r2vyln3rdioj14u-rld0ska where mountains meet the sea: April 2019

Go Wild

An inspiring short film on why we should all go wild.

A follow up to iWalk
Both made for BMC TV by the late, talented Ben Winston

A Home for Nessie

Loch Ness, Scotland:
In the wake of Brexit, the Loch Ness Monster might be forced to move.

Worried about her uncertain origins, a group of artists have filed an application for permanent residency on Nessie’s behalf.  - The Doing Group
A Home for Nessie

Voices for Scotland

"Voices for Scotland is a new non-party, civic organisation campaigning for Scottish independence.
Its aim is to facilitate big, open conversations about Scotland’s future through discussions with people who haven’t made up their minds about independence or who support the union but have had their faith undermined by recent events.
Voices for Scotland will give people from all walks of life the opportunity to tell their stories and have their voices heard about the country they want to live in."

The Artist Painting The Climate Change Storm She Sees On The Horizon

27-year-old artist Ellis O’Connor is not interested in idyllic. Her unique lifestyle as a young crofter revolves entirely around the volatility of the elements. Netflix and chill isn’t an option. With sheep to gather and crops to tend - she has to face the storm no matter what.

This incredible, raw and (for her) everyday force is what she strives to paint. As a younger artist, she travelled to Svalbard and got a front row seat to the devastating effects of climate change. This was the wake up call she needed.

This reinforced the very reason she wanted to make work. Ellis wanted to show the world what was coming, but just as importantly: “remind the world what it already had”.  BBC Scotland / Loop

North Uist

What do you want from life? Less stress? More time to think? More time to look after your patients? A chance to connect with a small tight knit community? A chance to live closer to nature…. and further away from the traffic jams and frenetic lifestyles of modern existence? - Doc Wheeler

Earth Day 2019: Protect Our Species

The Tigers of Scotland is a feature length (63 minutes) documentary by Wild Films Ltd and narrated by Iain Glen. It focuses on the fragile existence of Scottish Wildcats, their status and what conservation efforts are being undertaken to ensure their survival. Bringing knowledge of their existence and awareness of their status to a wider audience is crucial to preventing their extinction. - Wild Films

Did you know there's coral in Scottish waters? Discover how a barren seabed transformed into a vibrant seascape.  -  #OurBluePlanet

Red squirrels were once common throughout the UK. Tragically, they are now one of our rarest mammals and are missing from most of the areas where they once lived.

There are many forests in the north-west Highlands that could support red squirrels, but as they can't cross open ground, they can't get there without our help.

Our Red Squirrel Project will move small numbers of red squirrels from areas where they are thriving, and create ten new populations, free from grey squirrels and other threats. - Trees for Life

Extraordinary footage from an investigation carried out by OneKind, League Against Cruel Sports and Lush has revealed the brutal, military style mass killing of Scotland’s mountain hares on grouse moors. Campaigners supported by Chris Packham are calling on the Scottish Government to take immediate action and end the killing. - Chris Packham

Hen Harrier Day aims to address a wide range of issues related to the conservation of hen harriers and discuss ways we can reverse their fortunes in the Scottish Highlands and the general UK upland landscape, as well as celebrate these beautiful birds.

Free events are run all over the UK to raise awareness about this issue with stalls from RSPB, Police Scotland, SSPCA, OneKind, SOC and others.

Speakers at Hen Harrier Day Highlands 2017:
Dr Mark Avery - Author, blogger and conservationist.
Allan Bantick - former chair of Scottish Wildlife Trust
Ian Thomson - Head of Investigations at RSPB Scotland.
Peter Argyle - Cairngorm National Park Authority Convener
Harry Huyton - Director of OneKind.
Ruth Tingay - Raptor Persecution UK
and Henry the Hen Harrier!

EARTH DAY 2019: Protect Our Species
EARTH DAY 1970 - 2019: No Time To Waste

As dangerous as climate change | Life Support | 01

She Loves Me (When I Try)

Mairearad & Anna
music and lyrics by Dougie MacLean

in memory of my 'Quiet Man' (1946-2015) 


From the Academy Award® winning team behind THE WHITE HELMETS (2016) and VIRUNGA (2014), EVELYN documents the story of a family overcoming the unthinkable. On a walking odyssey across the United Kingdom, they confront a past they’ve been unable to talk about, whilst simultaneously repairing the fractures in their own relationships.

Director Orlando von Einsiedel turns the cameras on himself, as he and his parents and siblings  embark on a journey in remembrance of their brother and son, Evelyn, who took his own life over a decade ago.

