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October 8, 2012


As with most things in life, realising dreams is a numbers game. Come up with one good idea and statistically you are pushing your luck. Come up with ten -and the likelihood of one coming through to fruition is accordingly higher. I’ve always tended to operate on that basis. Keep chucking balls at the coconut and eventually you’ll hit it…

The current dream revolves around the byre. I’m getting more and more excited about this. I began thinking of it simply as a useful and interesting facility for hostel groups. Which it certainly will be. I love the idea of folk having space to do things -whatever it is that drives or inspires them.

I’ve also always had a rather unformed dream of having a space that is simply and essentially creative. I used to hold poetry readings and discussions in the big barn. Though fun, it never really felt the right place, a bit laboured,  so these ambitions slowly faded out.

Maybe the byre is the right venue ?  What would it be ? An intentionally creative space on Iona. Full stop. Beyond that isn’t clear yet but I like the idea of somewhere democratic and exploratory. It could be a rudimentary gallery space, a place for music or discussion, a craft / art facility, a venue for talks or readings, a ceilidh place, a cultural space. It could aspire to be a vehicle for Keat’s ‘Negative Capability’: the ability to live in uncertainties, mysteries and doubts without the need to reach after fact and reason. Which is as good a definition of the artistic process as any and an apt reflection of the liminal nature of Iona.

Early days yet, but there certainly is something there and I’m going to enjoy this !

Marc has almost finished a magnificent fence around the area next to be planted with trees. It’s a beautiful piece of work. Fences are a skill in themselves, but this one has a finesse and elegance that takes it beyond the run of the mill. The exciting bit over the winter will be to start planting and extend the area already established. Tree planting is an excercise in delayed gratification. We’re constantly reminded that this is supposed to be a good thing, BUT I WANT TO SEE THE WOOD, NOW! (John has tantrum…).

I’m busy writing up a Sawdays report for the wonderful Treshnish Farm on the west coast of Mull. (The westerly  headland on Mull best visible from the north end of Iona, for those who can picture it. ) Somerset and Carolyne have created a inspiration up there: a working farm, lovely, remote holiday cottages and the best ambassadors for sustainability on Mull (or for many a mile, for that matter -they deservedly win every agri /eco award going ! ). Look up  It’s an excellent website, gives a flavour of the place and I’d wholeheartedly recommend you going and staying there for a week (after your week in the hostel, of course !!) Apart from that, they are a lovely and inspiring couple who seem to have 36 hour days. Don’t know how they do it.

For me ? I’m a lazy person trapped inside the body of someone who  works quite hard. But I’m working at it (getting back to lazy, that is.)

tall dog story

2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 25, 2012 8:00 am

    Somerset is a beautiful place.I’m glad you made this as an inspiration.Nice pictures.Thanks for sharing!

    • October 28, 2012 2:32 pm

      Thanks for your friendly comments. One day I’ll make it to Somerset.


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