Celebrating a decade of @islayblog on Twitter

Islay Fun

Earlier today a wee blue bird told me (not sure if this qualifies as a bad pun?) it’s 10 years ago today that I joined Twitter, of course using the handle @islayblog (although my name shows as Armin, as I tweet as me, a human being). A decade of squeezing a post into 140 characters (or more recently writing 280 characters). Naturally I sent out a quick tweet, promising a celebratory dram later on:

Now it’s time for said dram, I decided to open a special bottle (also keeping in mind that New Year is approaching rapidly and I need something nice for that): From my Islay shelf I picked a Laphroaig 10yo Cask Strength, batch 004, Jan.12. Here’s the proof:

Picture of a bottle of Laphroaig 10yo CS next to a laptop showing Twitter and Tweetdeck screens
Sometimes don’t drink and blog needs to be ignored, especially when a 10yo Laphroaig cask strength batch 04 is to hand on your 10th Twitter anniversary

A lot has happened in those 10 years. According to Twitter I’ve posted 33,838 tweets so far (probably a few more by the time you read this). Apparently I have just under 3,000 people following me now (I hope not too many of them are bots). Quite a few of you I’ve met personally, others I only know from Twitter (and sometimes other social networks), but we’ve still had many helpful, interesting, funny and more exchanges. Others I don’t really know yet, but I hope we’ll bump into each other one day. I’ve learned quite a few things on Twitter, found out information, had a lot of fun and more. I hope I could give some of that back, give those who follow me or communicate with me something to enjoy, something they found helpful or something that inspired them. Or just something to laugh.

With that I’ll finish for now, time for another dram. And another tweet.

Islay Blogging Roundup NC #3

Islay Blogging RoundupI had hoped to write this a bit earlier (it’s exactly month again since the Islay Blogging Roundup NC #2), but a variety of things got into the way. Time to catch up now then, here’s the latest collection of Islay (and Jura) related blog posts I found interesting:

Not on the RSPB Islay blog but on the RSPB Liverpool blog I came across an entry about a birdwatching visit to Islay: Holiday to Idyllic Islay, 19th to 23rd February 2017 – Led by Aquila Ecology.

The iLaddie decided to perform an experiment: Blending Bruichladdich LaddieMP5. He claims it was successful.

I’ve mentioned Kate’s (who I haven’t met in person yet) work and Islay visits as well as Anna (who I’ve met a couple of times while she was working and living on Islay) a couple of times, now Anna writes about Kate’s work: Inspired by Islay.

An interesting write up about a Bruichladdich whisky tasting in Ireland: The sound of Islay (no, not the Sound of Islay, that’s something different).

As if by coincidence the next one is a quick jump across the Sound of Islay to Jura for A day in the life “Rachael jones”.

Heiko is a regular visitor to Islay and also quite fond of burgers (I like that man, Islay whisky and burgers, he’s certainly in my good books). He has recently published a burger book and is celebrating with a Surf’n’Turf Burger.

Jake on the Distiller Blog claims The Debate Over Terroir Rages Away on Islay. Which side are you on?

Gordon Yates has been back on Islay again, you can read about it in Forty Shades of Grey and Hunter and Hunted.

Lynne writes about her visits to Ardbeg Distillery, Isle of Islay, Scotland and Caol Ila Distillery, Isle of Islay, Scotland. She also visited the Finlaggan Cross, Eileen Mòr, Isle of Islay, Scotland as well as The Kildalton High Cross, Isle of Islay, Scotland.

Julia Garner has a bunch of posts about her Islay visit in February, including Islay beach findsSaligo Bay – two versionsIslay wildlife highlights and Singing Sands and otters.

On the Port Ellen Primary School blog we can read about the My Place Photography Competition. They also celebrated Burns Day.

I’ve watched them many times on Islay, in particular at Ardnave and at Kilchoman. Scotland’s Nature writes Why the chough needs a champion.

An Islay blogging roundup wouldn’t be complete without a mention of the Islay Birds blog (which by the way will be 10 years old in two months). While Ian (who writes the blog with the help of dozens of contributors, even I have been able to contribute a few times I’m immensely pleased to say) was away for three weeks James ran the blog for him. Some of the highlights include a Cackling Goose, a possible Gyr Falcon and a variety of birds including a Glaucous Gull.

