Kildonan Museum

This afternoon, we enjoyed a visit to Kildonan Museum.

Flora Macdonald gave a wonderful talk about dyeing wool and making ink with crotal (lichens). She launched her first book last year at Kildonan and is working on a second book now.

Norma Neill was spinning and gave a fascinating talk about Eriskay gensays (sweaters) and how each section has a meaning and how men could be identified by their unique sweater.

I loved the Angus McPhee exhibit in particular.

Jon made a new friend.

And we found the name of our Mystery Weaver at Kildonan Museum! It appears that he was the father of the local Bard.


Sacred Heart session this morning

This morning’s session was at Sacred Heart Care Home in South Uist. 

Dr Stephanie Bunn, Dawn Susan, Jon MacLeod, Maggie Smith and myself Paula Brown spoke with residents about their memories of weaving with local materials.

We took along soaked straw to twist, several examples of baskets and rope plus plenty of images and some plants.

One lady told us that her father made woven horse collars and she remembered the ciosan baskets. She was able to twine wheat straw and was engaged in that for a long time.

One gentleman could not resist trying out the creel on his back, which caused some amusement.

One image of a man weaving in Uist was a source of disappointment because his name was not on the page. The challenge is on to name the weaver.

First night on the South Isles

This little cottage is ours for a week. We’ve just had a little planning meeting between Jon, Maggie, myself and Dawn Susan and Stephanie Bunn. 

We start work tomorrow at Sacred Heart and work across care centres, museums, arts organisations,  moorland and shoreline. 

We have a plan but it will alter according to the people who shape it. More pictures and news to follow over the next few days.

Memory Cafe at WIH to continue from September

Our Service Level Agreement to support NHS Western Isles Hospital with Alzheimer Scotland to run weekly Memory cafes on the ward has come to an end for the pilot series.

Yesterday, we all met to discuss going forward and it was agreed to recommence from September for three months, with evaluation at the end of it. Heather came along and took excellent notes in three colours, while offering to redesign the evaluation process to support the project’s sustainability.

Senior Nurse Jimmy Myles said of our project ‘you are gently guiding us towards a sustainable service.’ Which puts our support in context, in addition to our innovation and enthusiasm!

Looking forward to continuing to support people through these social opportunities with low key but important support for people on the wards, their families and carers.

The ripple effects are interesting too. We discussed volunteering, training and awareness opportunities and scope for developing all of these aspects.


Japanese Visitors

I was was thrilled to welcome Mr Yukata Inoue today, for lunch at An Lanntair’s restaurant. He is currently visiting the University of Stirling to study Dementia Friendly Communities in Scotland. He is Emeritus Professor at Meikia University in Japan. He was accompanied by Mrs Hiroko Inoue.

They were both at the Life Changes Trust gathering in Perth.

Mr Inoue intends to write a book about Dementia Friendly Communities when he returns to Japan at the end of July.

Emeilin Collier from the NHS Remoage Project came along and Marion MacInnes from Alzheimer Scotland hosted us all (hostessed).

We spoke about similarities and differences between projects, between countries and we had fun conversations about the making of Miso and other traditional foods.

Before lunch, we looked in on the captivating Resoundings exhibit in the Gallery. These are the images.  Hiroko is the lady in the shadows, experiencing the bells.

Alzheimer Scotland Big Band afternoon

I supported Alzheimer Scotland Big Band afternoon at the Caberfeidh Hotel this afternoon.

There was a great turnout to hear some of the island’s incredible talent. Songs from films, swing, wartime songs and some modern songs with a retro twist entertained us all very well and so many people had the opportunity to sing along and share the joy.

The full concert is on this evening, so pop along to the Caberfeidh ballroom if you’re at a loose end this evening.