r2vyln3rdioj14u-rld0ska where mountains meet the sea

Song of the Sea

The Song of the Sea project was a Tiree Maritime Trust project supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund. A group of young people worked with Jack Lockhart to research Tiree’s maritime heritage at An Iodlhann, record interviews and document events throughout the year. The young people also worked with Jamie MacDonald to write a new piece of music for the film.
The film was an opportunity for the group to learn more about their own heritage, collect stories and learn new skills in the process. - Tiree Maritime Trust

Grace on this St Patrick's Day

In an emotional interview with Ryan Tubridy on The Late Late Show, Rod Stewart discusses why Irish ballad Grace means so much to him.*

As we gather in the chapel here in old Kilmainham Gaol
I think about these past few weeks, oh will they say we've failed?
From our school days they have told us we must yearn for liberty
Yet all I want in this dark place is to have you here with me

Oh, Grace, just hold me in your arms and let this moment linger
They'll take me out at dawn and I will die
With all my love I place this wedding ring upon your finger
There won't be time to share our love for we must say goodbye

Now I know it's hard for you, my love, to ever understand
The love I bear for these brave men, my love for this dear land
But when Pádraig called me to his side down in the GPO
I had to leave my own sick bed, to him I had to go

Oh, Grace, just hold me in your arms and let this moment linger
They'll take me out at dawn and I will die
With all my love I place this wedding ring upon your finger
There won't be time to share our love for we must say goodbye

Now as the dawn is breaking, my heart is breaking too
On this May morn as I walk out, my thoughts will be of you
And I'll write some words upon the wall so everyone will know
I love so much that I could see his blood upon the rose

Oh, Grace, just hold me in your arms and let this moment linger
They'll take me out at dawn and I will die
With all my love I place this wedding ring upon your finger
There won't be time to share our love for we must say goodbye
No there won't be time to share our love for we must say goodbye
composed and written by Frank and Sean O'Meara


Heroes of Longhope

'Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his fellow men'

At 9.35pm on March 17th 1969 the Principle Keeper at the Pentland Skerries Lighthouse reported seeing the Longhope Lifeboat, T.G.B.’s stern light heading east on a mission to aid those on board the Liberian ship Irene. This was the last contact with the RNLI’s Watson Class lifeboat from Longhope... - the RNLI, from Tragedy in the Pentland Firth: Marking the Longhope Lifeboat Disaster
In that one tragic night, the small township of Brims in Longhope, with only a population of 30 had lost a quarter of them, with seven women widowed and ten children left fatherless. Two of those women had lost both a husband and a son.
Coxswain Dan Kirkpatrick
Second Coxswain Jimmy Johnston (son of Mechanic)
Bowman Ray Kirkpatrick (son of Coxswain)
Mechanic Robert R Johnston
Assistant Mechanic Jimmy Swanson
Lifeboat man Jack Kirkpatrick (son of Coxswain)
Lifeboat man Robert Johnston (son of Mechanic)
Eric McFadyen
The music in the documentary above was a beautiful and poignant tribute composed by Ronnie Aim, Orcadian fiddler and past leader of the Orkney Strathspey and Reel Society. Here it is performed by the Wrigley Sisters

Save Glen Etive

Last summer I wrote a post about the threat to beautiful Glen Etive from seven hydro schemes. In that piece I described the glen as "surrounded by fine rugged mountains laced with deep narrow ravines and corries down which tumble fast flowing streams ........ . an area that should be left to become wilder with the pressures of overgrazing and commercial forestry removed not one sacrificed for a tiny smidgeon of energy." Chris Townsend, excerpted from Saving Glen Etive: Action Needed Now

...It is important to stress we are not opposed to renewable energy developments. Our members enjoy being in the mountains, and they are well aware of the impact of climate change.  We objected to three out of the seven proposed developments which we believe will have the biggest impact on the designated Wild Land Area. Our action in this issue demonstrates our support for helping to protect the integrity of the best mountainous landscapes in Scotland... - Stuart Younie, Mountaineering Scotland

