|Mairi Morrison and Mark Whitaker|
|Mark and Frances Merriman|
A perfect crossing from Oban to Tiree on the Calmac ferry 'The Clansman'. On arrival we were met by a committee of islanders all of whom are involved in the Tiree feis, a week of events aimed at celebrating the Gaelic culture of the island. This same group showed us spectacular hospitality throughout our stay. As a consequence the hall, where we performed 'Angus - Weaver of Grass', was full of groups of young people playing accordions, chanters, pipes - and singing. Our show was free, having been supported with donations from several local trusts and one individual. Well over 200 people turned up - almost a third of the island population, and we were given a great reception.
|Outside the Tiree hall before the show started|
|The machair on Tiree|
For me the show was typical of many shows performed in village halls without raked seating or a stage - perhaps 60 or 70 people get a good view, but the majority see very little. Of course they hear the music but I find it hard to imagine how they can really follow the action and the story. I stood near the back and could see almost nothing. Still, the show got a great reception, and almost 100 stayed back for up to an hour to ask questions, see the puppets and masks, as well as Joanne B Kaar's woven artefacts (Joanne herself was in the audience). We sold our entire collection of 30 copies of Roger Hutchinson's 'The Silent Weaver', and I had a long queue of people lining up to congratulate me on the production.
|The lounge on 'The Clansman' on our crossing to Barra, the 'feis cruise'|
|The blue H+B van leaves 'The Clansman' with Kisimul Castle behind. Castlebay, Barra.|
Then today on to Barra on a crossing that just happened to be the 'feis cruise' with the young musicians of Tiree playing on the journey, along with a piper and a fiddler on the deck. We passed through a group of about 20 basking sharks on yet another smooth and perfect voyage, again under perfect blue skies. Then a quick journey up to the north of Barra and from there the small ferry to Eriskay and finally a drive to Uist and Benbecula. Tomorrow - a day off! Fantastic.