31 08 2014



09790023 (2)


My Flock of Willie Fulton’s Sheep

25 08 2014


…have just added the purple one to my little collection of artist Willie Fulton’s sheep.

‘YES’ Voters and their Campaign of Hate

19 08 2014

I’ve only just come across this article published in The Herald in June this year about comments made by veteran BBC presenter Jeremy Paxman in which he talks about the hate that’s being stirred up by a section of Scottish ‘Yes’ voters against the English, and for which he was severely criticised.

But, this month, we witnessed exactly what Paxman predicted. During our journey back from the Outer Hebrides, as we drove and stopped off in places on the Scottish mainland, we witnessed the numbers of ‘Yes’ voters in cafes and public places aggressively holding forth  about the ‘bloody English’. I found it really worrying. This forthcoming referendum appears to be turning into an opportunity for a section of the Scottish population to air their grievances in the form of an orchestrated hate campaign.

That is worrying.

Special Ordinary Things

15 08 2014

Something from today will stick in my mind. It’s a little story of a family, of mum, dad, son, daughter and grandad. In First Fruits Tea Room in Tarbert, on the Isle of Harris, they sat together on the big circular table close to the counter. I didn’t hear what the adults ordered for their lunches, but I did hear dad asking his small boy and girl if they would like this or that. Both children chose scrambled egg on toast. When their meals were served dad asked the boy if he would mind swopping his brown toast for his sister’s white toast. Not a problem. Not a whinge, or a why, or a strop. Dad then asked the boy if he would like the toast cut up. Just one cut was all the boy wanted, he wanted to do the rest himself he said to dad. Then out came the tomato ketchup in a squeezy bottle. Before the children started their meals, dad carefully wrote each child’s name in small letters, in ketchup, on their plates. Dad took such care over the tiny names. The girl’s name was Esther, I didn’t hear the boy’s. The children leaned over to watch. They clearly loved what dad was doing, and adored dad. The children then ate their meals enjoying every mouthful. I couldn’t help but watch the children’s faces, dad’s hands as he gently squeezed the ketchup, and those precious moments they all spent together. Not a bent head over a mobile phone, no head set, electronic game, or stroking of a smart-phone. Just being together, happy, was what counted. Real, ordinary, life. Those children will remember their time on the Isle of Harris, as the time their dad wrote their names in tomato ketchup in their scrambled egg, in a tearoom called First Fruits.


Top Reviews for Croft 36 and First Fruits

14 08 2014

From Stornoway Gazette 14 August 2014

“Six tourism businesses in Harris have been awarded a 2014 Certificate of Excellence – Trip Advisor’s top accolade”.

The six businesses comprise art galleries and cafes and include First Fruits Tea Room in Tarbert and Croft 36 in Northton.

“Testament to the outstanding level of service and visitor experience they have delivered, the Certificate of Excellence award is based solely on customer reviews and places these businesses in the top 10% of all businesses worldwide reviewed on Trip Advisor.


Steve (the boss, Calum and Richard, First Fruits Tea room, Tarbert

First Fruits1


“Croft 36 is an outstanding catering business, delivering ready to eat freshly prepared home-cooked meals to holiday cottages, camper vans and tents from their croft and shop in Northton, helping to service self-catering visitors to Harris with the very best of local produce”.

Croft 36 No 1 on Trip Advisor

12 08 2014

Wow! Well done to Croft 36 in Northton for reaching the Number One slot on Trip Advisor, for great food  on the Isle of Harris. Such a brilliant little business.:



Eilean Glas Lighthouse

10 08 2014

Chair at Eilean Glas Lighthouse (almost derelict) Scalpay, Isle of Harris


Chair Lighthouse 1 (2)

21 years ago we reached the lighthouse by trudging over the boggy moor, and leaping from hummock to hummock, and from bog to bog. Very recently a new track was laid. This has really taken the strain away from reaching this fascinating lighthouse which is now regarded as a building at risk.


Lighthouse2 (3)