I was Out of Range on the Hebrides when the news came in that my blog had made it into the
Top 100 Language Blogs 2010:
So thanks to all who voted for me!
I am very much looking forward to reading the other blogs on the list, and as soon as I get a moment I will do so.
You may wonder how I got the news if I was Out of Range. I was in Castlebay on the little island of Barra, having survived a week of winter camping, involving pouring rain, wind, fog and almost freezing temperatures, as we headed south from Lewis, through Harris, Uist, and Benbecula, to Barra in the south.
In Castlebay we were basking in the luxury of having a room in a warm and welcoming Bed and Breakfast and felt that we had returned to civilization after the adventure of the wilds. But unfortunately my iPhone was Out of Range, or at least it gave me a “No Service” message. However, in Castlebay there was not just the delights of a visit by boat to the magnificent Kismul Castle, but also a visit to the local hotel which allowed me to use their WiFi connection, which enabled my iPhone to download the email from Lexiophiles.
My phone itself (without any help from the friendly hotel) came back to life with a little thudding sound as I travelled in a bus across the island, just as we came near to the airport on the beach at Traigh Mhor. Then, as I read the text message, I realized I had missed a personal phone call of a lifetime from New York, because of being out of range on this very beautiful Gaelic-speaking island, which I should call Barraidh.
As I watched the plane take off across the silver sand, flying over the turquoise water, I meditated on the contrasts between the Hebrides and New York, and the distances that can separate us from those who we most love even in these oh so connected times.
In the sixteenth century Edmund Spenser wrote:
“For so brave beasts she loveth best to see
In the wilde forrest raunging fresh and free.”
Fresh and free in our tent roamed a very large black beetle. Maybe it came in to get out of the cold, as the temperature on Benbecula was way Out of Range!