A Crisp Monday

We have been living on Tiree now for over seven years and it feels that this is one of the most prolonged spells of icy weather. We have it on good authority that the island’s roads in many places were like a skating rink this morning. Tiree’s position out in the Atlantic and the fact that it is low lying means that in the winter the weather is generally much milder than on the Mainland. The other side of the coin is that we are more conscious of the wind.

Meals on Wheels

Todasy as we set out for our morning constitutional we had to be extra careful because of the icy conditions. We did not want slip on the ice and fall and have to visit a hospital in Oban or Glasgow, Hospitals are under enough pressure without us adding to it!

The gulls had an eye on a ready meal

As usual we made our way down to the pier and then back up the road and across the Machair to the old harbour. As we stepped onto the Machair we saw a crofter out feeding the sheep – and the gulls with an eye towards a ready meal.

Looking towards the Isle of Mull

Over the past few days, even when the sky has been blue over Tiree, Ben More on the Isle of Mull has been hidden from view, shrouded by menacing clouds. This mornng the clouds parted suficently to give us a hazy, wintry view of the Munro. Oh! These clouds add something to the view.

The Peak Peeking Through

From our south facing windows we loook out across the Passage of Tiree towards the Paps of Jura. At first light today we had a clear view of the Paps but soon the clouds built up and obscured our view. We don’t have to walk far from our home to look out across the Passage towards Ben More. As we walked across the Machair we caught a glimpse of the peak peeking through the clouds which wrapped around the Munro like a scarf.

The Memorial – A Great Vantage Point

Later after a warming cup of coffee it was time to head across to the Memorial situated off Pier Road. The ‘MV Lord of the Isles’ (LOTI) was just heading out to sea bound for the Isle of Coll and then onto the Ferry terminal at Oban. The Memorial and its surrounds afford a great view across the island and out to sea.

A view of the Lighthouse from the Memorial

Although later in the afternoon the clouds began to build up over Tiree, earlier in the day there was blue sky over the island. The clouds that hid the Paps of Jura and the Rum Cuillins had a fascination all of their own. Only the other day someone remarked to us how dramtic the clouds were – and with all manner of formations.

Thr MV Lord of the Isles

On Saturday we said farewell to the ‘MV Clansman’. It will be several weeks before her return to service. On Sunday she made her way to Liverpool for her annual overhaul and certification. On Sunday we welcomed the ‘MV Lord of the Isles’ as the relief vessel. Recently she paid a visit to Tiree when the ‘MV Clansman’ had to undergo a deep clean.

A Wintry Setting

In the past 10 months we have rarely ventured far from Scarinish, the crofting township where we live, but each day there appears a freshness to the land and seascape. We may see the same view but often with a different perspective, We are so grateful that we felt the call of God to live on Tiree – and its a great community to belong to.

This is ‘Life on Tiree’.

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A Good Dusting

Well! The weather forecast was correct for Tiree. For the most part of the week the forecast was for wintry showers turning to snow on Saturday.  Snow is not unknown on Tiree, but it is an unusual occurrence, therefore it is something noteworthy.

It’s snowing!

The island in many ways gets the best of both worlds. From a snow free Tiree we can look out on snow capped neighbouring islands and distant mainland mountain peaks. 

It may be just a dusting to you – but for us it’s a covering

Last evening around 23:30 hours we happened to look out the window and to our pleasant surprise the roof of the car had a covering of snow. It was too dark to see any distance but the road around Pier View was covered in snow.

Wow. It’s still here!

Waking up we wondered if the snow would still be around and we were not disappointed. In fact it appeared to be slightly more than a dusting. Not enough to bury the grass but certainly enough to turn it white.

Looking out to sea from home

Much as we would like to have gone out other responsibilities meant that we had to stay indoors.  Not even the thought of photographing the ‘MV Clansman’ in such a setting could draw us out.  This was all the more difficult as this was the last sailing she would make to Tiree until later in February. Tomorrow witnesses the ‘MV Lord of the Isles’ (LOTI) take over the route in the absence of the ‘Clansman’.

A sharp shock of a snow shower

Before getting down to work, the opportunity was taken to photograph the view from our home,  For the time being that had to do.

What a contrast a few hours later as we set out to walk

Around 12:30 we managed to put work aside and get out for a walk, It was just our normal walk, down Pier Road to the pier and then back up and across the Machair to the old harbour. By this time Pier Road was more or less clear of snow. It was mainly the verges that had a covering.  From the pier we looked across Gott Bay and Ruaig to the snow capped Rum Cuillins. How sharp and impressed they looked. Across the Passage of Tiree Ben More on the Isle of Mull was shrouded in dark clouds.

Frozen Food

Looking across Gott Bay towards Gott and Kirkapol, we could see the sand covered in snow – right down to the water’s edge. 

Snow down to the water’s edge
Looking across to the Rum Cuillin
What a backdrop to Ruaig

The sky itself was dramatic. There was bright blue sky, jet black sky, shades of grey and shafts of sunlight. Tiree’s wide skies had it all.

Down by the harbour

It was great to be out. We didn’t meet many but the few we did see were appreciating the wonder of a snowy island landscape.

Scarinish Farm and Post Offive

Now come walk with us around the old harbour – Enjoy the views!

Around Scarinish Harbour
A Wintry Scene
Tiree Sea Tours’ New Dawn 2
A Slippery Slope
Ben More hidden from view but snow down to sea level
A snowy landscape

This is ‘Life on Tiree’

A Wintry Skyline
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Look To The Skies

It is hard to believe it, but Tuesday is the 1st of December. Where has the month of November gone? Believe it or not, there have been the same number of days as normal – 30 days.  Looking back over the month it appears that for much of the time, whole areas of the island have been under water. It has been day after day of grey skies and at times it seemed like incessant rain.

