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Didòmhnaich, 02/Aug/2015

An Islay sunset video

Islay on Video written in stencil

With the weekend coming to an end I thought it might be nice to share an Islay sunset. Which happens to be just the thing I came across earlier this evening in the form of a nice calm video. I believe this is up at Ardnave, a calm July evening with a very colourful sunset and gloaming:

YouTube: Scotland July 2015 - Bay of howling seals - sunset

There are also two more video, kind of a before and after: Islay Juli 2015 - Bay of howling Seals and Scotland July 2015 - Bay of howling seals - after sunset. I hope you've enjoyed the videos and may be spotted some of the wildlife.

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Disathairne, 01/Aug/2015

Bit of a clean up on IslayBlog.com

Islay News in stencil

Not much real blogging tonight I'm afraid, having been busy with a bit of cleaning up this afternoon. Cleaning (or tidying) up this blog to be precise. Over the years a few things had accumulated which I've now decided to get rid of, hopefully improving the blog by doing it.

Picture of various rubbish on a pebble beach

To reduce the clutter I've removed a few things: To start with the advertising (for those who were still seeing it and not using an adblocker) had to go. It didn't bring in much any more, so I decided to get rid of it for new posts (Don't have the time to remove it from old ones for now). Next were the Twitter and Google+ sharing buttons. Kind of ugly and there are other ways to share a link.

Then I've cleaned up the Islay Blog Links and removed a lot of inactive blogs. I might have to add a few new blogs, if you have an active Islay related blog feel free to let me know and I'll add it. The list of Islay related Twitter accounts had to go as well as it was too hopelessly outdated. To finish it off I've finally updated the Islay Countdowns again, they should hopefully be more accurate now.

I hope you'll like these changes, they should make the blog load faster and have fewer distracting elements.

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Friday Islay Picture #368 - Lossit Bay

Friday Islay Picture in stencil

Summer is still largely absent in most of the UK, although I think I was quite lucky during my Islay visit in June. While it wasn't particularly warm at least there was a good amount of sunshine. Earlier this week I posted a distant view of Lossit Bay on the photoblog, for this evening I decided we should get a bit closer:

Picture of a bay with a sandy beach

A pretty much empty beach at Lossit Bay, the only other people I met when I arrived down at the beach were a young couple with their toddler. Spent a very nice afternoon on the beach before it was time to head back. This picture was actually taken on the way back, looking back to Lossit Bay before it disappeared behind the hills again.

As usual I will post a larger version (larger as in twice as big) on the Islay Pictures photoblog on Saturday morning. Good night for now and have a great weekend!

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Diluain, 27/Jul/2015

Islay Pipe Band at the Scottish Championships 2015

Islay Music in stencil

The excellent season for the Islay Pipe Band continues: After finishing 2nd out of 10 at the European Championships a month ago they travelled to Dumbarton this weekend for the Scottish Championships. Here's a video of their performance:

YouTube: Islay Pipe Band, Grade 3A 3rd Place, Scottish Championships 2015

As you might have spotted in the video title already they finished third in grade 3A at the Scottish Championships, out of a much larger field of 18 competing bands. Only one point separating them from 2nd place and two points from the winner. A very close result, they came first in Ensemble Place.

For those visiting the Islay Show on Thursday 9/Aug there will be an opportunity to hear and see the band playing on Islay. After that they will head to the World Championships in Glasgow on the 15th of August.

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Disathairne, 25/Jul/2015

A Chinese visit to Islay

Islay on Video written in stencil

Right, have to trust my instinct tonight. The only Chinese person I know is on holiday at the moment, so I can't ask him until he's back. I think the creator and protagonist of this video is Chinese, watch their visit to Islay and to Laphroaig distillery:

YouTube: ???Islay???

Now I can't read the Chinese in the video (or copy it into a translator), but it looks to me as if they very much enjoyed their time on Islay. I know Islay is well known in Japan, I don't know how well known Islay is in China. If it isn't hopefully this video will help to spread the word.

