r2vyln3rdioj14u-rld0ska where mountains meet the sea: 2019

Last Respects

As autumn lights the Scottish Highlands, feuding brothers Richard and Danny Drummond road trip into the wilderness of 'Whiskey Country’ to carry out the last request of their late father. In order to receive their inheritance they must sprinkle the cherished contents of a prized bottle of single malt onto his final resting place before 10am on his next birthday. Distilled into twenty-four hours, this comically dark drama drives the estranged men into close quarters and towards an unexpected twist. - LastRespectsFilm

Into the West with Capercaillie


The Proposed National Islands Plan / Am Moladh Plana nan Eilean Nàiseanta

After much consultation and the passing of the Islands Act, Scotland’s draft Islands Plan has now been produced. Historic Moment as National Islands Plan is Launched
This is an active document and the Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee (RECC) of the Scottish Parliament wishes to hear the views of islanders on the Plan and its 13 strategic objectives... - The Orkney News
Islanders can send in their views here: Proposed National Islands Plan – Call for views_AB_GC

Torridon: Alligin. Dearg. Eighe. Liathach

Beinn Alligin
Beinn Dearg
Beinn Eighe

Edges of Sanity

It’s been said
On far shores, weary mariners hear voices
Songs so beautiful they cast a spell
There is no choice but to hear...
Dan Crockett

a film by Chris McClean

For the Opening of the Scottish Parliament, 9 October 2004

Open the doors! Light of the day, shine in; light of the mind, shine out!
We have a building which is more than a building.
There is a commerce between inner and outer, between brightness and shadow,
between the world and those who think about the world.
Is it not a mystery? The parts cohere, they come together like petals of a flower,
yet they also send their tongues outward to feel and taste the teeming earth.
Did you want classic columns and predictable pediments? A growl of old Gothic
grandeur? A blissfully boring box?
Not here, no thanks! No icon, no IKEA, no iceberg, but curves and caverns, nooks
and niches, huddles and heavens, syncopations and surprises. Leave symmetry to the cemetery.
But bring together slate and stainless steel, black granite and grey granite,
seasoned oak and sycamore, concrete blond and smooth as silk – the mix is
almost alive – it breathes and beckons – imperial marble it is not!

Come down the Mile, into the heart of the city, past the kirk of St Giles and the
closes and wynds of the noted ghosts of history who drank their claret and
fell down the steep tenements stairs into the arms of link-boys but who
wrote and talked the starry Enlightenment of their days –
And before them the auld makars who tickled a Scottish king’s ear with melody
and ribaldry and frank advice –
And when you are there, down there, in the midst of things, not set upon an hill
with your nose in the air,
This is where you know your parliament should be
And this is where it is, just here.

What do the people want of the place? They want it to be filled with thinking persons
as open and adventurous as its architecture.
A nest of fearties is what they do not want.
A symposium of procrastinators is what they do not want.
A phalanx of forelock-tuggers is what they do not want.
And perhaps above all the droopy mantra of ‘it wizny me’ is what they do not want.

Dear friends, dear lawgivers, dear parliamentarians, you are picking up a thread of
pride and self-esteem that has been almost but not quite, oh no not quite,
not ever broken or forgotten.
When you convene you will be reconvening, with a sense of not wholly the power,
not yet wholly the power, but a good sense of what was once in the honour
of your grasp.
All right. Forget, or don’t forget, the past. Trumpets and robes are fine, but in the
present and the future you will need something more.
What is it? We, the people, cannot tell you yet, but you will know about it when
we do tell you.
We give you our consent to govern, don’t pocket it and ride away.
We give you our deepest dearest wish to govern well, don’t say we have no
mandate to be so bold.
We give you this great building, don’t let your work and hope be other than great
when you enter and begin.
So now begin. Open the doors and begin.

