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Dimàirt, 19/Aug/2014

Mixed Islay and Jura links

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Thought I should do one of those posts again where I post a variety of links to other sites and pages mentioning Islay. Or Islay's neighbour Jura. Here we go:

Having seen dozens of tweets and other mentions of it tonight I thought I'll start with a mention of Bruichladdich's Botanist gin in the NYT: The Scottish Gin That’s Perfect for a Late Summer New York Cocktail.

Some very old Islay related history, starting with FIRST WORLD WAR: Bedford’s Tartan Army - how a war diary from Somme hero inspired historian. The diary in question was by Private Hugh McArthur, an 18 year old Argyll & Sutherland Highlander from Islay. You can read more about him (and find a picture) about half way down on 'The Bedford Highlanders'.

In the Telegraph's The 10 best islands in Scotland Islay and Jura are listed as numbers 1 and 2. Unfortunately Colonsay and Gigha were missed off the list.

Neil Ansell writes about visiting the wilderness on Islay's neighbour in the Guardian: Nostalgia trip: an emotional return to the Isle of Jura, Scotland.

The Sydney Morning Herald asks Why is peated whisky so polarising?, of course mentioning several Islay single malts.

I should probably give this it's own post (and once I had the time to download and listen to their CD I will do it), but the Islay Gaelic Choir has a new website and has just released a new CD, Sruth Air a’ Charraig (you can listen to a preview on the page).

I'm going to leave it at that for today, I hope you found one or two or may be even all of the links interesting.

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Diluain, 18/Aug/2014

72 hours on Gigha

Gigha Excursions written in stencil

Taking you over to Islay's neighbour Gigha tonight for an interesting video. It's a long term timelapse, filmed from The Boathouse looking out to sea. I hope I counted correctly, assuming I did it covers 3 days or 72 hours:

YouTube: Isle of Gigha Timelapse

I quite like the short nights and the beautiful light around dusk and dawn. It's just magical. I hope you like the light and video as well.

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Didòmhnaich, 17/Aug/2014

Islay Blogging Roundup #302

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And it's Sunday evening again. Time for the Islay blogging roundup. Although, as an early heads up, the next one will probably not appear next Sunday but a day later on the Bank Holiday Monday. Simple reason being that I won't be home for most of Sunday. But back to this week, here are the Islay mentions in the blogs:

On his travel blog Keith Hunt has a series of posts from his Islay visit: Islay – a magical place away from it all Days 1 and 2, Islay – a magical island away from it all Day 3, Islay – A Magical Place Away From It All. Day 4 – Whisky and a Wander, Islay – A Magical Island Away From It All. Day 5, Islay, a magical isle away from it all. Day 6, The Annual Islay Show, Islay, a magical island away from it all. Day 7 – Peat bogs, lochs and whisky, Islay, a magical island away from it all. Day 8, Uisge beatha gu leoir! (Whisky galore!) and Islay, a magical island away from it all. Day 9, Wet and Whisky – I mean Windy!. Phil returns to the island where he was married to Lynne under sail, visiting Jura on his way to Islay: Craighouse Jura, Hidey holes and Islay are his reports. Amelia's sabbatical adventures included a visit to Scotland and Islay. I'm not entirely sure where they are from (I think Denmark), but two Scandinavian cyclists had To dager i Mekka.

Olivia mentions she found the Islay stand at the British Birdfair in We are family. On microblogging site Twitter (to use a popular description) we find Andy's picture of a busy Islay stand and that Mick won the Islay visit.

From the Islay whiskies Fredde tastes the Laphroaig An Cuan Mór 48% (2013). The Alkoblog from Germany has a Whisky-Duell: Lagavulin Distillers Edition vs. Caol Ila Distillers Edition. Whiskynotes compares the Bowmore Tempest (Batch 4 vs. batch 5). The Bruichladdich News blog asks if it is The Perfect Summer? The GrapeScot is still catching up with Laphroaig at the Feis (Book early)!. Similarly Adele just published Feis Ile 2014: Islay & Jura

Apparently It All Started With An Apple Pie for Sionnach Ìle. Becky reports from a Welly walk to Kilnaughton and Islay Welly Walks at Islay Show. Ron has a preview for the Islay Jazz Festival 2014 and a very sad post saying Farewell to Lily MacDougall.

