Friday, 30 November 2018

Gaelic Board Game

A Gaelic version of an old Scottish board game is on sale for the festive season. Read about Scottish Quest in The Press and Journal item. It could lighten a dark evening and will give insights into language and location.

Scottish Islands Explorer - links language and location
Digital Edition: goes places at speed regardless of language

Thursday, 29 November 2018

House of the Year

The RIBA House of the Year 2018 is a remote off-grid property, Lochside House, in the West Highlands. It certainly has insular appeal and its style could be replicated on many island sites. Do take a look around by clicking here.

Scottish Islands Explorer - knows the importance of design
Digital Edition: not always compatible with 'remote'

Wednesday, 28 November 2018

Robotic versus Reassuring

Concern has been expressed by some mariners regarding the sound messages from the Stornoway Coastguard Operations Centre in Lewis. A robotic voice has been trialled and it lacks the reassurance of the human chords, long evident in such as the BBC Shipping Forecast. Read about this on the BBC Website.

Scottish Islands Explorer - changes of weather always feature
Digital Edition: the visual scores

Tuesday, 27 November 2018

'A Lot of Cliff Up There'

The sea cliffs of Foula, in the Shetland group, are high and match those of St Kilda. Some people have had the privilege to see them; others have a passion to climb them. Join two from the latter group through YouTube.

Scottish Islands Explorer - likes ultimate ventures
Digital Edition: sends experiences worldwide

Monday, 26 November 2018

Funding For Facilities

Hallgate Farmhouse, Rousay, Orkney, is one of many ruins on an island that displays a vast range of archaeological history. A £260k tranche has been given to help create more facilities to attract visitors. See the BBC Website.

Scottish Islands Explorer - more outlets for the magazine?
Digital Edition: well within range

Sunday, 25 November 2018

Crofters' Old Ways

Crofters' Old Ways are Caught on Camera this coming Wednesday (28 November) on BBC Alba. First take a look at the article by Jan Patience in yesterday's edition of The Times. There's a treat in store.

Scottish Islands Explorer - monitors ways of doing things
Digital Edition: can access the past, fast

Saturday, 24 November 2018

Humpback Whales

Bressay Lighthouse stands secure while a little below the surface of the Sound, there is turbulence in the waters as humpback whales appear to frolic. See them in action through the Shetland Times.

Scottish Islands Explorer - tends to be static in its print form
Digital Edition: has something of a dynamic format

Friday, 23 November 2018

Faray Purchase

The islands of Faray, Holm of Faray and Red Holm, recently on the market for £200k, are to be purchased by Orkney Islands Council. Read about this proposal featured in The Orcadian.

Scottish Islands Explorer - three to explore in one lot
Digital Edition: likely to work there

Thursday, 22 November 2018

Services Saved on Luing

Luing, one of the Argyll islands, is home to 163 residents who were in danger of losing their only post office and shop. New owners have been found and The Press and Journal has the story. The photo with reflections in sea and sky is from Mike Fenney Photography.

Scottish Islands Explorer - should be stocked on islands
Digital Edition: readily available everywhere

Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Illicit Samples from Skye

Samples, possibly containing remarkable evidence, have been taken from a 60-million-year-old meteorite site on Skye. The incident shows how casual interest can harm vital research. See the BBC website account.

Scottish Islands Explorer - complete sets are in demand
Digital Edition: make impacts without having a permanent effect

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Modernise A Manse?

Old rectories and manses have often been selected for modernisation as they were originally built in substantial styles. Why not consider the Orkney island of Sanday for acquiring a freehold property constructed in the late 1800s, with five bedrooms and plenty of space? The island has much to offer. See the house details.

Scottish Islands Explorer - enjoys speculation about property
Digital Edition: interest in houses usually need broadband certainties

Monday, 19 November 2018

The Atlantic Asset

The residents of Canna are not on the national grid for electricity supplies and have had to rely on diesel generators. Now their power comes indirectly from the Atlantic winds via turbines, similar to those on Eigg (above). The Press and Journal has an account of this harnessing of what is now an asset.

Scottish Islands Explorer - powered by passion and print as well as ...
Digital Edition: ... the internet

Sunday, 18 November 2018

Fields for Fuel

Oil and Gas UK has announced a new find in the northern part of the North Sea. It is estimated to be the source of between 15 - 50 million barrels and is situated in the Viking Graben Fields. Look into it on the BBC website

Scottish Islands Explorer - drills for reading materials
Digital Edition: needs relatively little energy

Saturday, 17 November 2018

Seasonal Sale

From now until Friday 7 December 2018, there is a 30% discount available on the photographs, books and prints of Beka Globe, of the Mission House Studio, Finsbay, Isle of Harris. Browse her work and order on line through her website and enter WINTER2018 in the appropriate box.

Scottish Islands Explorer - photographs in plenty
Digital Edition: provides instant images

Friday, 16 November 2018

Quay Closures

Here's a CalMac ferry close to the Coll quay. Docking will be unavailable for car-ferries for a four-week period both here and at Tiree while new facilities are installed. See The Press and Journal.

Scottish Islands Explorer - mailed copies will get through
Digital Edition: its facilities will be unimpeded

Thursday, 15 November 2018

Digital Era Arrived

Loading planes at North Ronaldsay Airport still involves human labour, but passengers wanting to book inter-island flights have everything at their fingertips. See The Orcadian item on the introduction of digital access.

Scottish Islands Explorer - also moving into this era
Digital Edition: already there

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

One Thing Leads ...

... to another. So a landslide in the remote mainland country between Loch Garry and Kinloch Hourn, to the north of Fort William, leads to damaged cables and a cut in electricity supplies to Skye and some parts of the Western Isles. The Press and Journal has the details.

