OK 2011 DATE

The date for next years Tiree 10k is going to have to shift to the bank holiday at the start of May as the hall is booked up already for the end of May. Tiree 10k 2011 is therefore on Saturday 30th April 2011!!! Rest assured it will be a great weekend so put it in your diary and we'll hopefully see you all again in April next year.

To keep up to date with Will Wright's gym and training programmes go to www.tireefitness.co.uk

Monday, June 14, 2010

TIREE TEENAGERS BUILD BRIDGE OVER MUDDY WATERS

To help the RSPB, Ruaridh Munn and Ewan Brown from Tiree High School have been using some newfound skills to help keep the livestock out of the mud at an RSPB Scotland reserve.  READ MORE AT 'FOR ARGYLL'

Saturday, June 12, 2010

SKERRYVORE IN HOLLAND


Tiree's 'Skerryvore' filmed a couple of nights back in Amstelveen, Holland.

Friday, June 11, 2010

TIREE MUSIC FESTIVAL













Everything you need to know about the first ever Tiree Music Festival can be found by clicking on the above image. Tickets are going fast so if you want to be here for this historic event (which is, incidentally, attracting some of the top traditional performers out there) you best be quick!http://www.tireemusicfestival.co.uk/

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Tiree vet becomes deputy lord lieutenant.

Tiree and Coll vet Patrick Boyd from Cornaigmore is the new deupty lord lieutenant for Argyll and Bute, suceeding Major Nicholas Maclean-Bristol of Coll who has held the position for the last 14 years.

This story is covered in this week's edition of The Oban Times.

Sutherland Cycling Trip Outtake


Spending a few hours cycling in the wilderness gives me the breathing space to consider one of life's deep questions.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

A GREAT MAN IS NEVER APPRECIATED AT HOME


There are several instruments I am not allowed to play in the house. The 'moothie' (mouth organ, harmonica, blues harp) is one of them. Jo and Jen say 'absolutely not'. Now Hector has joined the conspiracy, as you will see and hear in this video.

Friday, May 14, 2010

PUBLIC MEETING FRIDAY 14TH MAY 6:30PM AT 'AN TALLA'

Proposed education cuts for Tiree will have a huge impact on the future of our children and our community.  Tiree needs to act now or we will lose families and jobs. Do nothing and Tiree High School will disappear along with this community. This is extremely serious for everyone. Please attend the meeting and decide the way forward. HAVE YOUR SAY!

URGENT ANNOUNCEMENT: PLEASE READ

URGENT! PUBLIC MEETING AT 'AN TALLA' AT 6.30PM ON FRIDAY TO DISCUSS OUR RESPONSE TO PROPOSED STAFF CUTS AT TIREE PRIMARY/SECONDARY SCHOOL! All concerned Tiree residents, please come along!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

VIDEO BLOG: CARBISDALE CASTLE YOUTH HOSTEL MAY 2010


While on my recent cycling trip to Sutherland I stayed almost entirely in Hostels. Nothing could have prepared me for Carbisdale Castle. This place is incredible. I paid £18 a night to stay in this palace. Enjoy the video tour.

Monday, May 10, 2010

VIDEO: Somewhere in Sutherland


There always comes a point on a solo long distance journey when you realise, "I am having a great time." Here's my 'moment', recorded on the morning of Wednesday 5th May, en route to Culrain and Carbisdale Castle.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

REMINDER

Greetings from Ullapool! Just a reminder that you can follow 'Gordon's Magical Mystery Tour of Disaster and Pain (thanks, David Lapsley) at www.facebook.com/gdwscott  

Friday, April 30, 2010

TOUR OF THE NORTH: FOLLOW MY JOURNEY ON FACEBOOK

This is just a short post to say that the staff holiday is over and normal service will resume here at the Blog in a week or so.

This weekend I'm heading off to the mainland with the intention of doing a cycling trip in the far north of our beloved country. My itinerary will be:

Monday 3rd        Inverness to Ullapool
Tuesday 4th       Ullapool to Scourie
Wednesday 5th  Scourie to Tongue
Thursday 6th      Tongue to Bonar Bridge
Friday 7th          Bonar Bridge to Inverness

It's a journey of about 250 miles over 5 days and should be easily achievable. There is a catch, though. Although I do a bit of running I've not actually done much work on my bike since last year! So, if a knee pops or a muscle goes 'twang' I may be back sooner than I thought.

I'm staying in Hostels for the most part because it's cheaper but more importantly you meet a lot of fellow travellers from all over the world and the craic is usually quite good.

