Thursday, 30 April 2009

The very last one

As Bronwen said a month ago, we've now been here a year and are far too busy to keep this blog going, so I am signing off as well. I don't know how people have the time to twitter etc. The polytunnel project is "95% complete" - with only the plastic sheeting to go on - as this requires a calm day, it could be some time before we can start growing anything in it.

Once that is done we hope to spend more time exploring the island and enjoying ourselves. The brithday party went really well (and luckily some people called off at the last minute or we'd have been a bit full) and I received a new set of golf clubs with which I am really playing well, though not well enough to win anything!

If you are interested in more on Islay and have access to BBC Alba (Sky or Freesat), there is a great little series which started last week - it runs on Thursdays at 8.30, repeated Sunday evenings and can also be found on the BBC iplayer at

Thanks for reading this - please look us up if you are ever on Islay. Scott

Sunday, 22 March 2009

The arrival of spring - my last post

As Scott noted six weeks ago, our enthusiasm for this blog is dwindling, and with the first anniversary of our arrival fast approaching it feels like a good time to stop, so this will be my last post. The main issue is that life has simply taken over, and neither of us seem to have time these days for things like blogs!

This week has really felt like spring (though I think another blast of winter is forecast for the coming week). The first lambs have arrived: Shetland triplets - the early consequences of a lusty tup getting where he wasn't supposed to be! But there shouldn't be any more for two or three weeks yet. Meanwhile, Scott has been working very hard on the structure of the polytunnel. There's quite a way to go yet before we're ready to assemble a willing band of friends to help us get the skin on, and then we need a nice, still day (ha!).

But a week today Scott becomes entitled to his bus pass and his ferry pass, we're eating out at An Taigh-Osda and helping friends to celebrate their Ruby Wedding which is the same day, and the following Saturday is the great Bus Pass Birthday Party! And then Pam is staying to look after Jim while we have a few days away visiting Bob and Dot in Lismore. And then it's WalkIslay week, and the geese will be leaving and the swallows returning, and choir concerts and the build-up to the local Mod... and I think this is where we came in! It has been a truly wonderful year. Islay is now home and, I hope, will remain so for the rest of our lives. Scott may have more to add, but I'm signing off with a last picture of Taigh na Torraig with the snowy hills of Jura in the distance.

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Midwinter Update

I can see that I am really not going to keep this blog up at all - I'll try to get to the first anniversary of our moving here, which neatly co-incides with my 60th birthday, for which we are planning a party.

It seems a long time since our first Christmas in this house - complete with both daughters and as you can see we had a good feast. Edward and his friend Susan arrived (more or less, after a long saga of snow, missed flights, lost luggage etc) from New York, via Grand Rapids, on the Saturday after Christmas and stayed for a few days, feeding our new neighbours as you can see below (the cat is not too sure about these new somewhat large neighbours). They went to Glasgow for New Year (at a do in Hampden Park) and we just went along to the Port Charlotte Hotel to see in the bells. Plans to cycle along did not last long in the cold and dark, so I drove and limited myself to one dram.

January has been pretty cold, though we have avoided the snow which has fallen elsewhere - we just have it on the hills to provide us with cracking views. I did mange to go on a "test walk" for Walk Islay week, over the hills in the rain and have managed several rounds of golf, though mostly delayed because of frost in the mornings. We had a nice break thanks to a visit from Sue & Tim who also needed a break so came for 5 days in the middle of the month.

I have very busy setting up the golf club membership system in order to get the subscription renewals in the post this coming week. I have even manged quite a few rounds, though they were often delayed by frost. I also got sucked into a game of table tennis for the first time in many years.

It being January we were involved in two Burns Suppers - well one was the Port Mor lunch club do where I did the toast to the lassies and Bronwen sang. She was also singing at the Feis Ila Supper, of which a DVD was made and just arrived - Bronwen seems to be hiding it for her private consumption only, but if I can extract a bit I might put it up here!

I also managed a trip off the island last weekend (only my 4th I think) to a bridge congress in Dunoon. Very tiring playing bridge until after 11 each night, but very enjoyable. We did not feature in the prizes, but neither were we last. With any luck I should be off the island again on Thursday/Friday when my dad is due to get his cataract sorted in Glasgow - this was delayed last month due to him catching a cold, so we hope it will happen this time. Friday was the Choir's annual dinner, with an excellent meal at the Port Charlotte hotel .

Sadly Bronwen's mother seems to be fading fast after suffering another stoke, so things are somewhat uncertain for the next few weeks. The photo below is Ed and Bronwen from the hill behind the house looking south, the house being the one just to Bronwen's right shoulder.