There's been mystical forces at work......Barra has got us!

After the emotional previous week there’s been a change in the air with the realisation that Barra has truly got under our skin and that maybe we might just stay here after our #Barragapyear. With that in mind it has been so much easier to just chill and enjoy every single moment on this island, whether that’s out climbing the hills (and there’s been many this week), working/editing, filming the young people at Barra Youth Cafe or at their badminton coaching session or just the absolute joy of eating round a table with our new Barra friends then playing Liar Dice until midnight.

The only sad thing is that Irene and Archie 5 weeks staying at Crannag cottage is about to come to an end on Sunday, it has been lovely sharing the walks, photography and the creativity with them. We’re going to miss popping into their wee cottage to see them when we’re up in the north of the island.

What a week we have had with the weather, chilly but check out the blue blue skies, November at its finest on beautiful Barra!

Cleat

Cleat

We took the DSLR camera out on a hike up to Cnoc an Fhithich just past the golf course and Irene got out her sketch book and quickly captured the stunning views with her pencil. We filmed her at work as part of the music vide we mentioned previously.

The sun was so bright and of course we were on the wrong side of Seal Bay to capture photographs without sun flair but it was just too amazing not to try our best!

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The artist at work #Barrartventure

The artist at work #Barrartventure

As Irene and Archie hadn’t seen any of the Duns (local term for cairns or ancient settlements) we climbed up to see two of Barra very own Duns, the first is one we have been to before at Dun Ban which is along from the stunning beach at Tangasdale.

Tangasdale

Tangasdale

What a difference it was from the last time Jackson & I visited this area, when the waves were crashing and rolling up over the outcrops and small islands along this coastline. This week it was like a millpond!

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Walking along the terrain, it was a bit wet underfoot but ever so often your eye catches the bright green (well moss green if you’re being technically correct) of the moss which spreads over the rocks like a thick soft blanket. I don’t know how many times I dropped to the ground to photograph it but here’s what I’m talking about…. never seen anything quite like it.

Moss green blanket

Moss green blanket

On the final leg on the walk home we stopped at the pebble beach at Aird na Greagaig as I noticed some colourful stones that could just add to my collection. I washed them in the sea before popping them into my jacket pocket and they just look beautiful in the water.

Colourful Stones of Barra

Colourful Stones of Barra

So we eventually got ourselves almost back to Tangasdale and were about to open the gate that takes you to the beach, when Irene nearly gave us a heart attack by crying out “there’s a baby seal under the gate”. Thai, the Jack Russell, was the last to notice and in fact totally ignored its gorgeous wee face!! I was totally mesmerised by this little creature, left safely at high tide by her mum and it had obviously decided to go exploring! I have to share two photographs as I love them both…. nature at its very best and a perfect way to end our day.

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Now getting back to the mystical forces at work, I think we are beginning to get noticed on the island and for our first four months we have been pretending to be a nice normal couple, the disguise has worked as it was lovely to be invited out for dinner on Saturday night. We joined Katie & Chris in their lovely home overlooking the bay, along with their lodger (sorry forgotten his name) & Rebecca (both work with K & C’s Barra Surf and Coastal Adventures company), the lovely badminton coaches Laura and Bruce and not forgetting their family (Plus two dogs and two cats!!). The night ended with plenty of wine and games of liar dice…a wonderful combination of fun and competition.

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This sums up the magical forces of life on Barra, it is all about friends, family and our fur babies! (of course real weans as well, although Jackson has remarked that Ben (Katie & Chris’ son) is a marked man since he beat Jackson at badminton - in fact Ben nearly broke him!!)


Yesterday, Sunday, was a day for a short walk as I was out in the morning filming at the Barra Youth Cafe and interviewing Fiona Manford for a short film to present as part of a funding bid. The young people on Barra are so lucky that there’s so many parents and volunteers willing to give up their time to run youth cafes, organise badminton coaching sessions and take them off on trips to go surfing, coasteering and all sorts of crazy adventures! The island buzzs with it…….

We headed up to discover another Dun this time overlooking Traigh Eais at the Dun Scurrival ruins up in the very north of the island. The views were spectacular from every angle and over every ridge, here’s a very rough cut video of the views and the waves from the beach (video shot by Irene earlier in November)

It is all about just sitting and taking it all in. It isn’t about rushing up the hill just to tick the box, well to be honest it is just too beautiful to rush anywhere. The perfectly formed seat shaped rocks just make you want to sit and be in the moment and Irene and I put the world to right looking out across these views.

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and not to be content with just looking at the views, we have to share the photographs of the views with each other as we take them!!! Here’s the huddle of weans around their phones/cameras looking across the Dun to Traigh Sgurabhal…..

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Traigh Sgurachal

Traigh Sgurachal

After four weeks of hill walking traing for Irene & Archie it was time this morning to go big and venture up Barra’s highest hill, Ben Heaval! As the weather is looking like it is about to turn wild again and today could be their last chance to head up this hill. So with flasks filled and sandwiches made…. we were off!

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There’s just so much to talk about/observe and I don’t want to bore everyone to death but I just have to mention again the rocks here on Barra. Where else can you see colours and shapes like them?

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There are three photographs with Irene and Archie that sums up the great fun we have had over the past four weeks. It has been really wonderful to share our advenures on Barra with these creative and like minded folks. #Barragapyear

Finally, a huge thanks to everyone across the world who have been reading and sharing my Blog and I hope I make you all smile as I emerse myself in island life. It is both mystical and magical, and that very force means that there could be the chance of wonderful future life spent on #Barradise.

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Good night folks xx

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Eileen Frater