Weather: the summer has been patchy. There have been days that have been cold and wet, with sharp winds sweeping rain across the land and lochs, however when the sun does come out, it is a bit special.

The summer sunshine, is worth waiting for, creating Lochs, that sparkle light reflected diamonds, the crystal-clear water both mesmerises and entices. On these days, we try and go swimming, walking, picnicking and, of course photographing.

The characteristic moorlands and peat-bogs have, this year, become new places for us to explore. On these ramblings, we have had several sightings of Red Deer, circling Golden Eagles and Herons. The purple heather is now in full bloom and appears more glorious than last year. The heather is beautifully complimented by clumps of yellow ragwort and gorse. Ragwort is however poisonous to animals.

Island life continues, seemingly oblivious to the disasters happening elsewhere, but we are all connected and people here are not complacent.

The global human pandemic, has resulted in a general overall compliance with the new protocols. The ease with which these new social practises have been accepted and put in place are a tribute to the efficiency of various online networks, constant media announcements and our fear of exposure to this infectious disease – we now need to address our cyber security a little more carefully. The world (like in the novel WE by Russian (honorary Geordie) writer Yevgeny Zamyatin) is developing a transparent partition, separating Us from Them.

Friday May 29 2020 – since this day of Lockdown relaxation, the island has had an influx of visitors. The ferries are frequently filled to the max. The visitors appear, and even if you have been living here for a short period (like ourselves) you know who they are. There is the Motorhomer – rattling along the single-track roads, frequently confused by the protocols for passing other traffic; the Cycle Enthusiast, they are fabulous, displaying real determination as they pedal stoically into the oncoming winds and rain storms. The Cycle Enthusiast can be a tad touchy and ample distance should always be given to this person; the Car Crawler, a much appreciated (unless you are driving behind them and happen to be in a hurry) hesitant holidayer- they brake at every bend in the road (regardless of how tight it is), and will swerve dramatically into all the designated passing places (even when there is no oncoming traffic). The most revered visitor to the island however, is the Stopper Car – now they are something special. The Stopper Car will do just that, STOP! without warning, and often in the middle of the road – they have seen a bird, a beautiful sunset and sometimes for no apparent reason – sweet really.

N.B. We welcome visitors , and it is good to see the economic life of the island returning.

With the relaxation of lock down our exhibition at Taigh Chearsabhagh Museum and Art Centre, This Day and Age (work in progress), is now open to the public. It has also been good to continue with our photographic project. We have managed to fit in and shoot some more portraits, we have also met with our steering group, for the forthcoming Symposium (Simon Hart, Andy MacKinnon, Keith MacIntyre and Rosie Blake) to discuss the final details of Imaging and Island (iAi) on 25 -26th September. We are very pleased with the progress of this event, which will be accessible as an online conference and promises to have a full range of both academics and artists/musicians to present papers. We are very excited by the distinguished line-up.

Our darling cats, Angie (AKA the White Lion) and Alice (the Ali cat), are finally acclimatising to their new, temporary, Lochmaddy home.

Friday 28 August 2020, reported COVID-19 infections on North Uist = 0

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