I'll be sending text and picture updates on Facebook so if you want to keep track of what I'm doing you can follow me at www.facebook.com/gdwscott  If you're registered with Facebook you can send me replies and words of encouragement if you feel so minded. In fact, I'd really like that.


Friday, April 02, 2010

ISLAND AIR SERVICE RESUMES


Air services between Oban and the islands of Tiree, Coll and Colonsay will resume on Tuesday with a new operator following the demise of Inverness-based Highland Airways last week.  READ MORE. 

Monday, March 29, 2010

Music From The Shed #5 - The Subterraneans.

Recorded at The Shed, Cornaigmore, Isle of Tiree during March 2010. Inspired by a stoned conversation with friends, oh, perhaps 32 or 33 years ago, when we were playing music and talking about life and death. Although the song actually deals with a young girl who is scared by the thoughts of death AND life I think it finishes off on bitter-sweet but slightly more positive note.

The song has a late-70s/early 80s feel to it, which is what I actually intended.

On YouTube the sound quality won't be all that great. I'm hoping to have this and several other songs on sale in iTunes high quality within the next couple of months.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

TILLEY THE TIREE TURBINE IS TURNING!

News just in this morning is that the Tiree Wind Turbine - Tilley -  has been energised, is turning and generating power - and money - for the Isle of Tiree. After more than four years of hard work by the TREL board the turbine was switched on late afternoon Saturday. The official opening will be held on Saturday 24th April at 2pm. That evening a ceilidh dance will be held at An Talla to celebrate the opening.

HIGHLAND AIRWAYS GOES OUT OF BUSINESS

CLICK HERE.

Readers not living on Tiree should be assured that this story does not apply to the daily flights to and from the island by Loganair.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Sport Relief

Sunday 21st was Sport Relief Mile day. I was really surprised at the number of people who turned out to walk or run 1, 3 or 6 miles to raise money for good causes. In addition to my entry fee I managed to raise an extra £20 when I spotaneously offered to stand in front of the fire engine hose and get a right good soaking. I wasn't bothered - I'd just run three miles!

Thanks Will Wright for the photographs.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

TIREE HIGH SCHOOL 'CLOSURE' RUMOUR: A STATEMENT BY COUNCILLOR MARY-JEAN DEVON

"Further to the article in this week's Oban Times with regard to 'Tiree named on school closure draft', I am writing to allay the fears of the people of Tiree.

"Due to the difficult time every council in Scotland is facing various efficiency options. As far as Argyll and Bute Council is concerned no decisions, discussions, meetings or consultations have taken place regarding Tiree High School. As your elected member I can categorically assure you of this.

"The infrastructure of Oban High School and its Hostel could not accommodate the pupils of Tiree High School as you will have read recently in the press. The Oban Hostel has just undergone a major refurbishment which allows them to accommodate 104 pupils. They are nearly at capacity presently as is the roll of the High School.

"Please be assured if any discussions let alone decisions had been taken regarding Tiree High School I would have been in contact with the people of Tiree as they are the first to be consulted.

"Please do not hesitate to contact me regarding this matter or any other issues you have."

Councillor Mary-Jean Devon  01688 302792/07912 949073

Monday, March 08, 2010

SANBLAGGED

Good grief, now The Sun has got a hold of the great grain robbery. Glad to see they're treating it with their usual journalistic integrity.  CLICK HERE

Friday, March 05, 2010

IS IT NECESSARY FOR JETS TO FLY SO LOW OVER TIREE?

PLEASE NOTE THIS MEETING HAS BEEN  CANCELLED.

Only the other day, as I watched a jet go over our house, this very question popped into my head. Then, by coincidence, I saw a notice up on the notice board at MacLeod's shop announcing a forthcoming meeting on this very subject.

The Tiree S.W.R.I. have arranged for someone from the R.A.F. - a Squadron Leader, I think the notice said - to visit Tiree, give (I presume) a justification for the low flying and to answer questions at a public meeting.

