Author: Palisander

A Scottish Safari

Goats,rabbits,Highland cows,pheasants and even our first sighting of a family of Deer,following a Stag,gave us great excitement on our journey from Gairloch to Newtonmore yesterday.

We stopped at Inverness for lunch. Our firet time back in a city since this day last week! We ventured on in search of the Loch Ness monster, taking almost an hour to drive the length of the Loch. We didn’t realise quite how big it was, until seeing it up close. Coolto be in a place of Legend 🙂

Looked after by Roy when we got there, ww had a quick rehearsal and some delicious food before the concert. One of the young children from the Isle of Eigg had recommended our concert to her granny, and she was sat right up the front with a big smile. Afterwards, one lady described us as a “chorus of wondrous birds.”

We stayed in a really great B&B, looked after by Karen and Phil, who jumped in to help their friend out (the owner of the B&B). Wine last night with them and Roy, and a cooked breakfast this morning. Not bad, at all!

Last leg of the tour now, on our way to Edinburgh where we’ve managed to squeeze in a lunchtime recital at St. Giles Cathedral before all heading back to London. Thank you Tunnell Trust for an amazing opportunity. We’ve had a brilliant week!

The Scottish Weather has Finally Arrived

From snow to sunshine, we thought we had escaped the heavy rain, but Scotland didn’t let us down 😉

Becoming experts in our technique for packing the car (bags and instruments galore with just enough space for us humans!), we headed on a bit of a longer, rainy journey yesterday from Skye to Gairloch (back on the main land), going even higher into the highlands. We had a little pit stop in a quaint little village called Plockton, right by the water, finding some cosy seats by the fire for a hot chocolate and some lunch.
The place mats gave us some entertainment! Can you figure them out?

Our rehearsal and concert venue was a church right on the water in a very quiet village called Altbea. We met Sarah from West Coast Arts, who made us tea and a lovely stew for dinner. She was delighted when the room filled up for the concert…. They even had to put out extra seating!

We’re now headed to Newtownmore, back down towards Edinburgh and looking forward to our 6th concert of the tour later.

Exploring the Isle of Skye!

Well, the Isle of Skye is a pretty stunning spot! We may all want to move here…..can we be professional recorder players and wake up to these views every day??!

Hosted so warmly and generously by Angus for two nights with delicious home cooked meals (and homemade pavlova!),
we were so lucky yesterday morning to get the best part of the day for our exploration around the north of the Isle. Beautiful sunshine and beautiful views, from gorges to fairy glen, cliffs to waterfalls.

After a yummy lunch back with Angus, looking out at the sea view, we headed to Portree for our rehearsal at St. Columbas church. A perfect acoustic for our recorders.

With a great turn out for the concert, we had some lovely chats with audience members over tea during the interval. One lady told us how she had seen us back in England while visiting her sister about 2 years ago and when she saw that we were playing in her neck of the woods she had to come along again. Another lady told us that one of our pieces/story reminded her of a chapter from The Wind in the Willows, so we’ll have to check that one out and see can we add it to our readings 🙂

We’re now on route through the mountains (with views of snowcapped ones!) to Gairloch and looking forward to our 5th concert of the tour there tonight.

Finding our sea legs!

Our stay on Eigg at St Franny’s Bothy gave us the cosiest view of a storm we’ve ever seen! Unfortunately our stay was cut short, but we have to say a big thank you to the islanders (particularly Lucy!) who helped us to squeeze in as much sight seeing as we could before catching an earlier ferry.

The rest of the day (including a hair raising couple of hours on the water) was spent travelling to our destination for the concert tonight: the Isle of Skye.

Thank you to Lucy for these pictures of us performing at Eigg, first at the Island’s primary school, and then the concert itself!

A One of a Kind Journey from Green Room to Stage!

We had such a surreal adventure on the Isle of Eigg yesterday! It was wonderful to see a great community spirit among the people we met. All so friendly and a real inspiration.

After a windey drive through the stunning mountains from Fortwilliam to Mallaig to catch the ferry to the Isle (reversing on board!), we went straight to Eigg primary school where the five children treated us to a tour of the school and a mini whistle recital. We had great fun performing for them and getting to know them, learning some stories about the Isle.

Lunch was had at the pier tea room where we met Luna the dog and experienced the best ‘Dirty Chips’, complete with haggis.

With our luggage transported up the hill by quad bike, we stayed in the cutest little hut, St Frannys Bothy, with a wood burning stove, snuggly pod beds and an incredible sea view. After our rehearsal in the community hall (fairylights in abundance!) we had a lovely home cooked meal back in our bothy, before getting concert ready and then venturing through the dark with our torches on a muddy track back to our performance space in the hall. Lots of laughs were had along the way!