-> 2008 -> 2008 on

Wednesday, 31/Dec/2008

2008 on

It's a custom to write some kind of review of the year some time between Christmas and New Year's Eve. Last year I wrote 2007 on, so I thought I repeat that format for 2008. It's not a review of what happened on Islay during 2008, I guess The Ileach will do that much better than me in their first 2009 issue. I can only offer you a selection of my favourite or otherwise important posts about Islay, Jura and Colonsay from this year.

If I counted correctly there were 358 (incl this one) entries this year, making it at total of 843 since I officially opened the blog in May 2006. There were about 330 pictures, mostly from Islay, Jura and Colonsay, although some others also managed to find their way into the blog. It was a difficult year for me personally as regular readers will know, so some of it might be more personal than it would have been otherwise. As I've said before, there's a human being writing this blog, not some machine. Anyway, these are the ones I decided to pick out:

January 2008

The year started with one of my favourite pictures from one of my favourite beaches in my Happy Islay New Year! greetings. Later in the month I took delivery of my new Islaymobile, which has taken me to Islay three times since. I also managed to find Islay Malts in the Playboy (Yes, that Playboy).

February 2008

February was off to a good start with a floor for the Islay Hotel, followed by the release of the Islay Wildlife Movie by Gordon Yates (my review). Later in the month I discovered another Islay photographer and future blogger with Elliott's Islay Ferry Pictures (the youngest Islay blogger I can think of).

March 2008

In early March I had my perceptions challenged with the Islay Kildalton Cross on SingleMalt TV and I discovered the first video of Islay in 1948. Another new Islay panorama, Saligo Bay in the Evening, was completed and I pondered the question if it is Rhinns or Rinns of Islay?

April 2008

April was a difficult month for me personally: It had all started very nice, I was pleased with my Bridge to Link Islay and Jura! Aprils Fools joke and moved into a new home. This was followed by a fantastic week on Islay, as you can see in the Impressions from WalkIslay 2008. Then it all changed, when my mother passed away after a long fight against pancreatic cancer, the end came quicker than we all, including her, had expected. Also at this point a big thank you to my readers and friends for all their support during that difficult time!

May 2008

Settling into some kind of routine again after my mothers death was the challenge for May I threw myself into, Islay blogging being one of the means I used. I found out that the first Octomore is being bottled and created the story of the reappearing Islay wreck. The Islay Hotel reached the 1st floor and I released my I'd rather be on Islay T-Shirt.

June 2008

In June I discovered some great pictures from the British Ultra on Islay and Jura and found more Islay in 1948. I and hundreds of others watched Laphroaig Live from Islay before the highlight of the month arrived, four Islay in 1948 videos: People on Islay in 1948 Video, Islay Show in 1948 Video, Islay Mariners in 1948 Video and Islay People in 1948-1950s, The Final Video.

July 2008

In early July I wrote ein bisschen Islay auf Deutsch and discovered that the Liberty Belle B17 Flying Fortress was going to visit Islay. Then I was off to Islay again, where I had a good time written up in Back From A Week On Islay. Having just returned I made my first proper Islay video: How to Spot Granny's Rock on Islay. The Islay Hotel attracted its first regular visitor and I started to document the building progress with 3 Islay Hotel Panoramas.

August 2008

In August you could buy an island off Islay and I created one of my favourite Islay videos so far, the Islay Ferry Crossing Video. There was a whisky powered racing car on Islay and the Reappearing Islay Wreck was revisited. A new sport was invented: Crate Surfing on Islay. The new name for the Islay Hotel was going to be revealed, but then there was an Islay Hotel Name Update.

September 2008

The end of the summer saw Islay Seals and Fish and the start of a debate: What makes an Islay Whisky Islay Whisky? followed by Mark Reynier's Islay Barley Rant. Later in the month the Octomore 2002 Futures Islay Single Malt was finally released, leading to much anticipation. The Islay Trawler Photos were discovered and the Islay Abattoir ‘reopened’. There were also first hints of an upcoming Island Writers Book and the fantastic Islay Kite Aerial pictures.

October 2008

With autumn approaching rapidly I discovered Islay House on Historic Scotland and mentioned that Campbell Islay Butchers sell Islay meat. With the news getting more dramatic by the day I wondered about Islay and the 'Credit Crunch', not once, but twice with Islay and the 'Credit Crunch' Revisited. I pondered the question of Islay traffic problems before visiting Islay for the third time this year and returning from a stormy and wet Islay. There was a meaty souvenir from Islay and the infamous Car Alarms on Islay Ferry Video.

November 2008

November kicked off with the Week at Kilchoman Beach Islay Video after the fabulous week at the end of October. Then it was whisky time: First the Laphroaig Islay Single Malt Whisky Masterclass, then the tasting of my Octomore Futures Islay Single Malt Whisky. Quite scary events in Port Ellen in mid November with the news of the Port Ellen Maltings silo collapse. That event kept us busy with latest on the Port Ellen Islay Maltings Silo Collapse and the 2nd Port Ellen Islay Maltings silo being taken down. Islay from Rathlin Island made its first appearance and there was some interesting stuff about Sound of Islay Tidal Power Research.

December 2008

The first half of December was a difficult time for both the people on Islay and me personally: First there was a tragic accident on Islay touching many many people. For me personally it was also the birthday of my late mother and asking to support Cancer Research in her memory.

But there were also positive sides to the month: My attempt on Islay Whisky Honey Chocolate Truffles was very successful and I was able to write a book review of Writers on Islands revealing a minor (but still very important for me) personal interest in the book. From an Islay blogging perspective I launched the Islay Pictures - Pictures from the Isle of Islay, Scotland photoblog and finally took the plunge on microblogging, you can now find IslayBlog on Twitter.

That was 2008 on, at least some of the entries I thought interesting or important in a look back at the year. Many many many thanks to all my readers, the commenters, those of you who have sent contributions (you know who you are), without you this blog wouldn't be able to exist. The plans for 2009 and the ‘New Year Islay blogging resolutions’ will follow tomorrow. Now it's time for a wee dram (or two) of Islay Single Malt...

All the best for 2009!

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