r2vyln3rdioj14u-rld0ska where mountains meet the sea: March 2019

from ‘a better tale to tell’


we must have
our own powers

there are no advantages
for us here


however tiny
my contribution
I feel more

of my place

in this democratic society
than ever before


nobody in power
wants to give it up

politicians must become
better messengers

with a better tale
to tell


who voted Yes
did so

not through
some fantastical

Scottish nirvana
of Brigadoon

tartan and

nor through
any anti-English


No must mean No


I wonder
what happens
to those
with no-one

to help them?

are to do with
the moral life

in companionship
with other people

they are not derived
from a nationalist
or unionist


change is risk

we could
get it

we have
to fear

we are better
than to be seduced

by heroic problem

Alec Finlay

Nature is not just...

Nature provides the essentials for everyday life. Let's create a #NewDealForNature and start speaking up for nature today. -  Earth Hour

Earth Hour 2019
30 March | 8.30PM Local Time
Switch off your lights and speak up about why nature matters.

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

UPDATE March 21:This petition will keep going all the way to the Scottish Parliament. Down today but NOT out.
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.

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