Edwin Morgan

Scotland, My Jo

Jackie Kay is Scotland’s ‘Makar’ - a Scots word which means national poet. Jackie is the third in a line of makars which previously included Edwin Morgan and Liz Lochhead.
Born in Edinburgh and raised in Glasgow by adoptive parents, Jackie is one of the UK’s most acclaimed and popular literary stars.
Revered for her challenging but accessible poetry, all infused with her distinctly Scottish sense of humour; in this film Jackie turns her pen to her homeland.
Watch as Jackie tells us what being Scotland’s Makar means to her before reading her new poem Scotland, My Jo, a beautiful ode to the country of her birth that never fails to ‘take my breath away’.
Listening to Jackie’s evocative words as stunning scenes of dramatic scenery, rich culture and people unfold, it’s clear you don’t have to be Scottish to be left breathless by Scotland. - VisitScotland

training prepares you for the race, nothing prepares you for the scenery

The Baxters Loch Ness Marathon is one of the most stunning marathons in the world. With spectacular scenery, fantastic atmosphere and a truly memorable experience – no wonder runners come from around the world to take part.
Come and experience it yourself on 4 October 2020, early bird entry open now. - Loch Ness Marathon

The Future of Shetland's Textiles

Shetland's deep-rooted crofting, wool and knitting heritage is something you'll see signs of, wherever you are in Shetland. But it's not standing still, there's a vibrant creative scene involving our youngsters in Shetland PeerieMakkers, through the University of the Highlands and Islands and an inspirational creative community. - Promote Shetland

By the Sleepy Rage Machine...?

Eric Coates' gorgeous By the Sleepy Lagoon and Killing in the Name by Rage Against the Machine made perfect bedfellows in Lochmaddy during our 2019 tour of the Outer Hebrides. -  Nevis Ensemble

Black History Month

To celebrate Black History Month [Scotland], CommonSpace, in collaboration with MORE (Migrants Organising for Rights and Empowerment), will be speaking to people whose work is contributing to black empowerment, about what Black History Month means to them.

First up is Ashanti Harris, Artist and Co-Director of Project X - a dance company celebrating diversity in dance. Ashanti has also researched black figures in Scotland's history, and why it is important to remember them.

Slaves and Highlanders - Highland Scots in Guyana before Emanicipation

Climbing Blind

'Climbing Blind' is the incredible story of the first blind lead of the Old Man of Hoy.

At four years of age Jesse Dufton was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa: a rare genetic disease that breaks down the retinas’ cells. By the time Jesse was 30 his vision was reduced to just light perception with around 1 or 2 % field of view. As a life long climber, Jesse flies in the face of adversity training for world cup events and leading traditional rock climbs with his sight guide and fiancée Molly. Despite his devastating condition Jesse only takes on bigger challenges by attempting to be the first blind person to make a ‘non-sight’ lead of the iconic Old Man of Hoy sea stack in Scotland. - Brit Rock Film Tour

Real Coast: the issue of depopulation in South Uist

In rural Scotland depopulation is becoming a real problem with one report saying the number of people of working age will tumble by a third over the next 30 years.

Nowhere is the problem more apparent than in the Outer Hebrides, at its height a century ago the population was nearly 47,000. By the last census in 2011 that had dropped to less than 28,000.


Commissioned by the Scottish Film Talent Network, Slingshot tells the spirited tale of Highland woman Kath who wants to join her local village’s battle re-enactment but is thwarted by her annoying younger boss Gordon. - Robin Haig

An Sgarp / Scarp

Scarp is an uninhabited island in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland, west of Hushinish on Harris.

It was once an inhabited island but nobody has lived there permanently since 1971.

A few houses on the island are still in occasional use as private holiday homes.

