This song “Alba” has been performed by Runrig for years but this clip is from the BBC’s lauch of a new channel, BBC Alba (which actually has been running for a while now).  Even although I don’t know Gaelic, this touched my heart.  I’ve included the words to the song in both Gaelic and English after the video.  I hope you enjoy it!





sgiath a’ seoladh nan neoil
‘S an domhain liath
Mar dhealbh a’ tighinn beo
tro na sgothan
‘S mi a’ tilleadh gu tir

Alba nam beanntan ard
acraichean lom
Thairis air na lochan mointich
Nan coilltean ‘s nan



Ach ‘se sealladh leointe is gann
Tha an
seo aig ceann thall an linn
Talamh alainn nan daoine
Fhathast an lamhan
duine no dithis

Cuibhlean stolda mu dheas
Na fasaichean a tuath
taigh-mor falamh an Dun-Eideann
Gun chumhachd gun



Sibhse chuir achadh ri achadh
Taigh ri
Gus nach bi ait anns an tir
An gabh sibh comhnaidh air

Ach ‘s math dhomh bhith seo an drasd
A cur failt air a’
‘San tir a tha cho ur dhomh an diugh
Is a bha i nuair bha mi ‘nam




This flight is
sailing through the clouds
And the blue heavens
The homeland appears like
a developing photograph
Through the mists as I return to land
I see
Scotland of the high mountains
And the empty acres
Flying low across the
moorland lochs
The forests and the



But it’s a wounding and a hollow
Here as we reach the end of the century
The beautiful soil of the
Still in the hands of the few

I see the wheels of industry at a
And the northern lands wasted
And the empty house in
Without authority or



You that have laid field upon
House upon house
Till there be nowhere for you to be placed
In the midst of all the earth
But it is good for me to be here
As I welcome the warmth
In this land that’s as exciting for me
As it was the day I was born



Pittenweem Arts Festival

Just a reminder that the 29th Pittenweem Arts Festival is on August 6th to 14th. With nine days of over 100 individual visual artists and hosting between 20,000 and 25,000 visitors, Pittenweem is a picturesque fishing village in the East Neuk of Fife.

What began as a photographic exhibition to raise money for lifeboats 29 years ago has continued onto today with the arts festival providing some unusual spots for artists such as sheds, garages, gardens and cottages.

I realized as I was reading about this that I did post a blog about this back in May so it must have caught my eye even then. I could be wrong but it somehow puts me in mind of Rosamunde Pilcher’s books set in Cornwall with the winding streets down to the ocean and people painting in their back sheds.

If you are interested in volunteering, I did see a posting on the volunteer website asking for greeters, ticket collectors, moving equipment and generally being helpful, giving directions, etc.

Chanonry Point Lighthouse

Chanonry Lighthouse is on the Black Isle, south of Rosemarkie, where the Moray Firth narrows between Chanonry Point and Fort George.  It was originally a “one-man station”  and the light was first shown the night of 15 May 1846.  The station was automated in 1984 and now it is remotely monitored from Edinburgh.  Some of the redundant buildings within the lighthouse complex have been sold by the Northern Lighthouse Board.

The area near the lighthouse is known as Chanonry Ness and it is known to be one of the best spots to view Bottlenose Dolphins from the land.   I was there a couple of years ago and was happy to see the dolphins out there swimming around.  It’s a really beautiful setting and you feel like you are out in the middle of nowhere because of the way the spit is so long and sticks out so far.

We took a couple of pictures which aren’t really brilliant but they give you some idea of what we saw.


We walked along the beach towards Rosemarkie and came across a campsite.  It’s located on the shore of a half-moon bay on the Firth and is only a short walk away from the lighthouse and dolphins.  The campsite is open from March 25th to November 1st and has toilets, hot showers and laundry facilities.  I’d like to stay there for a holiday some day.

For a stunning picture of the Chanonry Point Lighthouse, check out Chanonry lighthouse at night.


Lunan Bay

Lunan Bay is on the East Coast and was voted the best beach in Scotland in 2000.  It’s a large inlet of the North Sea on the coast of Angus and it’s south of Montrose between Boddin Point and the Lang Craig.  It is totally worth seeing and the day we went was absolutely perfect.  We were with good friends, the sun was shining and there weren’t a lot of people around.

To get there, you come through the little village of Lunan and just follow the beach signs.  Pass the stables and follow the sound of the sea.  There’s plenty of parking and the beach is just a short walk away.  There is lots of sandy walking either by foot or on horseback.  It’s good for birdwatching and you might see some fishermen who are putting nets out, people running their dogs, and one or two people looking for agate stones often found there or on high surf days, you might also see some surfers.


I was curious about these nets and why they were so far up on the shore but  I found out that the large nets pegged out in the sea are used to catch salmon, luring the unsuspecting fish in and trapping them as the tide recedes.  Sounds a bit ruthless but there you have it.

Another mystery were the tractors sitting in the water.  I still haven’t totally figured that one out but I read somewhere that tractors can be used for hauling boats out of the water.  Maybe that’s the reason?  If anyone knows, I’d be happy to hear from them.

The beach at Lunan Bay has large sand dunes and reeds and it’s a perfect place for a  picnic or for spotting wildlife, like puffins or other birds.

I was walking down the beach and looked over to my right and up on a hill was an old, ruined castle.  I had no idea what that was about either … full of mysteries, this beach … but I found out that it was Red Castle and that it had been around since the 12th century. 

The Castle was built on the orders of King William the Lion in the late 12th Century as a fortress and a precautionary measure against Viking invaders. It ended up being one of King William’s favorite hunting lodges during  his reign and later on, it was attacked three times by the Covenanters in the late sixteenth century.  It was officially called “rubeum castrum”, or Red Castle from 1286, referring to the red sandstone from which it’s built.

So, all in all, highly recommend having a visit here.  It’s breathtakingly beautiful and very relaxing.   Thanks to our friends who live in Scotland for taking us there.  It was a truly terrific day out.