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Ile, mo dachaidh - Islay, my home
Born and raised on the south side of Islay, Queen of the Hebrides, I count myself as one of the lucky people; carefree summer days with friends, cycling to Kildalton woods to pick conkers for the battle and calling in at Ardbeg to fill up on Jean’s tattie ‘n’ leek soup. Then down through the woods to the golden sands of Kilnaughton beach, to the river with its deep pool warmed by the sun which we ran to after the sea got too much. We had jaunts over The Ard behind our house, boggy, rocky and great for adventures. We'd have races over the pipe at Swans Pool and clamber over the rocks looking out to the hills of Antrim, Rathlin island and of course, the Mull of Kintyre, spotting whose boats we could see fishing. In the winter months it was down to the ‘Old Davaar’, with its pool tables, juke box and Rena's famous ice cream!
Our island has played such a huge part in Scottish history, from Vikings to Columba, to seating the Lords of the Isles at Dun Naomhaig by Lagavulin. Some stories are sad, some are joyful, but they have all formed the person I am and the songwriter I have become, and for that I am truly grateful.
People come to our island with a light heart, but most leave with a tear in their eye looking out at the Carraig Fhada lighthouse as they pass on the ferry. They realise how special our island is, whether in summer with its shimmering green waters and vibrant flora or in winter when the dark dramatic purples and browns of the Oa rise up against angry grey skies.
Islay, my island paradise.
Móran taing, Angela
Photos by kind permission of : billbaillie.com