Today is the competition in the Gaelic language, mostly for schools but with adult sections thrown in.  It includes recitations, choral singing, the playing of traditional instruments, such as the chanter, pipes and accordion, and all sorts of traditional dancing.  This is the Mod.

On our way up to the school where it is being held, Angus and Mary with Seumas, passed us (yes, the main road is mainly two whole lanes so overtaking is possible on South Uist!).

We had to park a fair way from the school on a grass verge, unsurprisingly as the school carpark was full to overflowing.


We waited with lots of parents outside the hall for the previous category to finish but were soon let in and, as others left, managed to get seats easily.  In front of us sat the judges, one for the Gaelic side of things and one for music and acting.  A very kindly looking gentleman sat next to them and quietly tapped a china mug with a spoon before introducing the contestants.  Amazingly he commanded silence immediately.  He spoke entirely in Gaelic.


The first competition was for Choral Primary Leaners and each of the small choirs, including one from Barra which included Seumas, sang two traditional songs.  They were all very enthusiastically sung and the Barra children came first in one of the songs.


The next competition was for Primary Action Song with dressing up as well!  I’ve never heard She’ll be Coming Round the Mountain in Gaelic before and the only part I understood was the Aye Aye Yippee bit!  Everything was done with such enthusiasm and verve that it was lovely to watch.  It reminded me of all those dancing shows and nativities that we have watched over the years, from our children to our grandchildren now.

The competition we were really looking forward to was the Primary Playlet, for which there was only one entry – the Barra children doing a spoof version of ‘Bake Off’, in Gaelic of course.  Seumas was Paul Hollywood and, although we didn’t understand the intricacies of the plot, it was very obvious when “Paul” disapproved!


I think it’s great that the Gaelic language is not disappearing and quite often you hear conversations in that language although, of course, English is still spoken quite a lot.

After the Mod we decided to have lunch at the picnic table up at the loch we had seen yesterday.


The country around here is very rural and there are vast areas of flat grassland, as well as some mountainous scenery.



We found a lone Whooper Swan on a loch.


While we were driving along the main road Peter spotted a Short-eared Owl (they fly during the daylight hours) bombarding a Buzzard (possibly a young one) who was on the ground.  Unfortunately, the Owl disappeared before Peter could get the camera out but he was able to take several photos of the Buzzard, including when he eventually flew off.



Further down the road we spotted (and heard) a cuckoo on an overhead wire.  I was able to take far too many photos of him, one of which is shown here.


Look at that eye!  Interestingly, although he was calling quite a lot none of the 40-odd photos show him with his beak open – perhaps they do it using their throat and don’t need to open their beaks?

Down at Loch Druidibeg the two local ponies (one of which reminds me of Boris!) Looked up as I called them.


Everywhere the Cotton Grass is blowing in the wind.


At Loch Eynort there is a very handsome house which has been built onto an original croft by the looks of it…


… And the seals are flopped out on an island in the loch.


In order to publish the day before’s blog we stopped at the Internet Cafe/Post Office in Lochboisdale which we have used before.


It was about to close but we were able to get some cake and coffee to take away and the signal was strong enough to post the blog outside in Bessie.  Excellent cake here as usual!