Out of Doors - My Favourite Place
Everyone has a place where they feel at one with themselves and the world around them. Where daily concerns are thrown into perspective. Where you can breathe. I write this from the island of Gigha, the most southern of the Hebrides, which lies 3 miles off the Kintyre peninsula. This week, residents celebrated 10 years of community ownership, which for them - in practical terms - means warm and energy efficient houses and the promise of a future for a community they love. The community here is diverse. The Chair of the Gigha Heritage Trust, Alistair MacNeill, can trace his ancestry to the fifteenth century. German born Lukas Lehmann, Trust Manager, chose to come and live on Gigha after working and living all over the world - he says that Gigha is a model of sustainability. Don Dennis grows exotic orchids here from which he extracts flower essences for export. All these interesting individuals share something though - a love of their island environment.
Gigha: top left: south pier, top right: view of Gigha from the ferry, bottom left: prefab houses, bottom right: daffodils in front of Achamore House. Photos by Mark Stephen.
Over the next six months, we are going to be celebrating the diverse environments of Scotland on Out of Doors and across BBC Radio Scotland, and we'd like everyone to get involved. My Favourite Place is a writing competition which aims to encourage people to write about the place they love to be in Scotland, be it a café, a loch, or a particular walk. Anywhere that is meaningful for you. We have a host of well kent faces pioneering our cause too - this week, Sally Magnusson shares her thoughts on her favourite daily walk. Over the coming months, we'll hear from poet Liz Lochhead, song writer, Aiden Moffat and novelist, Alexander McCall Smith. But mainly we want to hear from you. So, no excuses - get thinking. And get writing.
Out of Doors will include a special feature on Gigha from 6.30 on BBC Radio Scotland on 17th March.