The meeting will be held in the small hall of An Talla on Friday 26th March, beginning at 7:30 pm.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

FLYING WITH JULIE ANGELL

"Julie Angell is a pilot with a pretty unique job. She flies an 8 seater 'Islander' plane on Highland Airways' route from Oban to the small islands of Coll and Tiree in the Inner Hebrides. I was hired to photograph her activities on Monday for a day in the life feature they are doing on her in the Highland Airways inflight mag Aurora."  READ MORE AND VIEW PHOTOGRAPHS AND VIDEO BY COLIN J. CAMPBELL

Friday, February 26, 2010

TIREE 1OK 2010: ENTRY FORM NOW AVAILABLE

CLICK HERE to go the Will Wright's Tiree Fitness website for brief details of this year's run and a downloadable entry form. This year's race will follow a different route, details of which will appear on the site in due course. Have a browse through this great Tiree site while you're there.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

FROM AN TIRISDEACH.COM: HAPPY 90th CHRISSIE

Here's a really nice article from the latest edition of An Tirisdeach celebrating the 90th birthday of one of the nicest people you could wish to meet. CLICK HERE

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

BADLY ADDRESSED CHRISTMAS CARD - U.S. TAKE ON THE STORY

We all remember the story of Angela Sutherland's badly addressed Christmas card. Well, what do you know? The story has surfaced on the other side of the pond! Thanks to Janis Cuevas for sending this in.

Monday, February 22, 2010

CHANNEL 4'S 'THREE HUNGRY BOYS' ON TIREE

For more on this story CLICK HERE. Be sure also to click on the small thumbnail links below the written introduction.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

BACK FROM GLEN NEVIS #2

Jimmy Marshall centre with Dave MacLeods left and Andy Turner right


I was in Fort William to attend an event celebrating the climber Jimmy Marshall. Back in February 1960, Marshall, along with Robin Smith, made six first ascents on Ben Nevis in the space of one week. Their achievement electrified and transformed Scottish climbing.


Marshall - who, by coincidence, was sitting almost immediately behind me in the audience - was given a life time achievement award for his climbing and contribution to the sport.


To coincide with the anniversary two climbers retraced the steps of Marshall and Smith, filmed the climbs, and presented highlights on the night. You can read more about what they did HERE.


It was a thoroughly enjoyable night and a great event. If only the weather could have been a bit better and I had been able to go for a bit of a hike in the hills! Ach well, no matter.


The next day, Monday, I returned to Oban via a sight-seeing drive along the banks of Loch Leven and Glencoe. Well, to be honest, there weren't a lot of sights to see, just more mountains shrouded in mist. For what it's  worth, here are a couple of photographs.

 Loch Leven


The Ice Factor, Kinlochleven. Climbers hone their ice-climbing skills on the facility's ice-wall.


Scary mountains.


A dead boot on the road, massacred at Glencoe. Not just a Tiree phenomenon, then!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

BACK FROM GLEN NEVIS #1

Never mind about being 'back', I'm just glad I got there in the first place! The crew of the Lord of the Isles somehow got me and my car squeezed on the ferry on Saturday evening, among all the cattle trucks and trailers. I got to Oban sometime after 10 o'clock and immediately drove up to Fort William where I'd booked a bed at the Glen Nevis Youth Hostel.
The night porter was expecting me and I was registered without any delay. In the dormitory I'd been allocated there were another ten guys. All sleeping. That's Youth Hostelling for you: whatever age, people tend to be there for a specific reason. It could be climbing, hiking or sight seeing but they tend not to be the raucous boozy type.

It was a wee bit awkward getting into bed. The lights were out in the dorm so I had to get undressed and clamber into my top bunk in almost complete darkness. I was absolutely exhausted but it took ages for me to fall sleep.

The next morning, after I had breakfast, I went outside and had a little wander about the vicinity of the hostel. It was a very overcast morning and the tops of many mountains were obscured. Nevertheless, I felt very lad to be here, listening to gentle run of the river and the bird song as I had a bit of a wander.

I was sorry to have missed last night's lecture at the Nevis Centre and I really didn't have anything planned until Sunday night's film show and award presentation to Jimmy Marshall. I had a bit of a drive up the Glen but there wasn't really much to see in the gloaming so I headed in to the town and had a bit of a wander in the morning drizzle.

In the afternoon I paid a visit to the Lochaber Leisure Centre and made use of a treadmill to keep up some training while away from Tiree. I was really impressed with the facilities and recommend it to anyone visiting Fort William.

Next time I'll tell you about Sunday evening and the Jimmy Marshall event. In the meantime here are some more pictures from that cloudy Sunday.

 

  

  

 

Saturday, February 13, 2010

TIREE MAN KILLED IN ROAD ACCIDENT

From The Press and Journal. CLICK HERE

OH NO!

