Emotional Rollercoaster of a Flight back to Barra

So back on Barra after a really lovely time, meeting with old and new clients, spending time with my parents and weans and with every minute scheduled - the four days just flew in. To the point I began to think maybe I could actually live on the island after my #Barragapyear and still keep Prancing Jack Productions going, after all it has worked for over four months now!

Tangasdale

Tangasdale

Time for a reality check because when I got back on the island absolutely shattered, the very thought of not living here was too much for this wee wummin and I spent the first two days back an emotional wreck! It is very difficult to explain but the idea of NOT travelling back to Barra after a frantic few days working on the mainland is incomprehensible. The emotion of returning by plane, seeing the island appearing in the window, Jackson picking me up at the beach airport, driving home along the coast, seeing the waves, the hills and changing colours…. it is something I never ever imagined I would experience. It is for me, the total and absolute contentment of being somewhere you feel safe and loved xx

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Enough of the ‘rose-coloured’ glasses talk, my return flight to and from Glasgow was something else! It is without doubt one of the most beautiful flights I have ever flown on but it is still scary. Big planes are fine because once I’m up in the air above the clouds I can settle down to watch a movie, have a wee drink and generally forget about the fact you’re up in the air without a parachute! On the twin otter, there is NO getting away from the fact that you’re flying and throughout the flight you keep getting a glimpe of the pilot regularly twiddling his knobs and engine noise is deafening (thankfully there was engine noise!). However, this will not stop me from using this method to get to the mainland as it was great just to pop off the plane after an hour, be picked up my son and drive straight home to Ayr. Door to door in less than 2 hours, not a bad commute!

So after resting up for a few days, giving myself a good talking to and with the sun splitting the skies it was time to get out into the hills! It was lovely to head out with Irene and her daughter Katie who was over for a few days visiting Barra for the first time. So it was off to walk along Traigh Bharlais on Vatersay, and I may have collected a few stones that day as part of my therapy!

Traigh Bharlais

Traigh Bharlais

It was very strange to see the sea so still, although it was very cold there was hardly a whisper and virtually no waves. It was really like a beautiful spring day.

Jackson, Irene, Katie & Thai

Jackson, Irene, Katie & Thai

I love to see the colours of the creels and nets abandoned on the beach and the shapes formed by the moving sands. Not to mentioned the blue blue skies!

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Along the way we were watched by the cows and I just loved the colours of rust on this gate. Also check out the lovely bit of blanket stitch at the bottom holding up the plank of wood.

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I think my love of the outdoors comes from my Dad as he is never inside and can be found pottering about in the woods beside his house in all weathers. His latest adventures are keeping his woodland tidy by taking the hand saw to all the lower down fine twigs of the trees. Although some of the scars he showed me looked more like large branches than twigs. Also the little pair of white step ladders and garden chair made my health & safety warning light flash. Farmers (now full time beekeeper) they never change and they never stop looking after their land. At 80 he is thriving on it! His wood is looking great plus he bundles all the cutting into nice tidy piles so that the beasties can live in them and the wee birds have a good source of food. The wonderful circle of life. Leslie Morton you are a legend. x

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Back on Barra, it is all about juggling work time and play time because the weather as I mentioned is cold but this is also a not to be missed glorious spell of sunshine. So it is up early to get as much work at my desk as is required until I return later in the day, afterall the daylight hours are shorter so just want to make the most of them. Joining Irene and Katie again for walks on Tangasdale and Katie really wanted to see seals so of course Seal Bay is the place to be for that. The bird life on the island is still magnificent, there’s still some field fares flying around, curlews, snipes, stonechats, whooper swans and lapwings. When crossing the fields to Seal Bay it was lovely to watching the greylag geese rising in front of us.

Greylag Geese

Greylag Geese

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Now of course we weren’t disappointed and we spotted several cute and curious seals in the bay. So Katie got to tick that off her list of things to do and see on the island!

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It was great to just sit and chat and of course put the world to right. Three bobble hats sitting on the rocks and that wee strange dug nestling in beside us to keep warm

Thai, Eileen, Irene & Katie

Thai, Eileen, Irene & Katie

Now talking about our Jack Russell, Thai she is definitely not a water dog and will even walk round puddles to avoid getting her feet wet. We were all standing watching the seals coming in really close and bobbing in the bay. Thai must have spotted one because whilst I was filming the seal on my phone I looked down to see her very gingerly stepping into the water to check it out…..it must have been flippin’ freezing, I couldnt’ believe it. So here’s the evidence:

Another subject matter we are currently filming and that is Irene’s art journey on Barra as part of a music video, with music composed by Alistair McCulloch. #Barrartventure. Here’s a flavour of some of her artwork, the blues are stunning and do you recognise where they are?

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Finally what a brilliant concert last night in Northbay Hall kicking off with the Barra Pipes and then Heela & Sian gave us an evening of music. Two groups of beautiful and talented young women. Spellbinding and when the pipes start up, you can feel the hairs on the back of your neck rise…

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Eileen Frater