Friday, 30 September 2016

Match the Thatch

There is something about a traditional thatched building on a sea-shore. This is the annex of the Gatliff Hostel at Berneray and a survey has been completed about it and the other applicable hostels in the group. They are part of a wider study of 305 of Scotland's thatched roofs that is reported on in the BBC website.

Scottish Islands Explorer - most thatched roofs are in the Western Isles
Digital Edition: through the roofs and cables come the internet signals

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Remote and Under

It's difficult enough to get to St Kilda and North Rona, but when it comes to exploring their sea caves that needs serious kit. However go to the BBC website for a clip of and reference to a 15-minute video produced by Scottish Natural Heritage and members of Edinburgh's Heriot-Watt University.

Scottish Islands Explorer - discovering new depths
Digital Edition: readily available above sea level

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Purchased to Restore

The John Rae Society has purchased the Hall of Clestrain at Orphir, Orkney, where the famous Arctic explorer spent his childhood. Read the details and the plans for restoration in The Orcadian.

Scottish Islands Explorer - likes to see restoration and promotion
Digital Edition: available throughout the Arctic

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Holms of Hogaland

For something new, and somewhere different for this blog, go to the Holms of Hogaland, Whiteness, Shetland, and a good way to visit is through Scottish Crannogs - a website devoted to those who like to dive for history in the lochs of Scotland. Here what is possibly a broch has been discovered and archaeologists are understandably excited.

Scottish Islands Explorer - some readers dive into each issue
Digital Edition: information will suddenly surface from the internet

Monday, 26 September 2016

Turmoil from Turbines

There was 'trouble in works' at Lochmaddy, North Uist, yesterday, when a fault in the engines of the CalMac ferry appeared to cause the turbines to continue at speed when they should have been slowing. The details are on the BBC website.

Scottish Islands Explorer - constancy of publication is a feature
Digital Edition: its electronic turbines are always on full revs

Sunday, 25 September 2016

High on Happiness

It's not probably the style of your office, but its location that counts. Freelance workers from the Highlands & Islands came out highest in a survey of happiness factors that are presented on a BBC website. It's worth remembering the observation that if what is produced by you meets the demands of others, then 'people will beat a path to your door'...  wherever.

Scottish Islands Explorer - a path is regularly beaten to its door ...
Digital Edition: ... with delivery in seconds

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Benbecula Lights Up

Benbecula Airport in the Western Isles is the first civil airport in Scotland to have its runways illuminated by LED ground lighting. These are evident at London Heathrow and Manchester, but at few other destinations. An advantage is that they are more resistant to sea-air and sand corrosion. Read more in the Stornoway Gazette.

Scottish Islands Explorer - endeavours to light the way in coverage
Digital Edition: also shows cutting-edge technology

Friday, 23 September 2016

Old & New on Eday

At some time in the past, prehistoric people must have looked in awe at the then newly-erected Stone of Setter - a 15' high, hand-shaped, monolith - on Eday. Two days ago came the opening of the newly-constructed NHS Surgery on this Orkney island where, between the Census of 2001 and that of 2011, the population increased from 121 to 160. Residents must have looked with satisfaction on their improved facility.  

Scottish Islands Explorer - conscious of changes
Digital Edition: powered by new techniques

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Shortlist of Six

Donald Meek has reasons to look pleased - for six new Gaelic books have been short-listed for the Award which carries his name. The winner will be announced on Thursday 6 October at the National Piping Centre in Glasgow. Access more of the story from the Stornoway Gazette.

Scottish Islands Explorer - a monoglot publication
Digital Edition: words conveyed quickly regardless of language

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Neverland Found

The website of Eilean Shona is so impressive that further words are really unnecessary. Go to Neverland!