I didn't realise the ferry was coming in an hour earlier, due to the cattle sale. I've missed my sailing! I'm hoping to get on the boat tonight, the special sailing taking the beasts off the island. Keep your fingers crossed for me! Unfortunately, whatever happens, I will miss tonight's lecture in Fort William. What a bummer!

TIREE IN THE NEWS #3: AN TIRISDEACH REPRINTS STATEMENT BY FACTOR

Please CLICK HERE to read the original statement by Andrew Montgomery, Argyll Estates Factor, on the subject of illegal sand extraction on the island.

OFF TO THE FORT/TWO TRADITIONAL BLACK HOUSES FOR SALE

Today begins my three-day pass and so I am heading up to the Fort William Mountain Festival. I always enjoy a visit to Lochaber but the added attraction of taking in a couple of lectures and films should be make for a perfect if solitary weekend.

Here's a cell-phone photograph taken on Thursday night. It shows me trying out some of my winter gear in anticipation of heading to the Festival.

On a different theme altogether, The Press and Journal has a story about two traditional 'black houses' which are for sale on the island. CLICK HERE

Friday, February 12, 2010

VIDEO: The Smith Brothers Complete First Series

I cannot think how to properly introduce this video. I stumbled across it the other day while looking at a Trail West performance. It features Iain and Bernie Smith messing about with a video camera when they were very much younger. All I can tell you is I laughed and laughed the first time I watched this. Maybe it's a Tiree thing, maybe you need to know the boys. Whatever, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

TIREE IN THE NEWS: #2

Here's another article published today, this time from The Daily Express: Oi! Get Off My Sand!

TIREE IN THE NEWS

The Isle of Tiree appears in several national newspapers today, the subject being 'the unlawful removal of tonnes of sand' from island beaches. You can read two of the reports by following these links:


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

TIREE WELCOMES NEW CONSTABLE


Tiree’s resident population increased by two recently with the arrival of Stephen Tanner and his partner, Lorna MacArthur.

Stephen has been appointed Tiree’s resident police officer, a position which has been unfilled since the departure of Kevin at the end of last year. READ MORE

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

DEAD THINGS ON THE BEACH

DSC00030 

Dead Fish

DSC00029

Dead Seal

DSC00039

Dead Shoe

Monday, February 08, 2010



Machinery enthusiasts will get a chance to learn about Harry Ferguson and the history of the Fergie tractor in a new TV documentary.




The show, which will be broadcast tonight (8 February) on BBC ALBA at 9pm, is titled The Wee Grey Fergie.
An accomplished pilot, engineer and salesman,Harry Ferguson revolutionised farming in the early 20th century by inventing a hydraulic system still found in tractors today. He's now so revered in his native Northern Ireland that his face now graces their £20 notes.
The show explores Ferguson's achievements through farmers and enthusiasts of the TE20 model.
Dòmhnall Meek, from Tiree, recalls how his Dad got a Ferguson TE20 in 1946 and everyone wanted to be photographed with it. "It was very special. It was an iron horse, friendly and loyal."

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

VIDEO: ARTIST FRANCES WALKER



A fascinating film featuring Frances Walker talking about her time living and working on Tiree and her involvement with An Turas.

Monday, February 01, 2010

VIDEO: SKERRYVORE PERFORM ON STV'S 'THE HOUR'

Skerryvore (which includes Tiree's Gillespie brothers) recently performed one of their songs from their forthcoming third album on STV's The Hour. Watch the video HERE

MONDAY - AGAIN?

Gordon Scott's 'daily blog' isn't living up to it's name. The blame for this I lay squarely at the feet of all the news feeds I'd set up to pull in news about Tiree appearing on the internet. The Google service, in particular, seems to have gone a bit loco. So, once again, you have to put up with some personal ramblings.

My training continues to go well. Once again seven days have gone by without imbibing alcohol and I've noticed a little weight loss as a result. That's two weeks. Sadly, in the same time period, I've discovered the wonderful taste of Cadbury's Twister bars, the result of which is that I haven't made as much progress in the fat-shedding process as I should have.

I've had contact from a couple of mates who want to join me in going up a Munro or two in the summer. As seems to be the case with most of my friends these days, these friends happen to be younger than I am. With this in mind, then,  I will get a few of the 3000 summits under my belt before I allow myself to be humiliated by these young whipper-snappers.

Last night I was back at Yoga for the first time in weeks. Yoga, when practised by a master, looks so graceful and effortless. Sometimes, I must admit, I struggle - mostly, I feel, because of my 'cushioning'. Again, this is something I'm working on.