Along the way, they are faced with the realities of a walking mission - camping, exhaustion, the wet and cold. Yet despite these, and the challenges that come with remembering what happened to Evelyn, there are moments of happiness and humour as they recall the good memories that they buried alongside the painful ones.

Part quest film, part road-trip, part memoir, EVELYN seeks to address the past, in order to find some peace in the present, and look to the future.  - Evelyn Movie

Daffodil Tea at Foulis Castle

The Journey So Far

Colin Prior is known worldwide for his panoramic images of the majestic mountains of Scotland. Joe Cornish will talk to Colin about the experiences making these images and about the other projects that have captivated him since. - On Landscape

Brekken Beach, Nort Yell

A mile aff we catch a glisk
o Brekken beach: webbed
atween headlands, a glansin arc
o ancient shalls
sun sillered.

Waves aff Arctic floes
bank in; dey shade fae cobalt
tae a glacial green; swall
an brack, rim on rim
o lipperin froad.

We rin owre dunes
crumplin smora,
fling aff wir shön
birze sand trowe taes
dell an bigg it;
shaste da doon draa
o da waves, loup
der hidmost gasps.

Abune wis, solan plane an plummet
an on da cliff, a tystie
triggit up in black and white
gawps at wir foally.

Da sun draps doon ahint his keep
an we man leave
an Eden aert
ta him.

Christine De Luca, from Voes and Sounds

Global Ocean Treaty

To the UK government:
"From climate change to overfishing - our oceans are facing vast and multiple threats. We call on you to do everything in your power deliver a strong Global Ocean Treaty and help create a network of ocean sanctuaries across our blue planet."  - Greenpeace

Please add your name here to support ocean sanctuaries

To the United Nations:
"We, the people of the world, ask you to create a global and legally binding UN agreement as a priority. This agreement must, by 2030, stop the leakage of plastics into our oceans. The agreement should: (1) set strict goals for pollution reduction in each UN member state and (2) instruct each state to create national action plans to meet these goals."   -  WWF

 Please add your name here to support the fight against plastic pollution   

Brigh a' Chiuil / Return to the Voice

Internationally acclaimed, multi award-winning Song of the Goat Theatre (Fringe First winners in 2012 & 2004) have been commissioned by Summerhall to create a new performance drawing on Scotland’s ancient musical traditions. Return to the Voice has been inspired by laments for death and love, working songs, story-telling songs, psalms, wedding songs, and songs of exile. It will be a passionate exploration of the spiritual and human importance of memory and music, staged in the stunning surroundings of St Giles Cathedral. - Culture.pl
The show was performed in the 2016 Edinburgh Festival to great acclaim.

To the Horizon, Sir

Go my lover and don't come back
Leave your life you don't need that
It might be fire or hell to find
But in my sleep there's a different light

They sniggered and laughed when I told them so
There's a place where we don't grow old
In your bones there's a nagging sound
It cripples and burns if you don't let it out

Make haste now
Don't waste time
Please take this land of ours

To the horizon
Set sail now
Drift over and don’t come home

Iain Morrison

'a quartet of conspicuous talent'

Corran Raa

Forgotten Women Writers: Jane Austen's Scottish Sisters

Elizabeth Hamilton, Mary Brunton, Susan Ferrier and Catherine Sinclair were all well-known authors in their day but are now largely forgotten. NLS Rare Books Curator, Helen Vincent introduces these fascinating women writers and tells us why they're worth re-discovering. - National Library of Scotland

Why Are We Still Reading Jane Austen (But Not Mary Brunton)?

Eriskay - The Most Unique Football Pitch in The World?

"I do this because I love the club and the island"
Welcome to Eriskay - home to a lovely football team and a remarkable pitch - A View From The Terrace, on  BBC Scotland.

Voe & Mavis Grind

The village of Voe lies 30km north of Lerwick and nestles at the head of Olnafirth, almost 10km from the open sea. Its traditional buildings and location give it a very Scandinavian look. The old Voe pier was a busy herring station back in the 1800s, and the village now boasts a new pier and small marina, as well as one of Shetland's network of traditional camping böds. Set back from the road and surrounded by trees is Voe House, a category B listed building built in the 1700s for the estate tenants. On the north east side of Olnafirth sits the Voe Kirk, unusual in that it's panted pure white. It was built to replace Olnafirth Kirk which dates from the early 18th century and its ruins can still be seen close by. Many newer houses have been built on this side of the firth, providing easy access to Brae to the north, the Sullom Voe Terminal to the north east, and Lerwick to the south.
From here we head to Mavis Grind, the narrowest part of Mainland Shetland (only 75m) and the gateway to Northmavine. On the west side of the road is the Atlantic, and to the east the head of Sullom Voe which will lead you to the North Sea. Boats were once hauled across Mavis Grind to save having to sail or row around the north coast of the Mainland, and it's said to be the only place in Britain where you can throw a stone from the Atlantic into the North Sea! Sullom Voe is the longest in Shetland at over 11km from Mavis Grind to Yell Sound. Although famous for its oil terminal, initially built in the 1970s and now the largest in Europe, Sullom Voe was a major flying boat station during the Second World War. - Rory Gillies