Scottish Islands Explorer - access to a variety of lands
Digital Edition: go to 'Nowland' without hesitation

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

100th Ultra Marathon

Some people like islands; some like running long distances; a few like both. William Sichel (62) lives on Sanday, Orkney, and can train on its sandy peninsulas for the competitive events that he likes - endurance races longer than the standard marathons. He is about to set off for his 100th event in the 'ultra' category. Read about it on the BBC website and what he has to say in his blog.

Scottish Islands Explorer - goes the distance of 52 pages every two months
Digital Edition: measured in global miles in split seconds

Monday, 19 September 2016

Views on Monday

Here is a range of views - on the BBC website - which includes the above by Sarah Campbell of a sunset experienced on Harris. The islands are not so well represented as usual in this series, but the national dimension certainly appears.

Scottish Islands Explorer - often judged by its photographs
Digital Edition: has particular international appeal

Sunday, 18 September 2016

32 Shades of Skye

Here, from the Walkhighlands website, is an image of Skye with that combination of colour and hints of harshness. Now the Isle of Skye Paint Company has upgraded its shop and premises in Portree to include a range of established brands as well as a focus on its own products that feature 32 colours. An emphasis is on durability to withstand the elements and one of the components is seaweed. Time to find out more, in the West Highland Free Press.

Scottish Islands Explorer - presents more than 32 colours
Digital Edition: can make a splash on your screen in seconds

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Angel Award?

The group behind the restoration of the Kitchener Memorial at Marwick Head, Orkney Mainland, is short-listed for the Scottish Heritage Angel Awards. Read about it in The Orcadian.

Scottish Islands Explorer - with its current front cover feature
Digital Edition: awards readers with fast downloads

Friday, 16 September 2016

Barra and Mars

The image above comes from close to the beach used by aircraft on Barra; the one below was taken by the Curiosity rover on Mars. Scientists have been connecting the composition of rocks on Barra and the Uists to assess whether hydrogen released after earthquakes could have assisted life on two planets. Read the BBC item.

Scottish Islands Explorer - on sale on only one planet ... so far
Digital Edition: delivered by space travel agencies

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Look Back to The Edge

There is no need to endure comparable physical challenges of 'The Race on the Edge' held earlier this month in order to see a range of images available on your screen. Just click onto The Heb.

Scottish Islands Explorer - the race took in several islands
Digital Edition: wheel it in to your device

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

The Gnat, Again

Let's get talking about the Gnat. Here's a message from Stephan Belchef, in New Zealand, about a vehicle that appeared on this blog - 29 June 2011. Does anyone have anything to add?

Scottish Islands Explorer - another way of getting around islands
Digital Edition: capable of being quicker

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Angus Macleod Lecture

This year's Angus Macleod Memorial Lecture will be given by Scotland's First Deputy Minister, John Swinney, on Wednesday 19 October at 15.30 in Stornoway. He will speak on The Place of Gaelic in a Modern Scotland. The full details are here.

Scottish Islands Explorer - ready for linguistic adventures ...
Digital Edition: ... which can be accessed within seconds

Monday, 12 September 2016

Northern Isles Schooling

Bringing up children in Orkney and Shetland has some definite advantages and these are outlined in a BBC item. An island such as Papa Stour could well have its school's mothballed status changed if incomers to a depleted residential population had children of school age.

Scottish Islands Explorer - understands the statistics
Digital Edition: revives interests at speed

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Monstrous Revelations

Read the West Highland Free Press account of the further discoveries of the Storr Loch Monster fossils and rest assured that you will not have to encounter the creature.

Scottish Islands Explorer - preserved on paper
Digital Edition: brings matters to light quickly

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Lost Songs of St Kilda

Listen to, and find out more about, The Lost Songs of St Kilda from Decca Records. Its release yesterday will bring to life an aspect of the traditions of the island that was evacuated in 1930.

Scottish Islands Explorer - covers both trends and traditions
Digital Edition: let the issues make their way swiftly to you

Friday, 9 September 2016

Come On, Clean Up!

