Skye to Raasay
"RAASAY, Island of, Inverness-shire, is one of the Inner Hebrides. * Some 15m. long NE. to SW. and of uneven width, seldom more than 1m. broad, Raasay stretches its length between SKYE and the W.mainland of Scotland.

It is dominated on either side by the peaks of Torridon and Skye, but is not overwhelmed by these tremendous circumstances. It has a special appeal that it would offer whereever it was situated. Standing, however, in the Western Seas, it ornaments all that is around it but does not attempt to reflect the dramatic quality of that which lies to the E. and W. of it. Raasay in many respects, and particularly in its not very distant past, is (as shall be shown) unique. That is why a disproportionate amount of space is here given to this island, though it is by no means one of the largest of the Hebrides. "

SHELL GUIDE - on waxing lyrical on Raasay!

Our stay on Skye began with the best breakfast to date - nothing to do with the food more the completely wierd selection of people at our enforced communal table. One South African tourist (Scottish roots - haven't they all!), one cockney wide boy - ex cop now drives rich grannies about on 'specialist interest' holidays, and one dour Largos couple with humour as dry as a biscuit. I'm sure this won't really come across but shortly after saying grace the man asked us with a completely straight face if it was true that Johnson had carried an enema with him to combat all the oatmeal they ate! It got better and better after this. To be fair they were actually very interesting, as was hearing about the 'Rhodie' tour the grannies were on - as in Rhododendrons we presume.

Our morning was rather quiet after this, spent until 2.30 working on the 'web of links' aspect of the site. Finally put my Lachlan/Paul Relatives pages up - I'm wondering about introducing them to each other - AHJ 'awards for interaction' evening out? After this had to practically break down the local shop door we were so desperate for lunch. Did venture out for a quick spin round the peninsula later but really a work only day.

Spent most of Thursday up at the Gaelic college with Donald the systems manager there. I continued my documentary nerd fest thread of taping all my computer based conversations - enthralling text (greenish on #000000) only section soon to follow. We did another fairly unsuccessful IRC chat

(Gordo walks across the floor and spits)
and some updates etc. - surrounded by young pipers from across Scotland here on a course (and it seems to play networked Doom). Despite much help from Donald, still managed to confuse all involved in IRC search and took 3 hours to use a PC and scanner and transfer 3 files to lap top. Finally dragged ourselves away from surfing and headed for the ferry for Raasay. The crossing only takes 15 minutes. We are staying in Raasay House - the very building that B&J stayed in. Despite now being an 'Outdoor Centre' (we are here with A level Geography students from Norwich) it's still pretty majestic. We spent the evening reclining on a chaise - each with our laptops, in front of the fire, looking down to the sea over what must have once been the garden.

I had another of my phone box by the bay, evening sessions - which I'm becoming very fond of. There is a pay phone here but the corridors are freezing and I was reluctant for the whole A level group to share in my conversations. I really like walking down around dusk and coming back up to the house once it's dark.

Last night we (hopefully) filmed a lunar eclipse from Skye. The moon here seems incredibly bright and you can happily walk about at night without street lights.



*"The length of Raasay is, by computation, fifteen miles, and the bredth two. These countries have never been measured, and the computation by miles is negligent and arbitrary. We observed in travelling, that the nominal and real distances of places had very little relation to each other."

Johnson - A Journey to the Western Isles of Scotland.

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