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Dihaoine, 31/Oct/2014

Friday Islay Picture #345 - Lost my Heart

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Phew, that's a very busy week in the day job finally over. Oh, and October is coming to an end as well. Only two weeks to go until the Islay Sessions 2014 and my next Islay visit. But before that there are still two Friday Islay pictures to come (including tonight's). Have a few hearts in Machir Bay for tonight:

Picture of a few hearts drawn on a wide sandy beach

This was in June this year on the beach in Machir Bay. Mixed feelings as later that morning I had the leg injury which pretty much ruined that holiday. Still, overall it's still true, I've lost my heart to Machir Bay.

That's all I've got for tonight. I'm going to enjoy my slightly naughty combination now before retiring to bed. Good night and have a great weekend!

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Diciadain, 29/Oct/2014

Family visit to Islay's Saligo Bay (video)

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Bit busy in the day job at the moment, so blogging might be light for a time. Still, should be able to fit the odd posting in. Tonight a very nice video from a family visit to Saligo Bay in October:

YouTube: Saligo Bay / Islay / Scotland / October 2014

I hope you've enjoyed this short visit, for more impressions of visiting Saligo Bay at this time of year you can also watch my November Sunset at Saligo Bay, Isle of Islay video.

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Dihaoine, 26/Oct/2014

Islay Blogging Roundup #311

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Starting to write this Islay Blogging Roundup and it's dark outside already. That's summer really over now, especially with the clocks having gone back last night. Used the decent weather yesterday for a visit to the local nature reserve, where I managed to get pictures of a Great Crested Grebe with a fish and two Great Crested Grebes sharing a fish. But now back to the task at hand, this week's Islay and Jura mentions in the blogs:

With the nights really drawing in now a good time to start with the Islay whisky mentions, where Jordan has a Whisky Review: Ardbeg Ardbog as well as a Whisky Review: Octomore 01.1. From Germany the alkoblog has a Weihnachts-Whisky: The Ultimate Laphroaig 1998 im Test. The Malt Impostor tastes The Ardbeg Supernova 2014 Edition (50 ml space cargo mini).

The Whisky Obsession writes about and shares the outcome of Filming in Islay (and Jura). A Finnish blog reports from a visit in Islayn saarelle, Viskitislaamon mökki, Ardbegin tislaamokierros and Orwellin Jura.

Neil King has a nice write up about The sinking of the Lochiel. The Whisky Traveller writes about A Tattooed Lady with an Islay connection.

The Islay Energy Trust initially reported some Real progress! with the wind turbine until the weather threw a spanner in the works: The definition of irony……

Moving on to the birdwatching and wildlife: On the Islay Birds blog we read about a Canada Goose, mixed sighting and ringed Geese and first sightings from birders just arrived. John Armitage has Reflections on Hurricane Gonzalo. Becky tells The Otter Story.

And to close of course the pictures: What the Pub?! shares a picture of a "Völker"-Wanderung auf Islay!. Sandy has an Old Photograph Caol Ila Islay Scotland. Ron brings us dramatic evening light on a stormy day as well as a Wee Report and Pictures of Wild Islay Weather. From my own Islay Pictures photoblog I've picked Islay hills in the evening light, Waves under dark sky in Machir Bay and Evening clouds over Loch Indaal, Isle of Islay.

Unfortunately for the last time (for now) one more thing: Teresa's time on Islay is now over, on her Islay Wildscapes blog a few last pictures from the departure, including Finlaggan in Sound of Islay, MacArthurs Head, Sound of Islay and Rainbow Glow, Sound of Islay.

Good night, make sure you check your alarm is set correctly for tomorrow…

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Dihaoine, 24/Oct/2014

Friday Islay Picture #344 - Barnacle Geese

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Friday evening again, time to relax. Dentist appointment yesterday (hence the limited blogging last night), luckily everything was fine. One worry less. Had a nice steak earlier this evening, now following up with a nice Bruichladdich PC9 Islay single malt whisky and some dark chocolate. Oh, and I have a Friday Islay picture for you as well:

Picture of a large number of Barnacle Geese in flight

Lots of Barnacle Geese in flight at Gruinart, after having been spooked by something (possibly an Eagle which was seen in the area at the time). This is only a very small section of all the birds in the air at the time. Yet there never seem to be any collisions among them.

That's all I've got for tonight, as usual I'll post a larger version of the picture on the Islay Pictures photoblog on Saturday morning. Good night for now.

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Diciadain, 22/Oct/2014

Emma playing the pipes on Islay

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Some of you might have seen this already, as I mentioned it on my @islayblog Twitter account this morning. But I like it a lot and for those not using Twitter I thought I'd share it here as well. Emma Murray launching a Reely Jiggered concert on Islay recently:

YouTube: Emma @ Port Charlotte Hotel on Islay

This is from their album launch tour visiting various places in Scotland, of course including Islay. Certainly looks like they put up a great show in the Port Charlotte Hotel. For more from them visit the Reely Jiggered website, check out the Reely Jiggered YouTube channel, follow ReelyJiggered on Twitter or go to the Reely Jiggered Facebook page (where you will also find a few pictures from their Islay visit).

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Diluain, 20/Oct/2014

Wild day at Saligo Bay, Islay

Islay on Video written in stencil

Gonzalo (well, what's left of it) is going to hit the UK and in particular Scotland on Tuesday. In case you don't know, Gonzalo is (or better was, it's since lost a lot of its power) a Hurricane. Quite fittingly just a few days ago William uploaded a short video of another storm hitting Islay last winter:

YouTube: Saligo bay in Islay during onshore westerly in December 2013 !

