Have you ever heard of Cinderella Stamps? Well, I hadn’t, until now. In a nutshell they are decorative, often collectable, stamps you can add to your mail, but as they are not issued by the Post Office you also still need regular stamps (if you want to send a letter/postcard with them on). And as I found out yesterday you can also get some Islay stamps for exactly that purpose:
Well, that went better than I thought. When I posted the video exploring Islay’s Lossit Bay I mentioned that I was hoping to share my first 360° Islay video over the coming weeks. After reviewing the 360° footage I have of Lossit Bay on Friday evening and editing it during the Saturday (followed by a long upload and processing over Saturday night) I’m now ready to share it just a week later.
Here are three minutes of 360° views of Lossit Bay on the west coast of Islay, filmed on a beautiful June evening:
Assuming you have a modern browser or are viewing it on a mobile device you should be able to move around in the video, looking into whatever direction you want. Out to sea, along the beach, over to the dunes, all as if you’re there and turning around. You can either move the view with your mouse (or finger on a mobile device) or by using the controls in the top left corner. If you’re watching it on a mobile device you should also be able to change the view by simply moving your mobile device around, left, right, up, down, whichever way you want.
The resolution/video quality isn’t as good as from my other cameras, but then this is early days, my first attempts with a fairly new technology. Over time the technology will improve and become more affordable (I only have a fairly low spec 360° camera which was on special offer, just right for me to learn and experiment with the technology), improving video quality over the coming years. I hope you’re still able to enjoy the video and the opportunity to look around.
I’m hoping to edit more 360° Islay videos over the coming weeks, Machir Bay, Bowmore, Port Charlotte and some of the distilleries are among the options. Bowmore will most likely get the nod first.
Something a bit different today. Something slightly unexpected. There’s quite a bit of talk about ‘YouTubers’ these days, how they become successful, that a lot of young people have aspirations to become a famous ‘YouTuber’ and more. In any case, it’s hard work, very hard work (and probably a bit of luck) to achieve that goal. I don’t follow many of them (among other things because I have very little to no interest in video gaming or gossip or fashion, which many of them seem to cover). One of the few I do follow and watch quite regularly is Tom Scott (website, YouTube channel). He covers a variety of interesting things incl his probably most popular series ‘Things You Might Not Know’.
So what does all this have to do with Islay and Jura?
Well, earlier this week Tom started a three part series titled ‘How To Be Popular On The Internet’ (Part 1, part 2). Watching part 1 the start is on a rainy Scottish island. Somehow (don’t ask me how, it was just a hunch) I had a feeling I knew this place. So I did some digging. Looking at this picture on his Instagram account I became even more convinced he would end up on Jura with a view over the Sound of Islay and Caol Ila in the distance. But what would this have to do with ‘How To Be Popular On The Internet’? George Orwell’s 1984 came to mind, but didn’t really make sense. Then I thought of the KLF, their book ‘The Manual’ and that they burned £1,000,000 on Jura. Which kind of made sense for this series.
Part 2 didn’t provide the answer, it was all set on the sleeper train to Scotland. Today part 3 came out and gave the answer:
I don’t know if Tom only visited Jura for long enough to film the video or if he also learned more about Jura (and Islay) while he was there. I should think there are a number of things he could use for his ‘Things You Might Not Know’ series, like the Corryvreckan whirlpool (once considered unnavigable) or the Round Church in Bowmore (to my knowledge there are only a handful of round churches in the UK). Unfortunately the wave power station on the Rhinns of Islay is now gone, I think he would have found that quite interesting.
It seems Islay is becoming a hotbed of crime. Luckily only fictional, not in the real world. There are two books right now I’m aware of putting Islay on the crime fiction map. One has recently been published and is on my to read list, the other one is scheduled to be published in spring 2019.
The first book is Machir Bay by Alasdair Wham. I think I came across it via a news report, but I’m not entirely sure. Not all bookshops have it, but on Islay you can buy it from The Celtic House and online at Amazon. As I said I haven’t got round to read it yet, but I’ll report back once I have. The reviews are very positive, so I’m looking forward to reading it.
The second book I came across via a tweet by the author:
It’s that time of year again. It’s August, not long after the Islay Show (some people say the end of summer), the British Birdfair in Rutland is on. And just like last year and many years before there will be an Islay stand. From the 17th to the 19th of August 2018 the Islay team will be ready for visitors and their questions at the stand. With some Islay refreshments of course.
Where is the stand? In Marquee 7 on Stand 14/15. Here’s their description:
The islands of Islay and Jura lie off the west coast of Scotland and form part of the Southern Hebrides. Accessible only by plane or ferry these beautiful islands provide a haven for birds and wildlife all year round. Autumn and winter are spectacular times to visit when Islay’s population of just 3000 people are joined by 40,0000 Barnacle Geese and 5,000 Greenland White Fronted Geese. Their October arrival heralds a true birding spectacular and one not to be missed. Throughout the year both islands are home to golden and white-tailed sea eagles, hen harriers and chough – all of which can easily be sighted during a week long stay. Corncrakes can be heard in our late spring and summer evenings along with the unworldly sounds of drumming snipe. Islay and Jura are famous throughout the world for their whisky. Home to 9 and soon be to 10 whisky distilleries. Our stand at the Birdfair celebrates this great island produce with tastings throughout the three days. Just follow your nose and you’ll find us at Marquee 7 Stand 14/15. Visit us and plan your next island escape!
I believe visitors to the stand can win a week on Islay, but it’s even better than that, there is also an online competition. Visit the Islay and Jura marketing group website for more:
It’s been a while since I last posted here, I blame the heatwave in the UK which cost me a lot of energy (I don’t deal very well with hot weather). Still need to write up a quick summary from my Islay visit in June, but before I do that I’d like to share a video from another recent Islay visitor:
Doug Paulley (Doug on Twitter) flew to Islay in July (his first flight since becoming a wheelchair user if I understood it correctly) and decided to document his experiences as a wheelchair user as a help to others. A very interesting and informative video.
I spent a wonderful late afternoon and evening on a beautiful sunny June day in Lossit Bay on the west coast of Islay. Filming video, taking pictures and just generally looking around. Here’s a first taster of it, a one take one minute clip of walking along the beach and then turning around for a glimpse of the approaching sunset:
There’s plenty more to come, both pictures and video.
Thought I’ll make you (well, some of you) jealous tonight. Enjoying a wonderful dram (or two, or three) of this wonderful Islay single malt and single cask whisky tonight, a Bruichladdich Port Charlotte cask exploration Cubaireachd 18:
There’s only one problem with it: The bottle will be empty far far too quickly.