Neil Gordon-Orr has entries in both of his blogs again, in his Islay History blog we find Islay First World War Dead in De Ruvigny's Roll of Honour. On his running blog we find another instalment of his Islay running series, Running Islay (3) : Bowmore to Cruach and beyond (12k).

Bill Rogers writes about a well known Ileach, at least if you watch BBC Scotland.

The birdwatching and wildlife was limited this week, as the usual suspects were all at the already mentioned British Birdfair. Still, a few posts appeared on the Islay Birds blog with Pheasants and the preparation for said birdfair. The INHT blog reports from the Killinallan family activity 08/08/14 and the RSPB Islay blog has an update from The Show. Philippa Mitchell announces a New Film from her exhibition visit to Islay.

As usual to finish the pictures: Steve has a lot of his iPhone pictures in ISLAY (AND JURA), promising film pictures for later. Not sure if they really qualify under pictures, but then again Illustrations are a type of pictures, aren't they? Anyway, Lucy has some great ones in Islay - west coast Scotland, Lighthouse at dusk (a brilliant animation!) and Another lighthouse! From my own Islay Pictures photoblog I've picked Ardbeg stills in 1999 (as it nicely shows the wisdom of the crowd), Highland Cattle near Sanaigmore and Loch Indaal, my first Islay picture ever.

That's it for this week, the next one to follow probably on the upcoming Bank Holiday Monday. Time for a wee dram of Bruichladdich Laddie Sixteen to call an end to the weekend.

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Disathairne, 16/Aug/2014

Big Al visits more places on Islay

Islay on Video written in stencil

Last week I blogged about Big Al visiting four Islay distilleries, namely Kilchoman, Ardbeg, Bowmore and Bunnahabhain. I also promised I would share some other videos of places he visited on Islay at another time. That time is now, starting with Islay Ales brewery:

YouTube: Islay Ales - A quick look and review - Bridgend Isle of Islay

Alastair also went to the pub a few times, although seems to have filmed only once:

YouTube: Portnahaven Pub Isle of Islay - An Tigh Seinnse

Earlier this week he also uploaded the video from the 5th Islay distillery he visited, Caol Ila:

YouTube: Caol Ila Distillery Isle of Islay

I don't know if there are any more videos to come, the ones I've mentioned so far are the ones online as of writing this. You can check his The Drinking Mans Guide To Scotland YouTube channel and his Big Al Twitter account for updates.

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Dihaoine, 15/Aug/2014

Friday Islay picture #335 - Sedge Warbler

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Apologies for the (mostly unplanned) lack of blogging here the last few days. Tuesday I got home late (as normal, as I do some shopping) and ran out of time. But on Wednesday evening the latest Windows Patch Day updates crippled my laptop, essentially bricking it (as in, making it as useful as a brick). I spent several hours trying to restore it and once I finally managed it to ensure I really had backups of everything (in addition to the backups I already had). Thursday was spent further researching the problem and solution (this thread provided me the solution, excluding two updates) and applying it. And now it's Friday, time for the Friday Islay picture. I've picked another bird, for a reason I'll come back to later:

Picture of a Sedge Warbler

I believe that's a Sedge Warbler, if it isn't please leave a note in the comments so that I can correct it. The reason I've picked another bird picture is of course the Islay presence at this weekend's British Birdfair. There are first reports from visitors to the stand:

Islay stall at Birdfair good crack an a range of single malt for tasting. pic.twitter.com/vZi1eYWchI

— Andy (@arobgoo) August 15, 2014

Looks good, doesn't it? Lots of whisky and learning about the birds on Islay. If you go please say hi to Ian and the crew, unfortunately I can't make it myself this weekend.