But it’s still a home for sheep! - CalCo Macleod


The Scottish Festival Orchestra's performance (Sir James MacMillan conducting) of the track Dùn from The Lost Songs of St Kilda was arranged by Francis Macdonald and includes the poem, Dha Fionnlagh MacDhòmhnaill à Hiort  (To Finlay MacDonald from Hiort/St Kilda), written by the late Tormod a’ Bhocsair  (Norman Campbell) from Ness, Isle of Lewis,  read in English and sung in gaelic by North Uist singer Julie Fowlis.
To Finlay MacDonald from Hiort/St Kilda (Dha Fionnlagh MacDhomnaill a Hiort)
Finlay Macdonald* – before this summer night falls
that island is west of us still; and still the
beautiful solan goose returns to Stac-a-Li and
Stac-an-Armuinn; jagged is Borerary, dark
its shadows, rising out of an angry sea.
And Levinish is there as always; An Dun, the
bay, and your village – a change has come
over the street that was yours –
But still round Oiseabhal and Conochair the
great gusts are blowing, sweeping sometimes
down their slopes to shores and steep rocks
O where you and the heroes climbed, there is
silence tonight my friend; and the bird that
keeps the nightwatch can safely sleep now.

trans by Màiri Sìne Chaimbeul
* one of the last great gannet hunters on St Kilda. To slaughter the gannets, the hunters first had to target the watch bird. The community left the island in 1930, leaving the jagged cliffs to the gannets (solan geese). - Cape Farewell

Mairead nan cuiread

An arrangement of Mairead nan cuiread with members of the orchestra (Laetitia and Sagnick) coming forward to sing the solo lines of this Waulking Song from the Isle of Lewis during our 2019 tour of the Outer Hebrides... - Nevis Ensemble

Positive Change in Shetland

Join us to explore what's our enterprising locals are doing in Shetland to reduce our waste and recycling.

Meet Amy and Natasha, both taking positive steps to help us all reduce our consumption, promote recycling and work towards zero waste. - Shetland Pride of Place

 Zero Waste Shetland

Why Waste Shetland

Scoop Wholefoods

Let’s blether about doors...

This Thursday 26 September 2019, we're celebrating Scotland's Heritage Awareness Day!

Behind the doors of even the most unassuming tenements, humble shopfronts or well-loved public buildings there are amazing people and stories waiting to be discovered!

Be inspired by Barbara Dickson's reading of Threshold by Scotland's Makar [National Poet]  Jackie Kay.

Open the door, unlock fascinating stories from our past and share your favourites on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram with #HeritageAwarenessDay. - Historic Environment Scotland

Hidden Dimensions of Scottish Migration to Canada

Professor Marjory Harper (University of Aberdeen) at the Health, Illness and Ethnicity: Migration, Discrimination and Social Dislocation workshop UCD, June 2011.

Autumn's Coming

What a fantastic morning/afternoon hike up to Glencoe and Stob Dearg. It was a cold, wet, autumn morning but I managed to convince myself to get out of the car. Glencoe is often considered the gate way to the highlands of Scotland and what a gateway it is! Towering mountains make for breath-taking photos and make landscape photography and hiking a joy! - Michael Barr

Dalriada Gaelic

Àdhamh Ó Broin, linguistic activist and Gaelic consultant on Outlander, talks about his work to revive an Argyllshire dialect of Gaelic, and the need for a connection to cultural identity through language that will hold you in good stead in this globalised world.

Gáidhlig Dhail Riada

Speaking Our Language
Sabhal Mòr Ostaig

BBC Alba
BBC Radio nan Gàidheal

Join the Global Climate Strikes

We’re in the midst of a crisis. Our economic system, the relentless burning of fossil fuels and extraction of resources has pushed us to the brink of irreversible disaster. The scientific warnings could not be clearer and the evidence of these impacts is unfolding around the world, disproportionately affecting those that have contributed least to the crisis. As the government continues to fail to take action, wildfires, droughts, severe flooding, tropical storms and cyclones are devastating communities with increasing severity.
The pursuit of growth at all costs and continuous profit-seeking has had little regard for the majority of people or nature, nor the land, water or air we all rely upon. Those who have historically done least to cause the climate crisis, remain on the frontline of its impacts and continue to suffer first and worst.
Climate breakdown and the destruction of the natural world is the greatest challenge humanity has ever faced. Such a challenge requires a solution equally great to meet it head on. To emerge from the climate crisis requires bold thinking that moves beyond what has been previously thought possible and into what is necessary.
We’re at a critical point in human history. We require concerted, organised and mass action immediately. Collectively we must force our elected representatives and those in positions of power to act with the urgency and ambition to implement the solutions to the climate crisis and social and economic injustices. We must take to the streets to show the power and passion of our movement.
Our solutions must be grounded in climate justice. Our solutions must reshape our world and reorient our economies and societies along environmental and social principles.
We demand justice, equity, clean air, water, land and a future.  We demand a rapid elimination of emissions as soon as possible, in a way that’s fair for all. We want a Green New Deal. We want to see our views and voices heard in the halls of power, we want action now! - UK Student Climate Network Statement

