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News ... Naidheachd

11 October 2014After a long gap!

Oops! The Chronicler has been sleeping! But Sgioba Luaidh have not been idle in the meantime. In August we had our annual trip to Mull, spending a day waulking in Duart Castle. We think it must be the first time in history that a Clan Chief has sat at a waulking board! Well done, Sir Lachlan! And thank you for lending us your adorable grandchildren!

We always enjoy our visits to the lovely wee island of Ulva, but this year our loyalty was just a bit strained! As we got changed and set up in Sheila’s Cottage, there was a sudden downpour. “Oh dear! There’s a drip! Move the table… Oh, another one! Move the bench…” Then the drips came thick and fast through the thatch till the whole place was awash! Impossible to waulk! (Rhona, of course, was prepared with her umbrella!) We made a run for it to the Boathouse for a cup of tea. Once the thatch had swelled the dripping stopped; Camilla and Kenny swept the water out, and we had a busy day’s waulking after all, with plenty of visitors glad to shelter from the rain. Lovely to meet Camilla and Kenny from Patagonia, who were working on Ulva. Kenny is Coinneach Fionnlagh MacLeòid, in Scotland in search of his roots. Click here for pics of our trip to Mull and Ulva.

Another highlight in August was our caravan ceilidh. This year we welcomed Fr Nico Masamba from Tanzania, who was working in Greenock for the summer. His Gaelic was better than our Swahili! Click here for pics.

Still in August, five of us took part in a Clan Lamont event in Dunoon, commemorating the massacre at Castle Toward in 1646. We were supposed to be outside, but the rain was pelting down (this was Dunoon, after all!) so we all took refuge in the Queen’s Hall. We did our bit, then the pupils of Dunoon Grammar along with the Walking Theatre Company re-enacted the history of the Lamonts. Very well presented, and we were all delighted when the wicked Campbell of Argyll got his comeuppance! Pics here.

Into September, and we had a really interesting day, waulking in the Moirlanich Longhouse, a National Trust property near Killin. It’s a fascinating place, reminding us of our beloved Auchindrain. They opened specially for our visit, as it’s not usually open on a Saturday. It was very busy, with a lot of interest both in the building, and in our waulking. We were delighted to be joined at the cleith by a young Gaelic speaker, Annie, aged 7, and Ava, who is nearly 2. It was lovely to see how the baby enjoyed “waulking” sitting on mummy’s knee – exactly how girls would have learned in the old days, starting really young, so that it became part of them. Click here for pics of our visit to Killin and Moirlanich.

During the summer we didn’t neglect Auchindrain, although we regretfully had to cancel one of our scheduled visits, because of illness. (We are fine now, thank you!) We had a memorable day in mid-September when it was so foggy in the morning that we had trouble finding the ferry! But it brightened up, and we were able to waulk outside in the hazy sunshine. Pics here.

And the very next day we adjourned to the Hunter’s Quay Hotel for our Myra’s Big Birthday. Frances gave a rendition of "Oran a’ Bhirthday Party", without which no birthday is complete, and we had a wee waulk on the coffee table. (Frances just happened to have the clò still in the car.) Well done to Myra’s family for keeping the secret – the surprise was complete! And the cake magnificent!  Meal do naidheachd, a Mhairead chòir. Click here for some pics of the day.

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