There’s always something interesting going on on this island and today is no exception.  We parked at the airport in order to have something to eat in the café and put the blog on as usual.  Parked on the sand was a seaplane.


There seemed to be more people wearing Hi-Vis jackets than usual in the cafe but we didn’t think too much of it and were eating our lunch when suddenly Julia Bradbury (of Countryfile fame) burst through the Security door to announce that they weren’t quite ready for filming yet!

We had more or less finished by now so went out to join the expectant throng (well about a dozen anyway!) watching the scene unfolding.

Julia was there in a fireman’s jacket and helmet with the crew of the airport fire service and their vehicles.  You can see in the featured image above she is “helping” one of the crew dowse the seaplane with water from a hose.

Julia had a chat with the fireman and the crew filmed while another fireman “rescued” some dummies from the plane.




They placed a red waterproof down and they demonstrated some rough first aid on the spot!





After this bit of filming was over Julia took off her helmet, looking windswept but still attractive (sickening isn’t it?).


Amusingly she then took a selfie!


The action then went behind the airport building where they proceeded to wind up the hoses etc.


After all this excitement (!) we left the scene and drove down to Castlebay.  We had a planned a return visit to the Heritage Centre and, of course, a piece of cake in the Centre café while we were there.  The Centre was open but sadly the café was closed – can’t get the staff apparently.  What a pity as it was a lovely little place with good home-made cakes on offer last year.

However, we looked around the exhibits once more and reminded ourselves of some of the history of this island.  We also watched a 1989 video on Barra, with Leslie Thomas doing the interviewing.  The quality was appalling!  I’m not sure whether videos were really this bad or whether it’s because we’re looking at them on modern equipment but it was pretty awful.  Nevertheless, the content was interesting.

Still desperate for a piece of cake, we decided to pay a return visit to Hebridean Toffee as the weather was still nice, if a little windy.  This time I had a Hebridean Toffee Muffin, accompanied by Cloudy Pear Juice (made in East Sussex!)  and very good it was too.


We paid a quick visit to the Shelducks on Vatersay (just checking) and then drove around to the other side of the island, passing an Eider and two ducklings on the way.


Kisimul Castle and Castlebay

Kisimul Castle and Castlebay

We have seen the beautiful beach there on many occasions but had not actually ventured on to the sand before.  Another one of those moments…


As usual, the seawater is crystal clear and what I thought was a pretty stone turned out to be a jellyfish when I went to pick it up!


I soon drew my fingers away and we spotted another colourful one further along the beach.


A couple of Black Guillemots swam lazily by…

DSC_0840Then a puzzle:


We weren’t sure whether it was an unknown fish (or large jellyfish) but it was translucent with purple blobs and floating about two feet from the edge of the surf.  Could it be simply a plastic bag?  Every now and then what looked like a mouth opened briefly.


Any ideas?

Peter is convinced it’s a bag but the purple patches made it look more like a fish to me.

The wild flowers glowed in the sun amongst the machair…


…and it was difficult to tear ourselves away from the glorious place…


…but tear ourselves away we did eventually.

Once again the Greylags think they own the road…


…and this small creature has obviously modelled herself on My Little Pony.


Along the Atlantic the Eiders are on their rock, and all’s right with the world.