The Christmas Number

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IMG_5714Wishing happiness and blessings to all our readers at Christmas
greeting includes all men on earth of goodwill regardless of religious proclivity and is non gender-specific

The schoolchildren are hosting a Christmas Dinner, and have already issued their invitations – they cannot invite everybody, so those of us who are lucky enough to be going will have to enjoy it ...

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Christmas Competition

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Our illustration is from a later edition of David Wilson’s Colonsay Map of 1804; this particular edition includes the new Mill, so is probably dated about 1870, but the edition is not relevant.  We have reproduced a section between Scalasaig and Machrins, and it shows the new road passing An Garbh Cladaich, but does not yet show the one across the Monadh Thomach (which is, presumably, as yet undrained).

 

A “D” shaped enclosure is shewn to the south of the road ...

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Hallowe’en and Guy Fawkes

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There was a great party for Hallowe’en, held at the Backpackers Lodge and attended by all the children.   Commemoration of Guy Fawkes’ bid for parliamentary reform took the form of a giant bonfire, tactfully relocated closer to the shoreline now that the original site has been transformed into a pleasure garden.  (The garden is looking great, lots of volunteers have got it all ready for winter, nicely weeded and richly seaweeded – a credit to all concerned.)
[Apologies – photographs ...

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Other Activities

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Other local activities include the Scottish Country Dancing practice sessions held on Wednesday evenings,led by Seamus and Christine and supported by about a dozen folk.  There is also a Badminton Group, meeting on Tuesdays (and sometimes Thursdays), there is the Quiz Night held every Friday (in the Pantry) and a new Gaelic Learners Course is about to commence.  People still use cars, but there is growing trend towards horses as well – almost 10% of the winter traffic is equine! ...

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Come to Colonsay in 2015

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Holidays for 2015: If you already have your reservations made, please remember to send any outstanding deposits.  If you have not yet booked, please refer to www.colonsay.org.uk to see the full range of accommodation together with availability charts, either embedded into the relevant page or accessed by a link.  The situation changes daily in December/January as lots of people find they have to revise their plans; if your desired dates and place are not available, check with the owner ...

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Gortin

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Because it is looking so smart in our warm winter sunshine it deserves to be seen.  Persons with acute vision can see that even the chimney pots have been painted – Santa will be chuffed!

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Colonsay & Oronsay Heritage Trust

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COHT has secured the services of Hazel Smith to assist in the professional preparation and submission of bids for funding.  Your correspondent looks forward to further news, but is aware that Hazel has already made great progress in drawing together the representatives of all agencies involved – to an outside observer, things are looking very encouraging.  Prof. Colin Breen, from University of Ulster, was in Colonsay last week and has assured the Primary School that he will be back again in ...

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Scalasaig Minor Light

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This year Colonsay and Oransay Heritage Trust were awarded a grant by the Association of Industrial Archaeology to restore the original Scalasaig minor light. The light, which was oil lit, was built by David A. Stevenson on commission from the Northern Lighthouse Board in 1903. Known locally as An cruisgen it was subsequently replaced by a gas light on a square building in 1957 and when this was demolished in 2003 the original light was broken up and kept in ...

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RSPB Wildlife Notes

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An exciting arrival on the strand this month was a little egret. Only the third record for Colonsay & Oronsay, the egret has been seen feeding regularly in the shallow pools at low tide and has also been seen on the golf course once the tide is in. This compact, brilliantly white heron has black legs and bright yellow feet so is hard to miss. Only appearing in the UK for the first time in 1989 it has naturally begun ...

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A Rare Bird

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As Andrew Abrahams pointed out, lots of experts may have seen it, but he got the picture:

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He/she (?) is a snow bunting.  Arrived with a bunch of fieldfares and redwings and stayed for a few days.  David Jardine classes it as a “rare winter visitor”

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Just Fancy That:

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  • Owing to some antediluvian anomaly (going back at least to the time of David MacBrayne) Colonsay suffers from mind-boggling freight charges – a lorry travelling from Oban to Colonsay return is surcharged £300 for the privilege, compared with the charge for the same lorry from Oban to Coll return.  Transport Scotland has been challenged about this, says it is not interested in doing anything about it before 2116, if then (despite the fact that the surcharge is clearly illegal under ...
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“The Corncrake”

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The editor’s chair is vacant still – the position is unpaid, but it is rewarding in other ways.  The main purpose of the magazine is to maintain links with the island’s extended community – friends, relations, regular visitors, occasional visitors or people whose roots or hearts are in the island.  If you live in Colonsay please contact any Director of Colonsay Community Development Company to let them know you might be interested.  Of course, whether or not you live here, ...

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Politics

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This is the Season of Goodwill so there are none included; in any case we will all get quite enough of politics in the next six months.  We should remember, however, that “the price of freedom is eternal vigilance”; in the past, and in many countries, people have not noticed the stealthy advance of movements of an ultimately extreme character until it is too late.  “Insular” is an OK word to describe an island, not the inhabitants.  Human beings are ...

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On The Grapevine

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OK – this time Bill and Annie really have gone to Oz;  Argyll & Bute Planners came to give their views on possible wind-turbine locations and possible low-cost housing; the Screen-Machine came – an articulated lorry that transforms into a 100-seat luxurious cinema – and was warmly supported across four public performances plus a bonus one for the schoolchildren; beach-cleaning continues and that Balnahard eyesore really will be attacked in December; no progress yet on the two west windows in ...

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