With that all I've got left is to say good night and wish you a great weekend!

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Diluain, 11/Aug/2014

New Islay video - Waves in Portnahaven and Port Wemyss

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OK, it's not entirely new, considering I mentioned it yesterday and also posted it on a few social media channels. But I only finished and uploaded it yesterday, so I'd still say it's new. Back in April the first walk of the Islay walking week, an excursion to Texa, had to be cancelled as due to high winds and strong swell we wouldn't have been able to land safely. With that in mind I drove to Port Wemyss hoping for some decent waves. While not as impressive as during a proper storm I think I got some decent views out of it. Lean back and enjoy:

YouTube: Breezy April day in Portnahaven and Port Wemyss, Islay

The first part of the video covers a few views from Portnahaven, some big waves mainly around Eilean Mhic Coinnich. Also the Saltire flying proudly in the wind, unfortunately I believe the pole since had to be removed. The second (and longer) part of the video then focuses on Port Wemyss, where you get to see some (I think) spectacular waves crashing over the rocks near Rhinns Point (that's what you see in the preview picture).

I hope you'll like the video. Plans for the next video are in the pipeline, although that one will almost certainly take me longer to edit than one single rainy Sunday. If you subscribe to my Armin's Islay and other videos YouTube channel you'll be notified whenever I upload a new video.

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Didòmhnaich, 10/Aug/2014

Islay Blogging Roundup #301

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Well into August now, but summer took a break in most of the UK today. Following what was left of Hurricane Bertha it was quite wet and windy for most of the day. I made the best of the bad weather and used the time to edit my latest Islay video of a Breezy April day in Portnahaven and Port Wemyss, Islay. But more about that tomorrow, now it's time for this week's Islay mentions in the blogs:

Let me start with a few Islay visits: A Germany travel blog has Islay – die Whisky-Insel: auf den Spuren des schottischen Nationalgetränks. Kate Davies visits Islay regularly, from her latest visit the updates were Islay skies, a bottle of Uigeadail and Islay snaps. Victoria had A trip to Islay, Scotland. The SV Amanda from Denmark visited both Jura and Islay. I think the visit was last year, but the blog entry was only posted now: Reb Mordechai Reviews: A one day tour of Islay's distilleries. Part 2. The History Interpreter visit Islay among other places in Islands in the Sun – and rain. Nina and Naomi have been exploring Islay. Gordon Homer has returned from Islay with one last post: Islay Visits Part XXXVII – Addendum.

On Scottish Coastal Rowing we can read about the Islay Regatta 2014. Neil Gordon-Orr shares The First World War Dead from Islay on his Islay History blog.

The Dower House crew wonders, The Race Is On, But Can We Keep Up With Gary? Ron shares a Spectacular Dolphin Display near Port Ellen Islay. Becky went Beachcombing at Sanaigmore.

Not directly Islay whisky, but then again the German Alkoblog highlights Islay single malts a an option for a special treat in their Whisky-Eis: Rezept für Genießer. Some might remember Malcolm from his days on Islay, which he mentions in Paul Chats to Malcolm Rennie of Annandale Distillery. On the Bruichladdich News blog we can read about Islay Barley Farmers Visit Bairds Malt. The Grapescot has a late report Lagavulin Day @ Feis Ile 2014 - Cool Cocktails & Wonderful Whisky. Scott Munro tastes the Bowmore White Sands - 43%.

Not to forget the birdwatching and wildlife: The Islay Birds blog brings us a White Tailed Sea Eagle, a picture of a Narrow bordered Hawk moth larva and Emily's sightings from Gruinart. On the INHT blog we can read about the Basking Shark Tag a number of people tried to locate, unfortunately no luck. On the RSPB Islay blog we can read about the Hen Harrier Day and An unwelcome guest. There's also an update about the Loch Gruinart Bats and then it's G'night John Boy.