The BBC reported a slow start to volunteering for the Great British Beach Clean organised by the Marine Conservation Society. It's to be held from Friday 16 - Monday 19 September - so there's time to decide and sign up.

Scottish Islands Explorer - features beaches
Digital Edition: a clear and clean way of accessing ... the magazine

Thursday, 8 September 2016

St Kilda Designs

Here are two design outlines connected with St Kilda. Above is part of the concept at the new to-be-built Visitor Centre at Uig, near Lewis; below is the natural profile. Learn more of the former in the Stornoway Gazette.

Scottish Islands Explorer - tends to follow the natural outlines
Digital Edition: embraces the new technological designs

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Wider Perspectives

Yesterday's recommendation was to look at the Gallery of Morsgail Lodge, Lewis. Today's suggestion is to go to the BBC Gallery for the regular review of photographs from throughout the country by readers. The one featured above is of  Luskentyre Beach, Harris, by Morris Macleod. Other images inspire in a comparable way.

Scottish Islands Explorer - always drawn to the shore-lines of Harris
Digital Edition: comes with the speed of a fast shutter

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Discover Morsgail

Whether it's time for activities, escape, reflection (as above) or just getting away, you cannot get much further than the 14,000 acres of the Morsgail Lodge. Do click on to its new website and then proceed to the Gallery for a stimulating sequence of images from the Uig area of Lewis.

Scottish Islands Explorer - a way of getting supplied with ways of getting away
Digital Edition: the fastest means of access

Monday, 5 September 2016

Time to Reflect

Many will be returning to work this morning - with the first Monday in September with us. Some 120 individuals will be reflecting on why and how they took part in the 118-mile endurance event, The Heb - The Race on the Edge over the past weekend. The BBC previewed the event and one competitor reviewed her training schedule in FionaOutdoors. Employment of a sedentary nature has its advantages.

Scottish Islands Explorer - a relatively easy read
Digital Edition: reflect on its accessibility from wherever in the world

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Golf, of Course

Here's the newly-manicured green of part of the Ardfin Golf Course, Jura, due to be opened later this year. Originally it was to have been a private facility, but now, perhaps, to be part of an exclusive hotel and course. The boat-house in the background (above) is a re-built version of the one where, in August 1994,  members of the K Foundation incinerated £1 million pounds in brand-new £50 notes. Read about that strange event here.

Scottish Islands Explorer - makes your money go far, intact
Digital Edition: neither private, nor exclusive, at £9.99 per year

Saturday, 3 September 2016

Free Cruise Show Tickets

If you are thinking of heading for Australia, the Antarctic, rivers or, even, islands, do consider what The Cruise Show has to offer, at the SECC in Glasgow on Saturday & Sunday 8 / 9 October. Ten free tickets are available for readers of this blog - so mention us when you send in your request by clicking here.

Scottish Islands Explorer - plenty of scope for cruising here
Digital Edition: direct from the internet; no cruising the clouds!

Friday, 2 September 2016

Longevity off Lewis

This item was double-booked on Tuesday 7 June and received only 33 visitors. So let's go for a second coming and make its length of appearance on the blog to be somewhat different. The Shiants are situated some four miles off the coast of Lewis and have attracted people for many years. However, it's the seabirds that really flock there and one, in particular, has created a record in longevity. Go to the BBC website for an update.

Scottish Islands Explorer - young by this creature's standards
Digital Edition: flock to it with many others

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Employment ... Enjoyment

This simulation by Scotflight Scenery is of the Out Skerries, the most easterly group in Shetland. It simplifies the look of the islands which have about 70 residents. The closures of the salmon farm and of the secondary school, the smallest of its type in the UK, have been followed by the recent mothballing of the primary school now that its last pupil has left. There is a sense of crisis here about the future unless enterprising individuals can bring skills, initiatives, employment and ... enjoyment. Read the full account in Shetland News.

Scottish Islands Explorer - some islands need revivers, not explorers
Digital Edition: new technologies have been applied here