And that’s it for this Islay blogging roundup. Hopefully I’ll get the next one out a bit earlier than in a month…

Islay Blogging Roundup NC #1

Islay Blogging RoundupWhen I relaunched the blog I mentioned that I was thinking about bringing the Islay blogging roundup back (but retiring the Friday Islay picture). Well then, here we go. It won’t be the regular Sunday every week as I used to do it, instead it will be whenever I find it’s suitable and I have come across enough interesting posts. And I will restart the count, which is why this is the Islay Blogging Roundup NC (for New Count) #1. Here we go:

The Scotch Cinema has been around for quite some time and is still going strong. Recently the had not just one, but THREE Laphroaig Sightings in One Movie. Some older Laphroaig sightings are also mentioned in their related links.

From a German music blog we learn that Amy Macdonald isn’t a whisky drinker but her father is partial to a wee dram and in particular a Bruichladdich from Islay.

Malted (a whisky blog in its day job) has a very interesting post with old Islay pictures in Islay Photographs 1902-1960. On the same blog we also find Islay and RAF Port Ellen.

Heiko from Switzerland documents his visit to Laphroaig with lots of pictures.

Sometimes I find Islay references in rather unexpected places like a post Sleep inducing molecules: Propofol, for January 2017 on the Liverpool Life Sciences UTC Innovation Labs. I didn’t fully understand it, but there’s some kind of link between Propofol and the Phenols Islay whiskies are famous for.

I’m not sure if it’s the type of book I’d read, but may be some of my German readers are interested in reading Die verhexten Zombiekarnickel and report back what they think? Apparently zombies, witches and distilleries are involved.

For daily updates about the bird sightings on Islay you of course still have to go to the Islay Birds blog. Posts that caught my even recently were a Whitefront with a neck ring, the New Year’s day post with the annual rainfall figures and a flock of Twites. In addition to that the RSPB Blog also has a great entry about Twite on The Oa.

I’ve stopped the Friday Islay picture, but how about you instead take a look at the Friday fold: Smaull Graywacke at Saligo Bay, Islay? Or the Friday fold: Machir Bay I and Friday fold: Machir Bay II?

The iLaddie Whisky Nerd from the Netherlands visited Islay late last year (I helped him a bit during his preparations), he has a whole Islay Trip category on his blog.

Marc Calhoun takes us to Cashels of the Hebrides, which includes one on Nave Island just off Ardnave on Islay.

Alaina and Philip visited Islay mainly for the whisky distilleries, you can read about their visit in ISLAY, SCOTLAND: A TRAVELOGUE.

Henryk visited Islay as part of a Scotland trip, you can find some great pictures in Urlaub 2016 Schottlands Nordwesten – Teil 3: Isle of Mull, Islay Scotland und JuraUrlaub 2016 Schottlands Nordwesten – Teil 3.5: Kilchoman Distillery and Session @ Port Charlotte Hotel Islay.

I think I’ll leave it at that, the Islay Blogging Roundup NC #1 is done. The next one will appear as and when I’ve come across enough good blog entries worth mentioning. If you have one (or know of one) you think I should mention by all means send me the link.

A New.IslayBlog.com for Christmas

Islay NewsWell then, there we are, here is my Christmas present for you, a new.islayblog.com for your perusal. After 10 years of blogging ‘manually’ on www.islayblog.com I’ve decided to move on to a new blog with a real CMS. With my recovery from my heart surgery progressing well I thought it was finally time for something new here as well.

The header remains the same (well, OK, I had to tweak it slightly to fit in here), it’s still the familiar view of the Loch Indaal lighthouse with the Paps of Jura in the distance, one of my favourite views on Islay. The content of the blog will largely remain the same as well, as will the categories. I’m going to retire at least one of them though, with the Islay Pictures Photoblog going strong I’ve decided to retire the Friday Islay Picture. I’m undecided on the Islay blogging roundup, time permitting I might revive that one. In a way I’m still fond of the idea. Apart from that I’m going to blog about essentially the same as before, anything Islay (or Jura, Colonsay, Gigha and may be even Kintyre) related I come across. Videos, pictures, news, stories, fun things, events, businesses, short snippets, longer texts, links, updates and whatever else crosses my path.

I hope you will join me here on the new blog if you were a reader of the old blog and I hope to may be gain a few new readers as well. I’m keen to make it a dialog as well, the comments are open for everyone, so don’t be shy and make your voice heard (within reason of course, you’ll be in my house after all).

That’s all for now, enjoy the new blog. Oh, and if everything goes to plan I’ll have another Christmas present for you later today. Watch this blog…