Reminisces and Reflections! The Gallis have arrived....

From windy days to total calm, the weather just never ceases to amaze and excite us. It really makes you look at different angles and ways to photograph this beautiful island. Yesterday meant that we headed along the road to Garrygall to capture some of the reflections of Castlebay on the water. It was totally spellbinding….. #Barragapyear

Castlebay reflecting….

Castlebay reflecting….

and of course there is the Kisimul Castle that stands in the bay that gives the town its name. I don’t know how many pictures I’ve taken already of this structure but here’s one of my current favourites!

Panorama of Castlebay with Kismul Castle

Panorama of Castlebay with Kismul Castle

So the Galiis didn’t manage to land on their first attempt of getting to Barra but the next day they flew to Benbecula, got a taxi to Eriskay and then the ferry across to Barra. Welcome to Barra Linda & Silvio, glad you made it and thanks for bringing the sunshine!

Their ferry arriving at Ardmhor….

Their ferry arriving at Ardmhor….

So there was no time to lose and we had a fair few beaches to cover in two days….so we all got wrapped up like “a washhoose spicket” and headed out!

20181028_000941.jpg
20181028_000218.jpg

Now the standing joke with Silvio is that when he buys a new house, he likes to get it re-roofed so we found him a wee project on Vatersay that, well it is in need of his loving TLC!

20181027_122500.jpg

One of things we try to share with everyone who comes to visit is about feeling that it is good just to ‘be’ in the moment. We stand, look around, take in the colours, listen to the wind/waves and there no need to say anything or do anything……just, well to be honest, just ‘be’ on the island.

Being in the moment

Being in the moment

It isn’t meditation (I’ve no flippin idea how to do that!), it isn’t really religious (I have no religion) but I really think it is more about being spiritual. Now my daughter, Emma, has told me that I’ve been checked into an Asylum and I don’t get off the island until I can prove I’m at least 10% normal so I’ve stopped referring to island as magical because she says that ticks the crazy box! I let slip recently that the faires were out painting the sky last week because everywhere you turned there were rainbows…..please don’t tell her!!

20181026_182954.jpg

There was also the full moon this week so we’ll just not go there! But isn’t the light and the lightness of touch in the colours just beautiful at this time of year?

Full moon on Barra

Full moon on Barra

And not only the full moon but with the really cold snap we have had, it was lovely to get out and actually see the stars on a clear clear night. All of us spent time, with our wine glasses in our hand, just standing outside just staring up to the sky. I can’t remember the last time I ever did this. I didn't try to find my star sign Gemini in the sky which is in a straight line from the bottom right star of the “The Plough or Big Dipper” but it was hiding behind Heaval.

DSC_2125 as Smart Object-1.jpg

We put Linda to good use whilst here on her short break on the island and as a chocolatier she was freely giving advice to Barra resident John on the best way to make chocolate. Also at Buth Bharraigh, Jackson had picked up his copy of the local newspaper Guth Bharraigh and was doing the weekly Sudoku at the counter. This just feels like a normal day on the island and the Buth is great hub for everyone to get together to share ideas as part of a community.

A normal day at the Buth!

A normal day at the Buth!

The Gallis final day was a truly chilly one and there was even frost/ice on the beach at Tangasdale. There was little ice particles glistening all around, Jackson found a use for his mobile phone at long last! and Thai is like, whatever…..

So it was lovely to catch up with Linda and Silvio and there time was short on the island. At least we had beautiful sunshine for their two days so every minute was spent walking, talking and enjoying each other’s company. Of course, good food and wine make for very sociable nights by the wood burner! Bye bye Linda and Silvio. I haven’t posted a Barra airport flight for a while so just to remind you how spectaluar it is, here’s another one!

I love this picture Jackson took as well of the plane catching the spray as the plane headed off

Twin Otter about to take off!

Twin Otter about to take off!

So with Linda and Silvio heading off to Glasgow and Irene and Archie making there way across to the island by ferry, we took the time to head out to chill (literally) with our cameras to capture some different shots (rather than seascapes) whilst there was still light and the skies were still blue! There are many migratory fieldfares just now on the island, stopping off in their journey from Scandinavian to the warmer climates of the Med/North Africa.

Fieldfare on Barra

Fieldfare on Barra

I’m totally in love with the cows on this island, they seem particularly clean (probably due to the sandy soil) and hairy (probably due to the feezing cold wind!!!). We need to get some pictures of the Highland cows on the island but in the meantime, here’s a wee cutie!

DSC_2179 as Smart Object-1.jpg

You also find an amazing array of bones scattered on the island and yesterday we found on Vatersay, hidden beside some disgarded creels, the jawbone and vertibrae of a cow. Of course I had to bring them home and add to the stone/shell/sea glass collection…..

DSC_5441.JPG

I also love the abandoned creels, the colours just blend beautifully with the colours of the sea and the shapes that form around them with the sand just call out to be photographed. I am however usually distracted by the seascapes and very often don’t take the time to photograph them. So to rectify this, here’s one of my favourites together with one of oor dug!

DSC_5399.JPG
DSC_5405.JPG

So as we mentioned, Linda & Silvio are off back to Ayrshire and have been replaced by Irene and Archie. They arrived last night (Sunday 28 Oct) and are staying the lovely Crannag Cottage by the airport. They are settling in just nicely and we’re all about to head out to the Halloween Fun event at the Buth Bharraigh. Irene is here for 5 weeks to have her very own #Barrartventure and we’ll post up some of her paintings over the coming weeks. She’ll have loads of inspiration on this island, that’s for sure!

Irene and Archie Walker #Barrartventure

Irene and Archie Walker #Barrartventure

So finally we would like to introduce to you the wee strange goat we have on the island, black with white socks, this wee soul was spotted for the first time when our friend Dougie was on the island, so we’ve named him after Jackson’s pal!! Met Dougie the Goat!

Dougie the only goat on the island! (or at least the only one we’ve seen!)

Dougie the only goat on the island! (or at least the only one we’ve seen!)

Eileen Frater