Balemartine Past Times

Following the very different summer we’ve just had on the island – I’ve been looking through some old archive photos of The Terrace – here in Balemartine – and how Blue Beyond Cottage used to look in the early part of the last century. These photographs were taken sometime around 1910.

Something of a reflection of our current situation. The photographs show a much quieter time with a slower place of life. Livestock seems to feature large – we even had a pet pig in Balemartine!

Cowardly Flycatcher

We’ve only had a fraction of our usual visitors to the island this year. For most of the summer travel restrictions meant that only essential visitors were allowed to arrive and the island enjoyed a time of relative quietude.

Of course, for those who didn’t need permission to sail or fly the island has been a haven and a sanctuary. We’ve been delighted to see so many of our usual resident birds thriving this year – numbers have been encouraging and they’ve been much more visible than usual. We’ve even had some rare species on the island.

In our celebrity obsessed world –  we’ve had a visitor this week that’s attracted a lot of attention. All the way from North America – and way off course – Tiree has been home to a Yellow-bellied Flycatcher. The twitchers have been here and the airport has been full of camouflage, cameras and scopes! Photo | John Bowler RSPB Tiree

Making and Mending

The last few days have been wild and windy. There’s no doubt that this is the start of winter and we’re entering the season of storms.

We always wonder what will be revealed as the wind-driven sea scours the beach just below the cottage. Each winter, as the sand is eroded and relocated along the beach, the history of our township is revealed. Discarded household objects are tantalisingly uncovered and we have great fun speculating about who they belonged to, how they were used and why they were consigned to the midden.

Alongside the ubiquitous glass bottles, broken crockery and kitchen utensils we sometimes find exotic, unusual and bizarre objects.

This winter we’ve already found an old stock pot which would have been suspended over the kitchen range in one of the cottages and an old sewing machine!  An old tailor used to live in the house next to ours many years ago. Could this be one of his old machines – discarded after many years of making and mending clothes for the whole township.



Turn And Turn About

As we slip slowly towards autumn – it’s always hard to determine the change in seasons on Tiree – the weather has taken a turn towards changeable and fickle. It’s turn and turn about – one grim day followed by a stunner followed by another grim one! Today’s been windy but brilliantly clear and the colours of the sky, the sea and the land have been intense and vivid. These bright days feed the senses and the soul. This is truly an amazing island.