On Friday we had a long meeting, in part to close an eventful year at the theatre (and in our venue - the Boo), but also to decide how we would proceed with the Angus McPhee project. The grant from the Foyle Foundation gives us a firm foundation, and we agreed to use the money for precisely the work it was awarded for - to further research and prepare for a show about Angus, his life and his work, and that a large part will be created in the Uists. Over the next few weeks we'll be in touch with our partners in the project and discuss how we will move things forward in 2011.
Being far from the land that I know
Is what has stirred me in my sadness
Because nostalgia wounds me
Since there are none around me of the folk I know
I will touch the harp-strings of my voice
To see if I can fashion a little song for me
About green, grassy Uist of the glens
And something of the way of the people who live there
The last glimpse of the sun
After it has circled the whole day
May be seen from my land
Just before it rises again on it.
I must cut short my account for today
Since my time has gone
And even if I lived twelve times as long as a stag
I could not recount all the beauties of Uist.
The translated first and last verses of Moladh Uibhist, "In Praise of Uist", written (in the Gaelic) by the late Roderick MacKay of North Uist. A version by Julie Fowlis closes her second album "Mar a tha mo Chridhe" and hearing it again it can't but remind me of Angus and his, perhaps necessary, long exile from home.