Find your nearest climate strike

Scottish Youth Climate Strikers Special

Richard Murphy on a Green New Deal for Scotland and his video presentation here

Back a Climate Emergency Bill

Great Glen Canoe Trail

The trip shown here follows the Great Glen Canoe Trail along the Caledonian Canal from coast to coast starting in Fort William and finishing in the Highland capital, Inverness.

Basking Shark Migration

GPS tracking reveals basking shark migration  between Scotland's Sea of the Hebrides and the Canary Islands. - Scottish Wildlife Trust

Still We Dance On

How many feet have walked this road
Whose shadow stretched on the path before me
And how many more are still to come and make their own way
And still we dance on

The choices made affect us all
But only few will seek the answer
And fewer still will risk the fall to make their own way
And still we dance on

Falling, falling, still we dance on
Falling, falling, still we dance on
Falling, falling, still we dance on
Falling, falling, falling

Riches gained can build a wall
But riches stored in hearts are stronger
Stones of gold will some day fade to show our own way
And still we dance on

Falling, falling, still we dance on
Falling, falling, still we dance on
Falling, falling, still we dance on
Falling, falling, falling

And still we dance on

Emily Smith, from her album Traiveller's Joy
The footage was recorded in Ekaterinburg, Russia in October 2010

a short film about Emily Smith

Outer Hebrides: Scalpay

Islay-born Heather Dewar has travelled the world but, like most islanders, the only island she really knows is her own.
In the eight part BBC ALBA series ‘Eileanan Fraoich’, Heather leaves the comfort and familiarity of Islay to explore eight thriving and diverse island communities.

Audience of Souls

Audience of souls I'll sit here before you
And I'll sing to you a song
Sing to you a song
Absent of words, I'll learn from the birds
And I'll sing to you a song
Sing to you a song

Lend to me your ear for I know you have the time
And I'll tell you some news
Tell you some news
Been away too long your friends have moved on
So I'll tell you some news
Tell you some news

You can't shake my hand or look me in the eye
But you're glad that I came
Glad that I came
You can't see my face or my name place
But you're glad that I came
Glad that I came
So glad that I came
You're glad that I came

Warmth from the sun it colours my skin
Means nothing to you
Nothing to you
You're sheltered from pain, touched only by the rain
Means nothing to you
Nothing to you

Offerings we leave, what are they worth?
Do they mean much to you?
Mean much to you?
The comfort that it gives to the heart of a friend
Does it mean much to you?
Mean much to you?

From wisdom that you've gained, what advice would you give me?
And what would you change?
What would you change?
If you had your life again would you live it the same?
Tell me what would you change?
What would you change?

If you had your life again
Would you live it the same?
Tell me what would remain?
And what would you change?

Audience of souls I'll sit here before you
And I'll sing to you a song
Sing to you a song

Emily Smith, from Too Long Away

As An Eilean / From the Island

Scottish drama in which a gifted boy who is preparing to leave his island home to go to university on the mainland falls madly in love with a girl from the neighbouring village. Similarly, his teacher, involved in a photographic study of village life, becomes preoccupied with the young island nurse. Together the stories reflect the fragile balance of human relationships in an isolated rural community. - BBC Alba

filmed in Aultbea

Sounds like Scotland

You can touch and see Scotland’s past… now’s your chance to listen to it. The Scotland’s Sounds network proudly presents Sounds like Scotland, a short animated soundtrack featuring clips from 12 audio collections held across the country from Lewis to Aberdeen and from Inverness to the Borders. Please find the full list of clips on Scotland's Sounds

The archive recordings span from 1909 to 2017 and were made on a host of weird and wonderful formats – wax cylinders, wire, shellac discs, open reel tape, cassettes and digital media. Have a listen in to Scotland’s past through birdsong, music, spoken memories and more… - National Library of Scotland

Mastermind: an Interview with Denis Mann

North Lands Creative Founder Member Denis Mann has engraved the trophy awarded to the winner of the BBC Mastermind quiz show.