The Passage of Tiree from Scarinish

Yet, every so often the grey skies have parted and we have had sunshine. It is winter and the comparatively few hours of daylight have had a wintry feel to them as a consequence of the sun being so low in the sky.  

Breakthrough

‘Dreich’, which is much more expressive than drab, is a word that we have heard often throughout the month. Therefore, we have appreciated the few bright days all the more. Saturday the 28th was just one such example of the sun making an appearance at just the right time.

Scarinish Old Harbour

Throughout the month our eyes have been drawn to the skies. Sometimes to try and work out if the cloud cover is too low for the plane to land. If the plane is unable to land there will be no mail to or from the Mainland. On such days it has been so dark that you have required lights on in the house throughout the day.

A rainbow ove Pier View

On occasions the sun has shafted through breaks in the clouds. It has been like nature’s own spotlights. This morning the first few hours of daylight were characterised by low cloud cover over the Passage of Tiree. The horizon was marked by a letterbox that was filled with a red glow. How we appreciated seeing the distant Paps of Jura standing out against the narrow red backdrop. Soon the clouds were to be rolled up to reveal a welcome blue sky. 

A rainbow arcing over Scarinish Post Office

Another feature of the past month has been the frequency of rainbows. Many of them have found there way onto social media. Sometimes they have been like an early warning system to head for home before getting a soaking.

A wintry sunset

In the coming days  children will be looking to the skies to the see if they can catch a glimpse of a sleigh with a man in a red suit on board.  I have heard that in the not too distant future he will be making a special visit. to the Isle of Tiree.

The Big Guy made a trial run over Scarinish on the 28th of November

It made me think of a song by the musician and song writer Graham Kendrick. It is reminder that for the followers of Jesus, Christmas is the celebration of his coming to planet earth, when he became one of us – a real flesh and blood baby. It is also a reminder of his promise to return for those who have put their confident trust in him.

Looking out over Gott Bay from the Scarinish headland

Jesus said, “You must not let yourselves be distressed—you must hold on to your faith in God and to your faith in me. There are many rooms in my Father’s House. If there were not, should I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? It is true that I am going away to prepare a place for you, but it is just as true that I am coming again to welcome you into my own home, so that you may be where I am.” (The Bible – John 14)

Almost the Full Moon rising over the Isle of Mull

And the first verse and refrain of the song by Graham Kendrick
Look to the skies, there’s a celebration
Lift up your heads, join the angel song
For our Creator becomes our Saviour
As a baby born!
Angels, amazed, bow in adoration
‘Glory to God in the highest heaven!’
Send the good news out to every nation
For our hope has come
Worship the King – come, see His brightness
Worship the King, His wonders tell
Jesus our King is born today
We welcome You, Emmanuel

Graham Kendrick – Copyright © 1983 Thankyou Music

Looking over to Ben More on the Isle of Mull

At this point in the calendar we normally look back over the year. In many ways it has been like no other. From March to July we never entered a shop and in fact since then only Mrs Life on Tiree has been shopping. For much of the year we have hardly ventured out of Scarinish. We did manage a week on the North East of Scotland when we stayed in a cottage right on the harbour at Findochty. Our annual review of the year will look very different.

A fiery wintry sunset

This coming week we will be visiting Oban to keep an appointment. It will be the first time the we have been on the ferry since the very beginning of March.  We are so grateful to those who have maintained the transport links to the Mainland during the pandemic.

Over the roof tops

Jesus is revealed as Emmanuel. The name means ‘God With Us’. There is a take on a poplar saying, ‘Jesus is for life and not just for Christmas’.  How true – for he has been with us throughout the year – the year like no other. And no matter what 2021 may bring our confidence is in him.

Looking beyond Scinish to Ben Hynish

This is ‘Life On Tiree’.

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A Wee Reminder

Once again the slates on our roof have been doing a merry dance. More than once during the the early hours of Friday we were wakened by the sound. A mixture of hail and rain added to the cacophony and lasted well into the morning. In fact the sound of rattling tiles carried on throughout […]

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Every Picture

It’s that point in the calendar when the media, including social media, reviews the year that is fast slipping away. In a few days’ time we will step into another decade and a year that is a leap year. What better time to select just one picture from each month that was 2019. It has […]

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Summer! Really?

Baroque legend Vivaldi’s most famous work for violin is ‘The Four Seasons’. We usually associate Vivaldi with Venice and the Italian sun. Is there a hint here that Summer is on its way? Spring is the transition season between Winter and Summer. In Spring daylight hours noticeably get much longer Temperatures normally start to get […]

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Only the 2nd of February

It was only the second of February Yet if felt better than many a day in July. There was hardly a breath of wind and it was sunny. The weather forecast for over six hours of sunshine was accurate. First light with its red glow promised clear sight of the sunrise. The glow and the […]

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A Winter’s Day

From first light to star light it was one beautiful day. The day was the last day of January 2019. It was dry, crisp and sunny. Although not the most dramatic sunrise it was still a delight. As the day progressed the sense of delight increased. It was a bright uplifting winter’s day. It is […]

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I Love Tiree’s Big Sky

It is winter time here on the Isle of Tiree. The sun is much lower in the sky and thus less intense. It also means that the hours of daylight are considerably less. Whatever the season, spring or autumn, summer or winter I appreciate our big sky. It’s Monday morning and it appears the sky […]

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Happy Christmas

The Isle of Tiree has a very special Christmas Tree. It was designed by a resident to stand in the wind. And it has been proved to do just that. It is to be found in Crossapol. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town […]

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