To close of course the pictures: Peter Moser's Neuer Kalender 2015 als Spende für IJSCF (that's the Islay and Jura sick Children’s Fund) has lots of Islay distillery pictures. James Collett has not one but two versions of The American Monument Sunset (I think I prefer the first one). Thomas Schilp has a picture he called pot still. From my own Islay Pictures photoblog I've picked At the shore in Proaig bay, the Walkers above Loch na Mile, Isle of Jura and Tráigh Bhàn and the Opera House Rocks, Isle of Islay

That's it for this week. Good night!

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Disathairne, 09/Aug/2014

Bagpipes and Islay distilleries

Islay Music in stencil

Thomas from Germany plays the bagpipes (or as they called in German, the Dudelsack). He also records videos, which he then combines with his music. Recently he published two videos of Islay distilleries. I believe there are more to come, but for now let's start with these two:

YouTube: Lagavulin, Islay, Scotland

The second distillery is just down the road:

YouTube: Ardbeg, Islay, Scotland

If you like Thomas' style you can find more on his Dudelsackspieler Bagpiper Thomas YouTube channel. Of course he's also active on the various social media channels: Thomas on Facebook and Thomas on Twitter.

That's all for this evening, pour yourself a wee dram and enjoy the videos (if you haven't done so yet).

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Dihaoine, 08/Aug/2014

Friday Islay picture #334 - Hunting Swallow

Friday Islay Picture in stencil

Good evening, it's raining quite heavily in Aldermaston Wharf from where I'm writing this. Not in a bad way though, it's a slow, mild, warm rain. Quite nice as the ground is quite parched outside. But enough of that, over to this week's Friday Islay picture. It's one of the few pictures I was able to take despite my leg injury. A Swallow which was the exact opposite of me during that time, very mobile:

Picture of a Swallow in flight with its beak wide open

As I wasn't able to go anywhere because of my injury I spent at least the sunny hours sitting outside the cottage with my leg up. While sitting there I sometimes watched the Swallows (and other birds) during their daily activities. At some point I decided to get the camera out to try to catch some in flight. Having watched them I had a reasonable idea of their flight paths. Still, with their amazing speed I found it was almost impossible to track and photograph them. This is one of the better efforts.

I'm quite pleased I caught it with the beak open, ready to catch an insect. Not perfectly in focus, but good enough for a start. They won't be around next time I'm on Islay later this year, so I'll have to wait until next year for another attempt. Hopefully under better circumstances…

That's all I have for tonight, good night and have a great weekend!

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Diardaoin, 07/Aug/2014

Percival Jet Provost to star at Islay Airport Open day

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In just over a week, on Saturday 16/Aug, the Islay Airport Open Day and Airshow 2014 will run from 12:00 noon to 16:00. One of the star attractions will be a Percival Jet Provost, flying in from its current base at Newcastle Airport:

Picture of a Percival Jet Provost in flight

Picture courtesy of Tom's Aviation Images. For more information see also the Newcastle Jet Provost website.

To give you an impression of what you can expect to see I've done a search on YouTube and I've found a channel for exactly this plane, NewcastleJP. Here's a video from this year:

YouTube: Jet Provost XM479 Newcastle 2014

Of course this won't be the only attraction, the air show will also feature aerobatic displays from a 7/8 Spitfire replica, a Pitts Special biplane, two Vintage Tiger Moth biplanes, a replica of a WW1 biplane fighter, the SE5, and a home-built Glasair monoplane. Several vintage vehicles from Islay motor club will also be on show.

The event is organised in cooperation with the Museum of Islay Life, as Duncan MacGillivray, Station Manager at Islay Airport, pointed out:

Given the important part the airport plays in supporting the island economy and in connecting us to the mainland, we are delighted once again to be hosting the Islay Airport Open Day and Airshow, in partnership with The Museum of Islay Life.

The air show is a popular family day out and we are looking forward to welcoming spectators to this year’s event, which promises to have some fantastic attractions.

Tickets can be purchased on the day, costing £5.00 for adults, with child and concession tickets costing £3.00. Family tickets (2 adults & 2 children) are priced £12.00. Entry for children under five is free.

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