Watch as North Lands Creative Founding Director, Aline Gunn finds out more about Denis and his amazing, intricate designs.

Filmed and Edited by Angus Mackay

Hen Harriers - sculpture by Helen Denerley

A short film about art, inspiration and creativity, made for the National Museum of Scotland, following the development of a piece of work by the Scottish sculptor Helen Denerley, who uses recycled, scrap metal to create spectacular works of art inspired by the natural world.

Art North
'Positive Space' Kilmorack Gallery

‘The Great Music: An Introduction to Pibroch’

Film of talk by Dr Decker Forrest of Sabhal Mor Ostaig at the Museum of the Isles on 5 June 2019. Dr Forrest provides a fascinating introduction to pibroch and its history, explaining its musical structures and illustrating them with his own playing. - Armadale Castle Skye

The event was part of the Clan Donald Gaelic Arts Week supported by EventScotland's Scottish Clan Event Fund.


Build me a bridge over the stream
to my neighbour’s house
where he is standing in dungarees
in the fresh morning.

O ring of snowdrops
spread wherever you want
and you also blackbird
sing across the fences.

My neighbour, if the rain falls on you,
let it fall on me also
from the same black cloud
that does not recognise gates.

Iain Crichton Smith, from  A Country for Old Men

Wardlaw Mausoleum

Wardlaw Mausoleum is in Wardlaw Graveyard at the top of Wardlaw Road in Kirkhill, 8 miles west of Inverness. It was built in 1634 as the burial place for the Lovat Frasers on the end of the original parish church. The roof of the mausoleum was raised and a tower added in 1722 by the then Lord Lovat, the ‘Old Fox’ of the Jacobite Rebellion who was later buried in the crypt. It was used by the Lovats until the early 19th century. The building then fell into disrepair until the 1990’s when the Wardlaw Mausoleum Trust was formed to rescue it. This led to a restoration project with Historic Scotland and Lottery funding. The mausoleum is listed as Grade ‘A’ by Historic Scotland, the highest level of importance.  - Wardlaw Mausoleum Trust

Was Simon Fraser Buried in the Wardlaw Mausoleum?
Headless woman twist to Highlands mystery of The Old Fox
Woman found in Old Fox casket may have been from London
RSE @ Inverness: History & Forensics

Beauly Priory

Beauly Priory is one of three priories founded in Scotland in about 1230 for monks of the Valliscaulian order. The Valliscaulians came from Val-des-Choux (‘Valley of the Cabbages’) near Dijon in France, and adhered to strict ideals of poverty, chastity and obedience.
Beauly, meaning ‘beautiful place’, must have seemed to the monks a wonderful location in which to devote themselves to worship. Only the abbey church still stands today, housing some fine funerary monuments. - Historic Environment Scotland

Is Britain REALLY democratic?

"The fact that the Scottish Parliament is a temporary institution, is actually quite a fact that's not known by many people, it could be abolished by Westminster tomorrow. They can legislate on anything to do with Scottish Parliament at anytime." - Willie Rennie

Scotland voted to remain in the EU

Petition: Do not prorogue the UK Parliament  (over one million signers)

Dear Mr Trump, we can sell you England for $10. Lots of love, from Scotland, Ireland and Wales. - Mark McDougall

MacDonald - Lord of the Isles

BBC One Highland Clans: Episode 2 - MacDonald parts two and three
(2007) Series in which Paul Murton uncovers the history of Scotland's most famous clans. For almost 400 years the MacDonalds dominated the Highlands and Islands of Scotland but at the end of the 15th century this mighty clan was ripped apart by a bitter family feud. The struggle between father and son had disastrous consequences from which the MacDonalds never recovered.

