It is 50 years ago that writer Adam Nicolson first visited the Shiant Isles with his father, and the experience has stayed with him to this day. “I will never forget the dazzling, entrancing moment when he first showed me the bird colonies there.”
“Erotic” might not be what immediately comes to mind when you think of Gaelic literature or poetry – and yet that’s exactly the theme of the award-winning anthology, ‘An Leabhar Liath, The Light Blue Book: 500 Years of Gaelic Love and Transgressive Verse,” edited by Peter Mackay and Iain S. Macpherson.
As a former art critic for the Sunday Herald, an illustrated children’s book author, and a short film animator, Catriona Black’s art career has been wide and varied – and is about to take another turn when her first solo exhibition is launched at Faclan, the Hebridean Book Festival, later this month.
It’s widely recognized that the opportunity to be have fun, be creative, and develop physical literacy through play is important for children, particularly in their early years.
But as public budgets shrink, and the costs of maintaining traditional play areas becomes challenging, local authorities – including Comhairle nan Eilean Siar – are looking at alternative ways to provide play space for young people.
Data released last month by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) shows continued educational success for the Western Isles, as well as highlighting some areas for improvement.
If, as the dictionary definition explains, a signature is a “distinctive pattern, product, or characteristic by which someone or something can be identified,” what would the signature of a community look like? What would be its distinctive characteristics?
It was nearing midnight and the sky still remained light. The only hint of sunset visible from the kitchen window was a pink smudge above the Minch, the stretch of water that separates the islands of the Outer Hebrides from the mountains of the Scottish coast.
Last month’s launch of the new e-Sgoil satellite hub, in the old Carinish School building in North Uist, showcased a number of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar’s educational aims, from developing the islands’ young workforce to working within the community.
With the recruitment process now complete, September marks a new start for the careers of the 34 apprentices who will be taking up their posts throughout the Western Isles this month.
The launch of new apprenticeships in the Outer Hebrides is being hailed as a success, after 250 applications were submitted for the 40 work placements, which were announced by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar in May.
In an effort to tackle population decline and boost employment opportunities for the islands’ young people, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar – with funding from the Scottish Government – recently launched a group focused on ‘Developing the Young Workforce’ of the Outer Hebrides.