Change of Plans for New Islay Distillery

It has been quiet now for some time re the new planned distillery near Farkin, between Port Ellen and Laphroaig. The first plans for the new Distillery were officially presented in April 2018. Since then it has been quiet. The new owners had submitted their plans to Argyll and Bute Council for approval and there has been some local consultation as well. Not everyone was pleased with the new distillery. Some folk didn't like the exterior design of the buildings and others were opposed to a new distillery altogether, especially in that particular location.

A couple of weeks ago however new plans were submitted to the council showing a rather different design of the buildings with a more traditional exterior, more or less in line with the other distilleries. It's another step forward for Elixir Distillers who are keen on starting their venture on Islay. Continue reading...

Bruichladdich to Port Charlotte Footpath

A few weeks ago work has commenced on the long-awaited foot and cycle path between the villages of Bruichladdich and Port Charlotte. This will be a great asset for locals and others visiting the Rhinns. At present you'll need to walk and cycle on the road which can be a dangerous undertaking, especially for the younger ones. If the new path will be anywhere near as good as the distillery path, and the signs point in that direction, it will be wonderful.

Gordon Currie from Port Ellen is doing all the work and at this stage they are preparing the ground for the path and laying the foundations for the bridges. The planning is that the path will be finished at the end of the year. Fingers crossed.

More photos here

Starting a New Chapter

After having spent most of our life in the Netherlands, our wee family came to Islay some six years ago to actually live on the island about which I’d been writing so much on my website since 2004.

Some time ago, however, we’ve decided that the time has come for us to begin a new chapter in another country, Germany.

Living the dream to stay, work and bring up our daughter on a remote Scottish Island was fantastic, it couldn't have been any better. We have learned so much about Islay and its fantastic people and we are still learning. It really takes time to properly understand how it all works here and some things will always remain a mystery to us. We feel very privileged and grateful that we had the chance to experience life on Islay and that we’ve been welcomed and accepted by the locals in such a wonderful way. We’ve made some really good friends whom we’re hoping to keep, even if we’re 900 miles away, as the crow flies.

All things considered, now is a good time for us for the “big move”: We’ll be moving to a place which brings us closer to our family and friends who are (just like us) not getting any younger and whom we've missed a bit too much in recent years. And we’ll be moving on to pursue new dreams and do other, and new, exciting things.

Annika will attend a bi-lingual High School and Ela has been offered a good job at her old playground, the gym, as a trainer, nutritionist and Yoga teacher.

For myself work won't change all that much. I will keep doing what I’ve loved doing all those years: promoting Islay as well as maintaining and building websites through Braveheart Web Design. Working in the digital world has the advantage of being able to work from any place on the planet, providing there is an internet connection!

Of course, we'll be coming back often to stay in touch and for our "Islay Fix". However, we are not gone yet. The official move will be somewhere in June or July but we will leave Islay at the end of March for a month or so to start the preparations for our new life.

Spectacular Sea Eagles Encounter and Photos Islay

I couldn't believe my eyes when I returned home from Ardnave early in the afternoon when I spotted a White Tailed Sea Eagle on top of a Barnacle Goose close to the RSPB Gruinart visitor centre. When we pulled over the Sea Eagle flew off, dropped the Goose which escaped, and landed a few metres further on the grass next to another Sea Eagle!! I couldn't believe my luck. I've never seen such a spectacular display of these majestic birds. It's already hard to spot one so close by, now I had two of them on the ground in front of my camera. After some 10 minutes or so they flew off scaring some more Barnacle Geese further out towards Craigens. Below are the eight photos I managed to take. Wow, what an experience that was!

Continue to more Eagle Photos