Scottish Islands Explorer - not so dependent
Digital Edition: affected at the final stages of distribution

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

To Within An Inch

The Skerryvore Lighthouse was designed by Alan Stevenson to be erected on An Sgeir Mhor, the large skerry, some eleven miles south-west of Tiree. Work started in 1837 and after 58,000 cubic feet of granite was shipped to the islet, often surrounded by turbulent seas, the final stone was put in place in 1842. The actual construction, at 138ft, was within an inch of its height calculated on the drawing board. Robert Louis Stevenson described the engineering wonder as being 'the noblest of all extant deep sea lights'.

Scottish Islands Explorer - has never knowingly been taken there
Digital Edition: could be off the radar here


Monday, 12 November 2018

Beauty and the Bowl

A 2000-year-old bowl discovered during the summer at The Cairns archaeological site on South Ronaldsay, Orkney, is an object of beauty that was considered sufficient precious to be repaired many generations ago. Look into it at History Scotland.

Scottish Islands Explorer - will copies last 1% of this time?
Digital Edition: worth preserving

Sunday, 11 November 2018

Take a New Perspective

Broad Bay is some seven miles to the north of Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, and Broad Bay House, with six bedrooms and accommodation facilities, is on the market with PrimeLocation.

Here, in a stunning setting, is a fine guest house and an expansive family home, built to high standards in 2007. It may provide a new perspective for work, leisure and lifestyle.

Scottish Islands Explorer - likes looking at lifestyles
Digital Edition: ideal for marketing a business

Saturday, 10 November 2018

Off-shore and Unsure

Two Shetland scenes - Sumburgh Head (above) and Fetlar (below) - indicate that island life can be lonely. The decline in numbers of people on the off-shore islands in the archipelago has recently been raised

and is reported in The Press and Journal, accompanied by a map showing the specific figures for residents from the 2011 Census.

Scottish Islands Explorer - counts its copies as well as populations
Digital Edition: always rising

Friday, 9 November 2018

New Delivery Service

There are times when residents of, say, Papa Stour (above) or on the road to Hope (below) find that delivery services exclude the Highlands & Islands. A new company was set up last Monday to make life easier. Highland Parcels could well be a godsend for those who live in the far north. Shetland News has more details.

Scottish Islands Explorer - could well be using the service
Digital Edition: has its built-in courier device

Thursday, 8 November 2018

Airport Numbers Up

A modern building and a moorland background give Stornoway Airport an attractive look. During October 2018 it saw a record number of passengers using its facilities. The details are reported in the Stornoway Gazette.

Scottish Islands Explorer - copies are flown in and out of this airport
Digital Edition: copies fly anywhere

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Festival Intake

It has been estimated that last July's two-day Eilean Dorchas Festival on Benbecula brought in over half-a-million pounds to the local economy. Discover the details at The Press and Journal.

Scottish Islands Explorer - was not on sale there
Digital Edition: could have been accessed, given wifi

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Northern Lights Array

Here's one of a fine array - on the BBC Website - of images of the Northern Lights photographed over Shetland during the run-up to 5 November. 

Scottish Islands Explorer - lights up some readers' lives
Digital Edition: cuts quietly across the skies 

Monday, 5 November 2018

Plug for Pathe

Ailsa Craig, 245 acres in extent, was once a volcanic plug, is a marker in the outer reaches of the Firth of Clyde and its blue hone granite has been the source of curling stones for many years. Its archaic look is brought out by a clip of film - now 84 years old - from the archives of British Pathe. Here, Pathe News, was the source of cinema newsreels and documentaries from 1910 - 1970. 

Scottish Islands Explorer - has added colour
Digital Edition: how access to information has moved on 

Sunday, 4 November 2018

The Final Expansion

Rockall receives its occasional visitors, but for the most part - particularly during the winter months - is seldom seen. An article in The Guardian by Fraser MacDonald puts interest in the islet into context - from individual efforts to stop, stare and, even, stay to its being the last piece of land to be incorporated into the empire that's British.

Scottish Islands Explorer - likes ultimate destinations
Digital Edition: few places are off the radar for reception

Saturday, 3 November 2018

A Truly Top Spot

The Three Chimneys on Skye has a remarkable reputation as a place to eat, stay and ... talk about. It has now received an ultimate accolade - rated among the five top restaurants in the world by The Wall Street Journal. Read about it in The Press and Journal and find out the names and whereabouts of the other four. Think of the money you'll save by not going!

Scottish Islands Explorer - an annual subscription for the price of a ....?
Digital Edition: for thoroughly good service

Friday, 2 November 2018

Orkney To Test 5G

There's a consortium about to test the effectiveness of 5G Broadband on small communities and projects in Orkney. Read about it on the BBC Website and how 20 Stronsay residents, perhaps from Whitehall (above), will be recruited to switch between radio signals. Solar panels on Graemsay (below) will be used to see whether they can receive broadband delivered over infra-red light.

Scottish Islands Explorer - would delight in high-tech transmission
Digital Edition: will undoubtedly benefit eventually

Thursday, 1 November 2018

Shinty Revival

There has been, in recent years, a revival of the ancient game of shinty in Lewis and Harris. Its history goes back some 2000 years to hurling in Ireland and the, now virtually defunct, sport of bando in Wales. The spacious setting (above) for the match between Lewis and Lochcarron (on the Mainland) contrasts with a home fixture venue at Shawbost for the Lewis versus Lochbroom encounter. Space must have been somewhat restricted, in 1695, when Martin Martin reported about the game taking place on St Kilda with 'short clubs and balls of wood' and players competing for 'eggs, fowls, hooks and tobacco'.

Scottish Islands Explorer - home to more sedate activities, like reading
Digital Edition: enters homes quietly