The Black Cuillin

A fabulous day on The Cuillin Ridge in Skye. I got up early and headed up The Great Stone Chute to Sgurr Alasdair before heading across Collies Ledge to Sgurr Mhic Choinnich. The Black Cuillin on The Isle of Skye are hard to beat on day like this - a superb outing.... - Scotland's Mountains

Home on the Sea

'Three years ago Caledonian MacBrayne teamed up with Skipinnish, one of Scotland’s leading traditional music bands, to write a song that summed up the ferry company’s relationship with the communities of Scotland’s west coast...'  from Skipinnish and Caledonian MacBrayne riding an emotional wave

The Wild in Me: Jon Snow, journalist

Journalist and Channel 4 News presenter Jon Snow talks about his lifelong love for trees and how they can help in the fight against climate change.  - John Muir Trust


Royal Dornoch, not Coul

Golf was first played on the Dornoch links over 400 years ago and has been an integral part of the life and economy of the town ever since. A visit to the Golf Club, whether to play or just enjoy the food and stunning views, is a unique experience that combines high quality produce and service with a relaxed and friendly environment. - Royal Dornoch
Nearby lies Coul Links, one of the last undeveloped dune systems of its kind in Scotland. A place so important for wildlife that it's protected at national*, European and international levels. But this may not be enough to save it from development as yet another luxury golf course.
Last year 13,000 people campaigned for the Scottish Government to 'call-in' the planning decision because of the harm it will cause to nature. The Scottish Government have now scrutinised the planning application through a Public Inquiry and Scottish Ministers could make their final decision at any time. - the RSPB

the Sound of Canna

Multi-million pound corporation Mowi [formerly Marine Harvest] wants to build the largest fish farm in the UK off the coast of Canna, an island in the Hebrides.
The Sound of Canna is one of the most environmentally protected areas in the UK. If the fish farm is built, Scottish National Heritage says it will have significant impacts on the environment, polluting the sea, and threatening birds and marine animals like puffins, porpoises, and seals.
Scotland’s wild salmon populations are the lowest they’ve ever been, and building a new fish farm could put more wild salmon at risk of contracting deadly diseases from farmed salmon.
Please sign the petition now, and tell the Highland Council to protect the Sound of Canna, and reject Mowi’s proposal to build the UK’s biggest fish farm. - 38 Degrees
Please sign the petition now, and tell Marine Scotland to conduct immediate, unannounced on-the-spot inspections of all Scottish salmon farms to assess fish welfare - SumOfUs and Scottish Salmon Watch

Hüm (noun)

(For Bo)

Twilight, gloaming;
to walk blind
against the wind;

to be abject; lick snot
and rain from the top lip
like a sick calf.

To be blinded by rain
from the north.

To be blinded
by westerly rain.

To walk uphill
into a tarry peatcut
and bluster a deal
with the Trowes.

To cross the bull's field
in the dark.

To pass in the dark
a gate of hollow bars
inside which the wind is broaling.

To pass in the dark
a byre like a rotten walnut.

To not know the gate
till you run up against it.

Jen Hadfield, from Nigh-No-Place

broal: cry of a cow or other animal; to cry as in pain
hüm: twilight; gloaming
trow: a mischievous fairy

Campervan Hiking Base Camp

I was asked to do a vlog on my thoughts on my campervan experience from the last four vlogs [see below] , so here it is. A quick rundown of what I liked (aka loved;)) and the few issues I had with the camper van. NOT an in depth review just my inital thoughts and experience with this over a week in the T5 VW Camper..... - Scotland's Mountains

24 hours Later... Campervan Adventures Day 1
RESIPOLE - Campervan Adventures Day 2
Ancient Woodland and The Highest Peak - Campervan Adventures Day 3
A Bit of Hoo Ha - Campervan Adventure Day 4

An ascent of Bla Bheinn

A few years ago I climbed Blaven on Skye with Alastair MacPherson of the John Muir Trust. It was a day of great chat, great views and golden eagles. (part of a BBC programme called The Sky Trail)  - Cameron McNeish

