It is Tuesday and looking out of the window on awakening, it was beautiful and sunny with blue sky overhead. However by 8:00am low cloud blanketed most of the island. Throughout the morning there were occasional breaks in the cloud but then the mist would descend once again.
By lunchtime the sun had broken through and with hardly a breeze it felt pleasantly warm. The one downside was that it brought out the midges, flies and clegs (horse flies). Still compared to many other islands and much of the West Coast of Scotland the Isle of Tiree gets off lightly when it comes to viscous blood sucking insects.
It is a busy week at the Baptist Church premises at Baugh. In the morning it is the ‘J Files’ Holiday Club and in the evening it is the Encounters’ Summer Special. As the evening’s activities drew to a close an orange glow the began to light up the west facing wall. It looked like we might have a colourful sunset.
The sun was sinking in the West as I headed for home in Scarinish. All the way home I had to resist the urge to stop and photograph. Driving through Scarinish the pressure was particularly intense due to dramatic orange backdrop to many of the houses. The timing of my arrival at the CMAL Pier in Gott Bay was perfect with the sun not yet below the horizon. What excites me Is not just the colourful palette that had been employed in painting sky and sea, it is the ability to appreciate the scene before my eyes.
As I walked down the pier I met one man and his dog. He too was enjoying the serene scene and we were both thankful the midges were absent from the vicinity of the pier.
As we have recently been reminded there is more to the island than wonderful beaches and glorious sunrises and sunsets. Tiree is a working island with a real sense of community. There is laughter and tears, joys and heartaches. There is real concern whenever there is the sound of an unexpected plane – normally an air-ambulance
Glasgow’s strap line is that ‘People Make Glasgow’ and this is how I feel about our community, ‘People Make Tiree’.
This is the fourth year the Baptist Church has held a holiday club at Baugh, helped greatly by a four person team from the Baptist Union of Scotland – part of the family coming over to help. Two of the leaders have been present for all four years – they keep returning. It is interesting what they have to say about Tiree.
RK says, “It’s about the people. They are so friendly and welcoming…lots of lovely smiles and waves from drivers and in the shop and cafes. We are spending time with the children and it’s such a pleasure…they enter into activities so enthusiastically. They are fantastic singers! I also love the remote feeling of the island…the wildlife and sunshine and the laidback atmosphere. I don’t want to rush…I want to slow down and savour everything…”
KN says, “People are so friendly and always willing to help you out. Every year I come I help with a kids’ club and there is so much enthusiasm and enjoyment that is so contagious that I can’t help but smile.”
This is ‘Life on Tiree’ appreciating belonging to an island where there is a real sense of community and it is a community that genuinely shows care. For those who have never met the ‘J Files’ Team from the Holiday Club here is a photograph.
“You can never get too many colourful sunsets.”