Friday, 9 December 2016

Homes at Horgabost

Here are three of the six houses built at Horgabost, South Harris; here is one of the views from them; and here is an account of how the first to be occupied becomes a home.

Scottish Islands Explorer - a magazine that can be displayed in any home
Digital Edition: how traditional publications have a modern presentation

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Waterfalls and Stills

 Water flows and falls on the Isle of Raasay and will soon be part of the process of making whisky there. The news of the stills arriving for the new distillery on the island is featured in the West Highland Free Press.

R&B - Handcrafted Whiskies of Uncommon Provenance - will be producing and welcoming visitors to their distillery and centre at Borodale House, an impressive residence which was designed by Alexander Ross in 1877 as a factor's house and which became the Isle of Raasay Hotel until its closure around ten years ago.

Scottish Islands Explorer - keeps on producing vintage material
Digital Edition: brings new life into an older product

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Declining Populations

Birds may be hovering over the St Kilda archipelago in this image, but their populations are declining and the one kittiwake chick that hatched this year has died. Read how this phenomenon is occurring - on the BBC website. It mirrors the figures for human inhabitants on Hirta, the main island in the group, in the first third of the 20th Century. For a vivid film produced by the National Trust for Scotland go to Facing the Change. See how you can help by clicking on here.

Scottish Islands Explorer - sales are steady
Digital Edition: figures are beginning to fly

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Air An Lot

There are opportunities to watch two television programmes from the BBC where the topic of Air An Lot / On the Croft is screened. There is a new series of episodes on BBC Alba in which the work of Donald MacSween at his croft at Ness, Isle of Lewis, is again featured. That begins on Monday 12 December. Then the BBC Scotland two-part documentary on Fair Isle concluded last night, including the effect that living and working on Barkland Croft has on newcomers, Shaun and Rachel. So that's where iPlayer comes in.

Scottish Islands Explorer - lives and works the life ... from a distance
Digital Edition: available even in remote crofts

Monday, 5 December 2016

Mission Remission

Looking for a gift and a discount? Then go to the website of The Mission House Studio, Finsbay, South Harris, and take a look at the photography of Beka Globe (above). Until Saturday 10 December there is a 50% discount on orders of £100 or over on her work. The key to this is MHXMAS16 entered at the checkout. Go on, at least look at her range of images. You have nothing to lose.

Scottish Islands Explorer - relishes and reproduces images of this quality
Digital Edition: always an acceptable gift at £9.99 for a year-long present

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Out of My Own Light

Louise Bichan is an Orcadian musician and photographer who has an interesting story to tell and a debut album to be played. An inspiration to her is the travelling to Canada undertaken in 1950 by her grandmother, the late Margaret Tait, when she was 25 years-old. Look at the fascinating compilation by Louise, Out of My Own Light, and download her album here. The time-frames and locations of the blog-items for yesterday and today are comparable.

Scottish Islands Explorer - musical accompaniment may well occur again ...
Digital Edition: ... through this version of the magazine

Saturday, 3 December 2016

Venus Peter

This poster, in French from 1990, advertises a British film, Venus Peter, that was directed by Ian Sellar a year earlier and which re-creates a world of childlike myth and fantasy set in Orkney in the 1950s. A Blu-ray version of the original will be released tomorrow by Panamint Cinema at £14.99.

Scottish Islands Explorer - realises the potential of an island-based childhood
Digital Edition: able to bring past editions to life

Friday, 2 December 2016

Islands - Vacated / For Sale

If you fancy making your way to the Holm of Grimbister, Orkney, your starting-point is here in yesterday's entry from Hidden Europe and, above, at the commencement of the causeway. The island (below) has been home to three people and is now up for sale. Click on to the notes of Editors, Nicky Gardner and Susanne Kries, with their interesting detail about the Holm and other potential off-shore homes.

Scottish Islands Explorer - some explorers do settle down here
Digital Edition: however, they usually want to be on the internet

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Peat Means Heat

The centre of the crofthouse is often the hearth and the pile of peat outside is a sign of security, its height a marker of the passage of winter. A programme on this topic was on BBC Alba and screened three days ago.  Trusadh is available on iPlayer for the next 25 days. So be ready to watch it before Christmas Day! The photograph below is by Angus Mackintosh and clearly shows the herringbone pattern of a stack created at Ness, Isle of Lewis.

Scottish Islands Explorer - created naturally and radiates information
Digital Edition: material from the ancient past is broadcast by modern methods

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Open ... for Booking

Take a look below at the waters in front of Lews Castle, Stornoway, and reflect on the ways in which this grand and historic building has been recently-renovated to provide luxurious accommodation and first-rate facilities. The delight is in the details which are to be found through Natural Retreats. Here is a natural choice for a stay from Easter 2017 onwards and bookings can be made now.

Scottish Islands Explorer - what a base for exploring the Isle of Lewis
Digital Edition: another area where the 'now' word is applicable