The Inglorious 12th

League Against Cruel Sports

There is a wonderful opportunity for Scotland to have an ecologically, economically and culturally diverse rural community. Driven grouse shooting has died out entirely in Wales and is almost extinct in Northern Ireland, but its management has intensified in Scotland further reducing wildlife value, the environmental problems associated with muirburn and marginalising other, quite possibly better economic activities, such as true ecotourism and forestry to produce wood fuel for local people - absence of mains gas means high fuel costs for many in rural areas. The future should not be jeopardised by basing policy and attitudes upon complacency, wishful thinking and the claims of a vested industry, driven grouse shooting is not a cultural asset, but an unhealthy obsession when it suppresses both wildlife and rural economies. - from Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to sponsor a comprehensive and independent study into the full economic impacts of driven grouse shooting
Nowhere else in the Highlands have I seen such devastation and destruction. And all in the name of grouse shooting and deer stalking, all so that a few wealthy people can spend a few weeks a year killing birds and animals for fun without having to make any effort or suffer any discomfort. - from Chris Townsend Outdoors

'a sad, damaged landscape'

The Case for Reforming Scotland's Driven Grouse Moors

Stac Pollidah Sunrise

Took my son for a walk up Stac Pollidah for sunrise, an early start but well worth it.  - Steven Gourlay

And Sheep Will Eat Men

“A day will come where men will eat sheep and sheep will eat men.’’ These are some of his most profound words predicting the Highland Clearances, where thousands were cleared from their crofts in often barbaric ways to make way for the more profitable species of sheep.
'The Seer' is a musical work commissioned by Fèis Rois, performed for the first time at Celtic Connections in Jan 2017.  
The music depicts the life and prophecies of Coinneach Odhar, the Brahan Seer, a 17th Century prophet who spent much of his life in Easter Ross.
The Seer was recorded in The Stables, Cromarty in April 2017.
Lauren MacColl - fiddle
Mairearad Green - accordion, border pipes
Megan Henderson - fiddle, piano, backing vocals
James Mackintosh – drum kit, percussion
Anna Massie - guitar, mandolin
Rachel Newton - vocals, harp, viola

Women of the World

Karine Polwart

Women of the World take over
Because if you don´t the world will come to an end
And we haven´t got long

Ivor Cutler, as originally written here

Don't Want To Know

Karine Polwart

And I don’t want to know about evil
Only want to know about love
I don’t want to know about evil
Only want to know about love.

Sometimes it gets so hard to listen
Hard for me to use my eyes
And all around the cold is glistening
Making sure it keeps me down to size.

And I don’t want to know about evil
Only want to know about love
I don’t want to know one thing about evil
Only want to know about love.

I’m waiting for the planes to tumble
Waiting for the towns to fall
I’m waiting for the cities to crumble
Waiting till I see you crawl.

Yes it’s getting hard to listen
Hard for us to use our eyes
Cause all around that gold is glistening
Making sure it keeps us hypnotized.

And I don’t want to know about evil
I only want to know about love
I don’t want to know about evil
Only want to know about love.

I don’t want to know anything about evil
Only want to know about love
I don’t want to know about evil
Only want to know about love.

John Martyn

A message from Dunblane to Florida school shooting survivors

Families of the 16 children and teacher killed in the Dunblane massacre  on 13 March 1996 sent a message to survivors of the 14 Feb 2018 Parkland school shooting in Florida, who were planning a protest to push for US gun law reform. The Dunblane shooting led the UK to bring in some of the strictest firearms legislation in the world, outlawing private ownership of most handguns. Almost overnight, 200,000 gun owners had their weapons banned, a law which was enforced with heavy fines and up to 10 years in prison.

what are you waiting for?
it doesn't have to be this way

Achmelvich Beach

and the piece it inspired Achmelvich Shores

St Magnus Cathedral

St Magnus Cathedral in Kirkwall is one of Orkney's most popular attractions, and a tour of the upper levels of the building is a must for any visitor to the islands. Read our blog for more on this fascinating building.