Please take a moment to sign and share the 'Leave Glen Etive alone...' petition
Please contact our Highland Councillors here before March 20th
the Save Glen Etive campaign can be found on Facebook and Twitter

The drone footage was donated last week for the Save Glen Etive campaign. Essentially they would like to see the ones on the designated Wild Land area and National Scenic Area to be stopped, leaving the four schemes sitting within sitka forestry and clearfell to be built. In particular, Allt Mheuran and Allt Ceitlin (the next river to the north) form an absolutely wondrous traverse up Mheuran and that can pick up Ben Starav and Stob Gabhar and then down Ceitlin. If you live in the Highlands, please contact your councillors and put in an objection.

UPDATE March 20: Councillors to approve all Glen Etive hydro plans!


Frjòey - Wings over Fair Isle

"Frjóey" is the old norse name for Fair Isle, a remote island of northern Scotland between Orkney and Shetland islands. This little gem, far from mass tourism, is one of the most interesting places in Europe for the observation of pelagic and wader birds. I don't really know if this video does give justice to this little corner of paradise, for sure I don't think it will be of any use to help me to carry forever the memory of the days I passed there, cause these days was really truly unforgettable. I hope you like it ;)  - Nicola Di Sario

The loss this week to fire of the Fair Isle Bird Observatory (as featured in Shetland Series 2: Blue Lightning) is a major tragedy for the island and especially for the wardens and their family. The building was fully insured and all the Observatory's 70 years of records were digitised and preserved. But if you'd like to help the Parnaby family, who lost everything, there's a GoFund Me page here. [now closed] - Tom Morton's Beatcroft

Dioplòma anns na Meadhanan Gàidhlig

Sabhal Mòr Ostaig

Staffin Crofters’ Memorial

Commissioned artists, Henry Castle, sculptor, and Tom Smith from design collective, Lateral North, discuss their research and development of ideas for what a contemporary memorial to the crofters' uprising in Staffin could be. - Atlas Arts


This is the trailer for M6NTHS, an empathic film about an animal in captivity, longing for the outside. 

An animal who shares with us the ability to dream, who is intelligent, curious, social and sensitive, and in whom we can clearly recognize a soul.  An animal who can live up to ten years in the wild but only six months under our care.
It's easy to point at others; farmers /supermarkets/ politicians; but our desires as 'consumans' to get a lot for a little are responsible for this industry; would we make the same choices if we could look the piglet in the eye? - Eline Helena Schellekens, director

Girl (Daughter of Scotland)

A female empowerment anthem, celebrating Scottish women and promoting gender equality - Sharon Martin

A Gude Cause Maks A Strong Erm

'A Gude Cause Maks A Strong Erm' is a short animated film telling the story of the Orcadian Woman’s Suffrage Society.

Campaigning for women to have the right to vote took place from the latter half of the 19th Century up to the start of the First World War. Orcadian suffragists [including Dr Mary McNeill] were part of that activism.

Researched and scripted by Fiona Grahame, the hand-painted animation by Martin Laird is stylised to make some reference to the world of 20th century art. The artist Stanley Cursiter was associated with the Orcadian Woman's Suffrage Society, having designed its banner and married [the violinist] Phyllis Eda Hourston, one of its members. The design of characters and locations was derived from period photos.

Narration was provided by Kim Foden, with a moving musical score by James Watson.

The animation was made possible with an award from the Scottish Government’s Centenary Fund which supported projects celebrating 100 years of some women gaining the right to vote. -The Orkney News

Up Helly Aa season: Bressay

Meet Zoe and Leanna, who went to see and take part in the procession and burning at the Bressay Up Helly Aa 2019, here in Shetland. The Bressay Up Helly Aa is different from many of our other fire festivals (we have 12 in total) as torch bearers are allowed on a first come-first served basis, so the procession is open to anyone to take part in.