Scotland: The Big Picture

“We reached the wolf in time to watch a fierce green fire dying in her eyes. I realized then, and have known ever since, that there was something new to me in those eyes. I was young then, and full of trigger-itch; I thought that because fewer wolves meant more deer, that no wolves would mean hunters' paradise. But after seeing the green fire die, I sensed that neither the wolf nor the mountain agreed with such a view.” Aldo Leopold (1949)
What does it mean to "Think Like a Mountain"?

When Aldo Leopold, the American hunter turned conservationist, shot his last wolf, his relationship with wild nature changed. Leopold came to understand the role of apex predators in an intricate web of life that connects all living creatures. He called his new philosophy Thinking Like a Mountain.
To think like a mountain means having an understanding and appreciation for the interconnectedness of life. Shoot a wolf and you remove not only an individual animal, but its impact on the wider ecosystem, from mountain summit to ocean floor.
Our #ThinkLikeAMountain community unites a diverse group of people who see the potential in a wilder Scotland, where nature in all its complexity is reawakened, where natural processes drive vibrant living systems and where sustainable nature-based business supports thriving communities. In coming together our voice is amplified and the case for land, rivers and oceans teeming with life, becomes stronger.
Think Like A Mountain, See the Big Picture. - Scotland the Big Picture


Bhithinn nam dhotair, bheirinn leigheas ’son do phian,
bhithinn nam thidsear, chuirinn faclan air do mhiann,
bhithinn nam bhràthair athair piuthar màthair nighean mac eudail
ann an saoghal far ’n robh mo bheatha prìseil’s feumail.

Nam dhùthaich bha mi beannaicht’, gam bhiathadh le gràdh
ach san dùthaich sa tha agam ri bhith cadal air an t-sràid:
sa Bhroomielaw, sa Bhowery, fo Dhrochaid Hungerford,
mo làmhan dathte le rotach’s m’aodach cho rag ri bòrd.

Chan eil mi ’g iarraidh bhith an seo ach chan eil roghainn agam,
thillinn ach chan eil dachaigh agam air fhàgail.
Am faca tusa riamh dròn, cogadh catharra,
beairteas fàgail do dhùthcha anns a’ mhargaid dhiabhalta?

Bidh am First World cliobhar creachadh stòras às gach tìr
gus nach eil sion air fhàgail unnt’ ach gainnead agus dìth.
Bha dùil agam gun robh mi deis ’son gach cnap-starra ‘s strì.
Cha robh, ach ge b’oil ler taigh na galla, bidh mi aon là a-rithist.

Ach chan e seo na chì thu ’s tu air do shligh’
ach cupan cofaidh Subway, làmh neo-airidh dhut sìnt’.
Chan eil m’ Issue mòr gu leòr dhut; ’s mi nam shuidhe ro theann
chan eil truas unnad, ’s skiver, scrounger, shirker, economic
migrant nad cheann.

Tha mi tuigsinn g’ eil thu ‘g obair gach mionaid dhen an là
gus Louboutin chur air do chasan ‘s iPhone nad Iàimh,
no fiù ’s do chlann a chur gu spoil, do phàrantan a chumail beò,
le prìs gach rud ag èirigh ˋs caitheamh na th’ unnad de dheò.

Ach chan e carthannas no sochairean air a bheil mi an dìth –
chan eil mi ˋg iarraidh dad bhuat ach cothrom dhomh fhìn.
Nam dhùthaich bha mo theachdraidh nam làmh fhìn,
’s ge b’ oil le ur taigh na galla bithidh aon là a-rithist.

Nad àite, cha bhithinn-sa cho coma-co-dhiù,
oir co-dhiù tha mise tuigsinn mar a chaochlas gach cùis.
Mì-fhortan bh’ ann a dh’fhàg mi ‘n seo mar sgudal air an t’sràid,
‘S tuigidh mi gum fàgadh fortan thus’ an seo nam àit’.

Chan fheum e bhith mar seo, faodaidh sinn uile fàs nas beartaich’,
tha sinn ceangailt’ ach chan eil sin ri ràdh gu bheil mi ‘g iarraidh
do bheartas-s’,
ach an cothrom a bhith beò, gus cothrom a chruthachadh
dhomh fhin ’s dham charaidean’s aon là,ˋs dòcha, dham

Cha tàinig mise beò tro bhochdainn, fhòirneart ’s murt
‘son bhith lobhadh anns a’ ghuitear taobh a-muigh ur cùirt;
chan e stataistig a th’unnam a thèid aithris air Tbh.
Cha d’ rugadh mi air do shràidean; cha bhi mi beò orr’ a-rithist.

