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Litir Dhachaigh

My last article of 2015 for the Loch a Tuath News!

Each of our days lasts twenty-four hours. Each week is seven days. Each year is fifty-two weeks. And still, regardless of these facts, it seems every Christmas comes upon us quicker than it did the year before. I’ve often wondered why this is the case. The most obvious reason I could think of is that living so far away now means that my fellow expats and I need to plan as early as possible for a trip home. It’s not unusual for us to start organising our holiday plans as early as July. To leave it to the last minute is to feel the harsh sting of FlyBe’s wrath on our bank account, leaving us to a month of eating leftovers and wondering whether our money would have been better spent on a flight to New York.

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Litir Dhachaigh

My October 2015 article for the Loch a Tuath News.

Have you ever searched for your name on Google? As part of an exercise about online safety I was once asked to type in my own name and analyze what I found. Thankfully, being a child of dial-up Internet and the age of “get off the computer, I need to use the phone!”, there is very little record of my childhood misdemeanors on the World Wide Web. One particular mention did surprise me though. It came from The Herald website and was a listing of all the Royal National Mòd winners from 2000. There I was: Donna Mairi MacIver, Còisir Òg a’ Bhac, third place in poetry recitation. It’s not a bad way to be remembered by future generations.
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Litir Dhachaigh

The following is an installment of my column in the Loch a’ Tuath News – Litir Dhachaigh.

This is one of the many photos I took on my recent summer holiday. It’s certainly not the most interesting snap that I’ve ever taken. It’s especially dull when I tell you there are no stunning vistas or azure seas to be seen if I’d shifted my lens just a fraction. It gets even less exciting when I tell you that I’m actually standing in a car park.

As with many photos, there is more to this than meets the eye. Below my feet lies Adolf Hitler’s bunker.
Berlin 5

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Litir Dhachaigh

The following is an installment of my column in the Loch a’ Tuath News – Litir Dhachaigh.

The curious absence of sunshine and unwelcome lashings of rain have, if nothing else, provided great talking points this summer season. What better way to greet an acquaintance than by rolling your eyes and sighing, “can you believe what this weather is doing?!”. I’m certain that many a long-lasting friendship began with a comment on the unique Scottish climate that we all love to hate. Continue reading

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Litir Dhachaigh

The following is an article I wrote for the Loch a’ Tuath News when I joined as a contributor this year. I decided to call my wee space in the paper Litir Dhachaigh, which means A Letter Home. If you’re anything like me, you can’t remember the last time you received a letter that was about something other than bills or deals at the local supermarket.

But there is something really special about a letter. Perhaps it’s the fact that you know the author took time out of their day to think about you. Or that you know that someone carefully crafted their words in order to make the sort of connection only words on paper can allow. Being asked to contribute to my local newspaper was a lovely honour and I’m glad that I can let everyone back home know that, even in the noise and clamour of the Big City, I think of them often.


Where I’m from depends on who’s asking. I’m a Scot, a Gael, an islander, a Leòdhasach. The need for a swift change of identity is not an unfamiliar experience for those of us who live away from the island. Regardless of which hat I have to wear though, there’s one title I’m always proud to use: Bacach.

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