Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Arrived safely at The Ceilidh Place ,Ullapool

We have made it to Ullapool for the gig tonight, the journey up was very scenic with a clear sky and the low winter light making the trees glow as if they were on fire.

The concert in Tobermory last night was, as always a delight. It really took a mighty effort to get to the gig. We changed our original plans of flying to Inverness to pick up our car and travel onwards to Mull. Instead, in order to make the Oban ferry we had to fly from Fair Isle-Shetland-Glasgow , picked up a hire car and drive like mad things to make the 6 o`clock ferry to Mull. Flybe lost my luggage!! (Boo hoo!)
photos: Dave Wheeler

We were picked up by the lovely Gordon Maclean on the Mull side and we arrived to gig with 1/2 an hour to go before the concert started. The gig went well and I was surprised and delighted to see Norman Chalmers among the audience.

Conrad, Gareth and myself went down to the Mishnish for a much deserved late night dram and ended up back at Josie Jumps yellow house for a good nights sleep!!

Thanks to Gordon Maclean for believing that we would get there...........till da moarn........C x

The Jazz Viking!

After having a lovely time and an unexpected holiday in Fair Isle we finally made it off the island and via Glasgow Airport have bombed it back up the road to Oban to get on the 1800 ferry to Mull –ready in the nick of time for tonights performance at the An Tobar Arts Centre, Tobermory

Our last day and night in Fair Isle was great as Conrad and I visited Ex Skipper of the “Good Shepherd” Jimmy Stout and his wife Florie for the best Gin and Tonic ever (thanks to them!) and they confirmed that todays weather would mean a flight to Tingwall and beyond.

We also visited Liz,Tom and 6 year old Henry. This family have recently moved to Fair Isle from New York. Henry proudly showed off his fiddle and his three goldfish that he has been nurturing.

Lise also took me to see the beautiful stained glass windows in the church and then home for an amazing Indian meal all freshly cooked with not a sign of a Take away anywhere!!!

David and Gareth spent the day with Pat and Neil Thomson, looking at old family photos and getting into the pre Up Helly Aa spirit.

David had finally got at one with his Jazz Viking look!!

Off to Ullapool today........

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Day 4 on Fair Isle and all is well

So we are still here in the Fairest of Isles, and although the sun is shining there is still a strong gale!

The highlight of my trip so far was having an hour or so of tunes with Lise`s grandad, Stewart Thomson yesterday morning.

In a room full of his spinning wheels, that he crafts with such skill, we sat and played some great old Shetland tunes.

He told me of his life as a lighthouse man and played the tunes he has known all his days with such a style and life about them that I thought I had died and gone to heaven.

It is Sunday morning and we have been down to the chapel for a moving Remembrance Sunday service.The Fair Isle folk were in great voice, as always, and the hymns were sung with such spirit and musicality it was really quite breathtaking.

Last night was full of music. Lise and Ian were the" hosts with the most" again and provided a splendid meal for the many hungry mouths. Meatballs, veggie casserole and tatties straight out of the yard was followed by banoffee pie and many, many hours of tunes, songs and good cheer!!

Conrad on mandola and moothies, me and Gareth playing a few fiddle tunes, Neil Thomson singing and playing guitar sharing Shetland songs and some of his own, including an anthemic rendition of his own song "Tears of Joy" completed with superb backing vocals and candle waving!!

Lise once more sang her beautiful self penned songs and she was joined by David on the re tuned piano.....a labour of love on Mr Milligan`s part.

I got up close and personal with Oxys, the family bull who has been mooing outside my bedroom window every morning. Check this out....

Just spent a lovely afternoon at Neil and Pat Thomson`s house, watching some more rocket launches and dining like kings once more.

Life is good!

The weather looks good for the plane tomorrow so it looks like the tour is about to restart- back to the real world for us .......

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Stuck in Fair Isle but still Over the Moon!

Well the Over the Moon November tour has certainly got off to a very exciting start...after playing our first gig at the Fair Isle Hall on Thursday night we have become stranded, with the weather closing in on da Isle!!

David ,Conrad, Gareth and myself although vexed that we have had to cancel Lerwick, Bogbain and Glenurquart gigs are enjoying all the fantastic hospitality of the Fair Isle folk .

We have so far had evenings filled with great food,company and music, and writing this on Saturday morning we have just had the launch of 9 year old Lowrie (Our hosts Lise and Ian..s son) and Conrads.. home made rocket!! The launch was spectacular travelling about 30 feet into the sky and covering all of the launch team in Vinegar and Bicarbonate of Soda.

Watching from the comfort of the hoose was Lise, myself, Annette (a visting friend from Edinburgh) and her 3 year old Torin, plus the family Bull - who found the whole thing highly amusing.

David spent most of last night tuning Lise..s piano and today him and Gareth are off helping with some sheepy matters.....more on this to follow!!

Life on the road is certainly not dull..................till next time....bye Catriona x