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Dihaoine, 24/Jul/2015

Friday Islay Picture #367 - Incoming Wave

Friday Islay Picture in stencil

It's been a rather miserable day in Reading and West Berkshire, lots and lots of rain, it only just stopped when I'm writing this. The weather on Islay was much better I hear, quite a lot of sunshine today I believe. In that spirit a picture from a sunny day on the beach in Machir Bay back in late June this year as the Friday Islay picture:

Picture of a wave running up a beach

Fingers crossed for more days just like this, sunny and bright. And a bit warmer. Days to enjoy on the beach.

I think I'm going to leave it at that. Time to go to bed (hoping to watch a steam train passing through Aldermaston Wharf and take a few pictures of it on Saturday morning), good night and have a great weekend.

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Diardaoin, 23/Jul/2015

Some old Islay film footage

Islay on Video written in stencil

Something a bit older tonight, a few views from Islay I believe 40+ years ago. There's no sound (so don't worry, your speakers aren't broken), but some very interesting views, mainly around Port Ellen and at Lagavulin:

YouTube: STOCKS HOTS - ISLAND OF ISLAY SCOTLAND - COLOUR - NO SOUND

There's a little bit more information on the AP Archive page about the clip. Most of the places are easily recognisable, although some of the views have changed considerably since the film was shot. Lagavulin (starting at ~2:05min) certainly looks different today to what you can see in the film.

I hope you enjoyed the clip, I certainly found it fascinating.

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Disathairne, 18/Jul/2015

A Fat Biking on Islay video

Islay on Video written in stencil

And now for something I don't really know much about. Fat Biking. I believe it's a fairly new development, bikes with very wide (“fat”) tyres. Not just like mountain bike tyres, my impression is twice as wide as a mountain bike tyre. Recently two bikers took their Fat Bikes to Islay and filmed their adventures:

Fat Biking on Islay from Its Me on Vimeo.

The wide tyres are ideal for offroad cycling, as they demonstrate by cycling down to An Cladach bothy at the Sound of Islay. A place I think most people visit either on foot or by kayak (you'll spot a kayaker passing in the video as well).

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Dihaoine, 17/Jul/2015

Friday Islay Picture #366 - Sedge Warbler

Friday Islay Picture in stencil

During this week I've been posting more Islay from the air pictures on the photoblog, so I thought I should change the topic for the weekend and the Friday Islay picture. I decided to go with a bit of Islay wildlife and this one:

Picture of a Sedge Warbler with an insect in its beak

This Sedge Warbler and its partner were nesting just outside the hide at RSPB Gruinart. While you couldn't see the nest sometimes every few minutes one of them (sometimes both) came back with some insects they had caught. They rested on a branch for a few seconds before disappearing in the undergrowth to their nest. While they seemed to be aware of the humans in the hide they didn't seem to be too worried and didn't mind their picture being taken.

As usual I will post a larger version (larger as in twice as big) on the Islay Pictures photoblog on Saturday morning. For now I'm signing off, whishing you a good night and a nice weekend.

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Diardaoin, 16/Jul/2015

VDUB VAN LIFE visits Islay

Islay on Video written in stencil

And missed out on Jura (at least for now). Theo and Bee have been travelling around Europe in their VW camper van for the last year, recently their journey took them to Islay. You can see some of their adventures on Islay (and hear why they unfortunately missed out on Jura this time) in this video:

YouTube: Van Life Video Blog - 5 Days on Islay

You can also read about their adventures on their website, so far in Coast (taking them from Arran to Islay) and Spotting Seals and irritating Terns. I think there might be another entry in the pipeline. Looks like they had a great time on Islay.

PS: In case you're wondering about the high price for the Jura ferry, unfortunately their van is the long wheel base model. This takes them over the 5m threshold triggering the higher price. They hope to return some other time though and visit Jura then.

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