The foam you see is natural, it comes from some algae if memory serves me correctly. It's not from any pollution (at least not directly).

If you're somewhere on the west coast, I hope you're well prepared and the storm will pass without any significant damage. And as long as it's safe I hope you can do some wave watching.

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Didòmhnaich, 19/Oct/2014

Islay Blogging Roundup #310

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There we are again, another weekend coming to an end. Not one of my best, only got a fraction done of what I wanted to get done. Anyway, better get going with this week's Islay blogging roundup then, let's see what the blogs had to say about Islay and Jura:

Let's start with the visits. The Romanian blogger has moved on to Bruichladdich Distillery. Gillian (or shorter Gills) returned to Islay for Week Thirty Nine - Heaven Revisited (for an earlier visit see Week Twenty Four: Heaven Truly Is A Place On Earth). Fiona went to Islay for Bothy and soul: coming to terms with the indyref. A visit to Islay inspired the Kildalton Cross Scotch Ale. A cycling visit is described in Part Four: No Sleep ‘Til Bridgend and Part Five: Boats, Bikes, and Automobiles.

A bit of Islay whisky: The Whisky Snob shares The Big Leagues – Ardbeg Ten – Dram 53 and No Swimming!! – Ardbeg Corryvreckan – Dram 54. The Malt Diary tastes a Laphroaig 18yo 1990-2008 55.6% Berry Bros & Rudd cask#2248. The Bruichladdich News blog celebrates The Budgie - 25 Years At Bruichladdich. Whisky Waffle tastes the Laphroaig Quarter Cask.

One of Islay's renewable energy projects has reached a significant milestone this week: Teresa has pictures of the Islay Community Wind Turbine Arrives at Port Askaig, this is also picked up in the IET blog in Turbine arrival at Port Askaig and earlier It’s here!. Ron went on a Site Visit Islay Community Wind Turbine after having received A Warm Islay Welcome.

On to the birdwatching and wildlife: The Islay Birds blog reports a variety of sightings, sightings from Andy and Jane and a bumper edition with many sightings. For the INHT blog Becky went on a Fungal Foray and RSPB Islay blog shares some Autumn treats.

And of course to finish the pictures: Alcademics has Snap Shots: Highland Cow on an Island. From my own Islay Pictures photoblog I've picked Kilchoman in the evening light, October sunset at Saligo Bay and Sheep near Gortantaoid, Isle of Islay.

And again one more thing: Teresa continues to impress with great pictures on her Islay Wildscapes blog. Too many to link them all, for this week I've picked Sunset at Sanaig from Ardnave, Sanaig Storm Clouds, Stormcloud over Nave Island, Dolphins off Sanaig, Barnacle Geese Roost at Dusk, Loch Gruinart, Evening Glow over Mull and Sanaig Surf, Otter, Red Deer Stag, Jura and Sunset from Granny Rock, Kilchoman.

That's it for this week now. More next week. Good night.

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Dihaoine, 17/Oct/2014

Friday Islay Picture #343 - Saligo Sunset

Friday Islay Picture in stencil

Yay, it's Friday! I've just opened a very nice bottle of Bruichladdich PC9 Islay single malt. And I've picked a nice sunset for this week's Friday Islay picture. Here it is:

Picture of an October sunset over a bay with a sandy beach

The sunset is of course at Saligo Bay, a great place for watching the sunset for most of the year. This one was in October 2013, a great end to a beautiful day.

Good night and have a great weekend!

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Diciadain, 15/Oct/2014

Islay success at the Royal National Mòd

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The Royal National Mòd is currently (10 - 17 October 2014) taking place in Inverness. Of course there were (and still are) quite a few Islay participants and they are quite successful. Or as Mary put it:

Wow! They're going to need a bigger @Calmac ferry to Islay to bring back all the #Mod medals the kids won today http://t.co/Z9ssvHwKwh

— Mary Galbraith (@Mary_Galbraith) October 13, 2014

I hope there will be further videos, but to start with here's one winning performance:

YouTube: Coisir Bun-Sgoil Port Ilein a' bhuannaich duais Susan Paterson bho Calmac

This was Port Ellen Primary winning the Susan Paterson Caledonian MacBrayne Trophy. But that's not all: The Morris sisters were very successful in the solo singing competition, Sisters’ success at Inverness mod as the Press and Journal reports. Checking out the results from Monday you'll find Port Ilein (Port Ellen) mentioned 14 times, Còisir Òg Ghàidhlig Ìle (Islay Youth community choir) shows up 12 times (two wins and several other trophies, also one inidividual win by Lewis Davey), Bowmore also wins a prize, taking the tally to 27 for the day (I hope I haven't overlooked anything).

Looking at today's results I spotted Fergus Muir and Kirsten Laurie with one win and two seconds. I'm not sure if/how many Islay participants there will be, but I assume there will still be some opportunities for more silverware for Islay on Thursday and Friday, possibly in the Highland Dancing or the senior choir events, where the Islay Gaelic Choir will be competing. Fingers crossed.

PS: I've just found another clip of a Còisir Bun-sgoil Port Ilein performance.

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Diluain, 13/Oct/2014

Summer sailing in the Southern Hebrides including Islay

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With summer kind of coming to an end (well, it's wet, rainy and cold in the south of England, although it's still warm and sunny on Islay) I thought I'll share a video of the summer now past. It takes us a bit further than just Islay, on to the Clyde and around the Southern Hebrides:

YouTube: Our Zuma Summer

Gigha is at around 3:00 min, they arrive on Islay at around 4:15 min. Some mixed weather as you would expect from a Scottish summer, but mainly some beautiful sunny days with beautiful views from their yacht. I hope you enjoyed watching and following them on their journey.

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