It is over a week since the excellent Rannsachadh nan Gaidheal conference in Edinburgh at which I met many old friends and good colleagues, and managed not to disgrace myself or, I trust, Dr. Meg Bateman in our joint plenary presentation. There were many interesting papers - especially one given by Emma Anderson on early woodwind instruments in the Gaidhealtachd, which appealed to my prehistoric leanings, although she was focussing on the written word and the meaning of the Old Gaelic word stoc.
John MacInnes was there with his wife Wendy and daughter Catriona. John was receiving due accolades for his outstanding work as a researcher, scholar and generous colleague over many decades, and Wendy was very much included in that. A joyous occasion.
Back on the croft we enjoyed our first new potatoes - Red Duke of York, superb with our own fillet steak and courgettes. The cows are out on the Common Grazings, looking sleek and well and no great distance from the bull, which is encouraging. Warm sunny south-westerly winds make this ideal lying-out-in-the-heather weather, of which I have done far too little in my life.
A couple of my poems have been chosen for a new book, Scotia Nova and I will be attending the Yestival events in Ullapool on the 19th and possibly Harris on the 17th to present them and others.
Soon it will be time to prepare a lecture for the Clan MacLeod parliament in Dunvegan on the 20th. This is the Stanley MacLeod Memorial Lecture, so I shall be sporting my ancient MacDougal kilt with pride.
John Purser is widely known as a composer, musicologist, poet, playwright, and broadcaster.