The meditation aspect of our Yoga class is particularly rewarding. It's amazing what inner peace can be achieved simply by focussing on the 'now' and breathing properly, from the abdomen. The heart slows, inducing a sense of calm and well-being. Sometimes even time itself seems to stand still. I always come out of this part of the session feeling a bit 'blissed out'.

I've been carrying on with my recording sessions. This week I am working on Hamish Henderson's song The Freedom Come All Ye. I'm still finding my way with the new recording gear and that's why it's taking me so long to produce anything.

And on the subject of recording in the Man-Shed, the recent wild weather has revealed many, many leaks and draughts. To be fair, it's a large garden shed. The person who built  it never foresaw a mad man being in it in the dead of night trying to record music. Still, I really want to get the leaks taken care of before any lasting damage is done. 

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Ben Cruachan


The weather has been relatively calm since last Thursday's Force 11 storm and this has meant getting out for miles and miles of walks with Hector and doing a bit of running (by way of 'getting back into it').

On the diet side of things, there's good news and bad news. The good news is that I've cut out all alcohol in the past week. That's right, not even a beer and I must say I feel all the fitter for it.

The bad news is that I've been eating a lot of old rubbish. I mean, I hardly ever eat chocolate but for some reason this past week I've been snacking on Crunchie's and Picnic's like there's no tomorrow. I'm sure that'll pass.

All this, of course, is in aid of my getting fit for tackling what I hope will be a hefty number of Munro's in 2010. My plan at the moment is to start off with one or two close to hand.

So I thought I'd aim at taking on the Cruachan horseshoe walk which starts at the Pass of Bander.

Today's video is an excerpt from Muriel Gray's excellent 'Munro Show' which went out sometime in the 1990s (I can't remember when exactly).

Here, Muriel takes a walk up Ben Cruachan. When I come to do tackle this mountain I'll be taking the route to the east of the reservoir rather than the route west taken by Muriel.

Friday, January 22, 2010

CORNCRAKE NUMBERS DIP FOR THE SECOND YEAR RUNNING

Scotland's rare Corncrake population has suffered a modest but significant decline for the second consecutive year. Although far from returning to its plight in the 1980s, when the species was at risk of national extinction, recent declines do raise some concerns about the future of this important bird found in farmland meadows and crofts.

READ MORE FROM THE RSPB

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Silence No More

As you've probably gathered from my relative silence over the past couple of weeks, there hasn't been much going on here on the Isle of Tiree, not since Christmas and the New Year. There always seems to be a lull in 'the news' at this time of the year. Or maybe that's just the way I perceive it.

There's something about the New Year that takes me a couple of weeks to get over. It's not just the over indulgence that accompanies the so-called festive season; there's also the getting used to it being a 'new year'. 2010. That's a space-age number for someone like me, born in the mid-1950s.

As for resolutions, I make them but I know better than to tackle them on the 1st of January. Again, I wait a couple of weeks, flush the old year out of my system, steal myself.

So what have I got lined up for 2010? Last year's trek to Everest Base Camp was a biggie. I haven't written or said much about it, I know. When I got back I felt like someone who had just come back from a war: I didn't want to talk about it. It took so much out of me, every last ounce of my physical and psychological resources, that I came back exhausted and quite worn out.

Later in 2009 I ran in the Mull Half Marathon  and the Coll 5k and thoroughly enjoyed the training and the results. On both occasions I scored a personal best.

Then came the winter and oh my, have I let myself go. I've piled on the weight and I've also become very lazy. So: time to hook up to a new challenge.

Recently I've undergone a sense of a renewal of my identity as a Scot. I don't know why but I've started to look about Caledonia with renewed enthusiasm and love for its landscape and its people. With this in mind I've been thinking that there's no better way to take this forward than to go Munro Bagging.

For those of you who don't know, a Munro is a Scottish mountain over 3000ft. I think I am right in saying there are 283 in the current listing. The most southerly is Ben Lomond and the most Northerly is Ben Hope in Sutherland. I think that over the next few years I will have a crack at climbing them all. Starting in, say, March.

First of all, though, I've got to get fit again. I've got to get back to my running, biking and lifting weights. So if you see a sad old man in his mid-50s panting his way along the roads of Tiree 'jogging' that'll be me.

On other fronts I've got to be more careful about what I put into my mouth. I have to stop eating rubbish and think carefully about what I drink. Even a little alcohol slows you down and takes a long, long time to flush out of your system.

So: onward and (literally) upward.