Up Helly Aa is an important time in our year, with 12 fire festivals held annually between January and March. They involve all of the communities here in Shetland and are a real testament to how everyone pulls together and volunteers, year on year, to make it happen. -
Promote Shetland

Portrait of a Place: Away With the Land

Filmmaker and photographer Joya Berrow journeys to the far reaches of Scotland for her latest film, to explore the practice of Crofting—a small-scale agricultural technique based around working communities who share and farm their land in common.
Guided by local crofter Donald John Macinnes, Berrow explores the extraordinary and rugged landscape that has been farmed by the crofters since the nineteenth century. The filmmaker’s story recognises the hardship and beauty that is integral to this existence , while also revealing its imminent disappearance as younger generations turn away from this way of life. - NOWNESS


This specially commissioned film brings together the worlds of synth pop and classical music to create an aural and visual feast for the first transmission on the new BBC Scotland channel.
A unique collaboration between Chvrches and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, the performance celebrates modern Scotland featuring living portraits of people and images from across the country.

The track builds both musically and visually to represent the constant evolution of Scotland’s society and cultural landscape. This new arrangement of Chvrches’ hit track Miracle was created by the band members Iain Cook, Martin Doherty and Lauren Mayberry with arranger and conductor Paul Campbell
. - BBC Scotland

Wish the new BBC channel well – and remember always to be for things, not against them

A Beacon - Scotland Confronts Climate Change

Even as some nations refuse to take responsibility for a changing climate, Scotland stands out as a beacon. The nation has put world-leading targets for reducing carbon emissions into law and with every success, continue to set the bar higher. We sat down with Drew Hendry, Member of Parliament [for Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch & Strathspey], and Keith Masson, Climate Change Officer [Highland Council], to better understand the Scottish perspective, what’s at stake, and how the country is taking action. - Life in Postcards

'We need to stand up': The Scottish kids taking part in historic global school strikes
Push for a strong Scottish Climate Change Act
Fight for Scotland's Nature
Adaptation Scotland

Earth Hour 30 March 2019 8.30 pm local time

the vulnerable capercaillie

The largest grouse species in the world, at home in our native pine forests, the UK’s capercaillie population has fallen from around 20,000 birds in the 1970s to just over 1,000 birds today. As the Cairngorms National Park is their last remaining stronghold the long-term future of this vulnerable species now rests very much in the hands of the people who live, work and play alongside it. -  The Cairngorms Capercaillie Project

The Bridge Over the Atlantic*

They took our birlinn, stem and stern-posts
High as a Venetian gondola’s, and up-turned it.
Every tide in the bladder-wracked sea-tongue its keel

Bridged, swam the eel-current
Races that tracked South and North
Into and out of the Atlantic. And they
Docked our tongues, every man’s that dared
Give out a taste of his father’s banter,
Effortless sound-shapes an islander’s born to.

One soul this end of the keel-bridge, one the other;
Veritable shape-shifters we were, minds gone
Evasive as mist with keeping speech-thoughts in curb,
Raking the past for the fuelling of anger.

Those that got out, the salmon-stubborn, ran
Hard-headed on a spring ebb out to sea;
Everything given up but nothing given over.

And from Mull and Seil, Caithness and Ireland,
Sweden and Italy
The disinherited massed in a marvellous Sargasso;
Language, labour, dance of the old worlds gathered
And ransacked the past for ways of living
New.  New? For our first night we took a skin canoe,
Tipped its fur-clad family into Scajaquada Creek, then
Inverted it. We wound their heathen souls in a keening
Caillach’s plaid of consonants and vowels .

Ian Crockatt

*The 18th century bridge over tidal Clachan Sound, 12 miles south west of Oban, links Seil island to the mainland. It has long been known as The Bridge Over the Atlantic. After Culloden, when the English outlawed the wearing of tartan and speaking in the Gaelic language, those living on Seil island did both at home, but, legend has it, changed out of their kilts into trews in the inn by the bridge before crossing over to the mainland.

 Scajaquada Creek is one of New York's many rivers. - Salix Publications