Pàdraig MacAoidh, from Struileag / Shore to Shore, ed. Kevin MacNeil


I could be a doctor, give you pills for your pain,
I could be a teacher, put words to your desires,
I could be a father, brother, sister, mother, daughter, son, lover
in a world where my life was thought useful and worthwhile.

In my country I was blessed, surrounded by love,
but in this country I’m left to rot on the streets,
on the Broomielaw, in the Bowery, under Hungerford Bridge,
my hand stained with streetgrit and my clothes stiff with grime.

I don’t want to be here, but what choice do I have?
I’d go home, but there is no home waiting for me.
Have you ever seen drones and civil wars,
wealth leaking away from your country in the bloody market?

The First World strips resources, efficiently, from each land
until there’s nothing left in them but need and want.
I thought I was ready for every obstacle and campaign;
I wasn’t, but despite all your fuck offs, I will be again.

But that’s not what you see, when you’re walking the streets,
but a Subway coffee cup, and the undeserving poor.
My Issue’s not big enough, I sit a bit too near you,
and you have no pity for us skivers, scroungers, shirkers, economic

I understand that you work for every minute of the day,
to keep Loubotin on your feet and an iPhone in your hand,
or just to send your kids to school or keep your parents alive,
with the price of everything rising and consuming your life.

But it’s not charity or benefits that I need –
all I want from you is my own opportunities.
In my country my future was in in my own hands,
and despite all your fuck offs it will be again.

In your shoes I wouldn’t be quite so complacent
because at least I understand how tables can turn.
It was misfortune that left me flytipped on the street,
and I know that fortune could take you instead of me.

It doesn’t have to be like this, we can all get richer,
we’re connected but that doesn’t mean I want your riches,
just the chance to be alive, to create my own chances
for myself, for my friends, and maybe one day for a family.

I didn’t come alive through poverty, violence and murder
to be here outside your court rotting in the gutter.
I am not a statistic to be reported on TV;
I wasn’t born on the streets; I won’t be alive on them again.

Peter Mackay, from Struileag / Shore to Shore, ed. Kevin MacNeil


The speaking stones

These stones speak a level language,
murmured word by word,
a speech pocked and porous with loss,
redressed by the slow hungers of weathering.
And there, in the broken choir, children
are all raised voice, loving the play of outline
and absence where the dissembled god
has shared his shape and homed us.
At the end of the nave, the east front stands
Both altered and unchanged,
its arch guttural and uvular.
and what comes across, half-said
into all that space, is that it’s enough
to love the air we move through.

Rachel Boast, from Stolen Weather

The Locavore Chef

“When I first saw the ad for a job in Shetland, my first thought was: Where the hell’s that?” For chef Akshay Borges, the answer was: somewhere very, very different to home. Akshay was brought up in Mumbai, the Indian megacity which is in the top five most densely populated cities on Earth, with more than 70,000 people per square mile. Shetland averages 40 people per square mile, even if most square miles are home to far fewer than that. Sheep outnumber humans by roughly four to one.

Almost nine years later, it’s fair to say that Akshay has settled into Shetland life. When we meet, he’s channeling his original Google search by wearing a brown Fair Isle jumper. At the fishmongers in Scalloway, and walking down Lerwick’s Commercial Street, he seems to know everyone. As he puts it: “I don’t have any family here, so it feels like everyone’s my family.”

More than simply settling in, Akshay has become an unlikely champion of Shetland local produce, especially its seafood, becoming part of a new wave of Shetlanders who are re-evaluating the islands’ natural offerings. In the summer of 2018, he’s set to open The String, a two-storey Lerwick restaurant and live music venue, which celebrates the Shetland tradition of raucous live jams as well as its position as arguably the fishing capital of the UK. - Promote Shetland


Dark, the days when the ships came slowly in,
Carrying the baggage from the old past,
Old love letters, promises long since past.

Icy cold it was that winter morning,
Thick fog blurred the ship mast
The ship humped in like a hurt already cast.

You had to go and pick it up. You pushed in,
Signed the slip for your wicker chest,
And trudged the roads and miles back west,

Carrying your past on your back, late morning,
Like an animal carries what it needs to its den.
The old loch at your side, lapping: Ye ken

This – it is not as heavy it might be.
You step to your small house in the new light.

Jackie Kay, from Life Mask