The choir was in Mull at the weekend – Tobermory to be precise - to compete in the Mull Provincial Mòd. Everyone seems to have heard of the Welsh Eisteddfod, but not so many know about the Highland equivalent, the Mòd. It’s a celebration of Gaelic culture, with lots of competitions in choral, solo, duet, quartet and group singing, mostly. The big National Mòd that all choirs aspire to, is next month in the north of Scotland, but the Mull Mòd is one of several small provincial Mòds, and our choir likes to go there in September. It’s a great social occasion as well as a serious competitive one, and we meet friends from other choirs, and get to know new people. I know a few of the Tarbert (Loch Fyne) choir of course, through visiting Kintyre and having Neil as a cousin, and also met one of the quartet who sang at Brenda’s and Donaidh’s wedding at the end of July!
Anyway to start at the beginning, fellow alto, Rena, and I set off from Edinburgh on Friday morning, bound for Oban where we were to catch the Mull ferry in the afternoon. We didn’t rush, and stopped a couple of times on route for cups of tea and photo opportunities. I have never seen the swift flowing Falls of Lora , under the bridge at Connel, so clearly as we saw them this journey, and there were canoeists out in the white water too!
Arriving in Oban in good time we were able to get a bite to eat, before joining the queue at the ferry terminal. Once on the boat with the car safely on the car deck, we found more of the choir members also on board. I like to be out on deck, so spent most of the short crossing to Craignure watching the scenery as we sailed out of Oban Bay. We spent many holidays in Oban
in my childhood and the lighthouse on the island of Lismore always brings back memories of being taken to the top of it by the lighthouse keeper to see the light, and learn how it worked. Health and Safety regulations would prevent us going out on to the outer platform these days, but we were able to walk round it then, no doubt being held tight by mother and father.
And so to Craignure and the drive up the single track road to Tobermory, where we found our respective accommodation, Rena in a hotel on the Main Street overlooking the Bay, and me in a pretty cottage B&B up the steep hill behind the main street.
Thank goodness I had the car with me! That’s really a cliff behind the main street.
There is a whisky distillery at the west end of the town - the
The 1905 clock tower stands at the end of the old pier. It is dedicated to Henrietta Bird, by her sister, the Victorian round the world traveller and writer Isabella Bird Bishop.
The choir gathered on Saturday at the pier near the distillery to practise for the competition that afternoon. It had been a beautiful morning, but just as we had all arrived a big black cloud (BBC) that we hoped was benign, proved not to be, and down came the rain – in torrents! Running to the visitor centre nearby we held our rehearsal there in the foyer instead. Lyle, who wasn’t singing, recorded our songs. The acoustics were great, so we sounded better than we actually were, I think! Anyway, here we are, courtesy of Lyle! The Cludgie Sessions!
I’ll tell you the rest next time!
Talk again soon.