No! Not the next door neighbours nor the stars of a TV soap. The neighbours in mind are those from the neighbouring island of Colonsay. From our south facing windows we look beyond Colonsay to the more distant peaks of Jura. Colonsay itself is too low lying for us to make out with the naked eye.
From our home at Scarinish on Tiree to Scalasaig on Colonsay is less than 40 miles (38.5 miles), yet to travel by ferry involves an overnight stay in Oban as there is no direct sailing. With the advent of the roll-on roll-off ferry gone are the days of true inter island crossings.
One of the joys of living on Tiree is welcoming visitors to the island. Some come briefly to carry out work, others are holiday makers. Often on a Sunday some join us at church. Recently we had the great pleasure of welcoming a young married couple from Colonsay into our home for coffee. Ros had come to Tiree from Colonsay to further develop her skills as a carer. We first met her at one of the Holy Week events on Tiree. On the Saturday her husband Chris joined her and both joined in the Easter Day celebrations at church.
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Over coffee we heard more about life on Colonsay. It has a much smaller population than Tiree, with less than 200 people living there. They have trees and rhododendron bushes! Unlike Tiree they have no resident nurse or district nurse at present. Ros is also an artist working in paint, stone and with glass. She has worked in Liverpool, Lancashire, Greater Manchester and Plymouth with community groups and schools. She says that North Africa and the USA have also been fascinating places to work with children and young people. You will find her online presence here.
Earlier this year we had been invited to go on holiday to Colonsay, so we are looking forward to meeting our neighbours, Chris and Ros and seeing Colonsay for ourselves. The last time we went to Colonsay, many moons ago, was on a non landing evening cruise. This time we want to sample the delights the island has to offer.