Celebrate the Solstice tonight (21st December) or celebrate it tomorrow night, depending on which calendar you use and whether you missed it tonight.
Solstice marks the shortest day and the longest night, and afterwards we can count on 3 minutes more per day of daylight, as we begin the journey back upwards to spring. This will be tacking on at the end of the day for a few weeks, though, as the latest sunrise is not until mid-January, and dragging ourselves out of warm beds in the dark and cold will continue to be a trial.
So … get out your candles, hang up the holly and mistletoe
bring in a good-sized log for the fire, and let the mulled wine flow, because Solstice (or Yule) is the traditional mid-winter festival marking the change-over from dark to light, and the re-awakening of the sun from its slumbers.
It is possibly one of the oldest festivals in the world, and was celebrated by ancient cultures in many countries. Stonehenge and other circles are aligned to catch the last rays of the setting solstice sun – or the first rays of the next rising sun, depending on which website you read! Whichever, it was important to our ancestors to know that the year had really “turned”, and that the natural cycle of the seasons would continue. There always lurked the fear that the sunlight and warmth might not return, and that famine would result, so fires were lit to worship and celebrate the sun – and to remind it of what it was supposed to do!
The next Seil & Easdale Community Council meeting will be held in the hall on Easdale Island on Tuesday 22nd November at 7.30pm.
Come along. Hear what the latest issues are. Participate. It’s on your doorstep, after all!!
On 28th June, Seil Natural History Group are organising a biological recording field trip to Easdale, looking mainly at the plant life on the island.
A request from Sea-fari (please respond direct to them):
Easdale RIB Rendezvous
Thanks to all who supported the event We apologise for any disruption but we hope this was kept at a minimum. As we wrap up the file we are seeking feedback both from those who came to visit but more importantly from the local community who may have been affected positively or negatively by the event.
We intend to close the files within 10 days.
Seafari have sent the following update on the RIB Rendezvous weekend:
Colonsay, Garvellachs, Corryvreckan
RIBs of all sizes attending & cruising in company
46 RIBs have expressed an interest to attend as at 10th April 2011
It is hoped the event will bring tourists to the area. The sea is a major asset. We are aware those attending are seeking accommodation in the area. We hope it will encourage people to holiday on Seil and Easdale.
Fri 29th April—we are expecting boats to arrive by road from around noon.
Some boats will leave pm Sun 1st, others Mon 2nd May.
The following have been informed of the event and offered to comment
Seil and Easdale CC, Eilean Eisdeal, EIRPOA, Easdale and Cuan Ferrymen, Argyll and Bute Council, Strathclyde Police, MCGA, RNLI.
Iain McFadyen (A&B Ferries) has spoken with the ferrymen, there are no concerns.
Bill Weston (A&B Roads) has agreed that cars and trailers may use the car park free of charge and trailers may be parked detached from their vehicles.
We recognise any event however managed causes local disruption.
We hope this will be minimal.
As you may have seen in the news, recent solar activity means that in
the next few days we have the best chance of seeing the Aurora Borealis for
several years. If it looks as though we’re going to get a good view (clear skies permitting) we’ll let you know.
Easdale is attempting to further establish itself as a quality destination for tourism in Argyll. Its unique location, facilities and infrastructure we believe lends itself to activities and events which are related to the sea.
Tourism is a vibrant but rapidly changing market. Visitors are selective. Many are now prepared to travel and participate in organised events.
The weekend 30th April/1st May 2011 we intend to hold the Easdale RIB Rendezvous (RIB – Rigid Hulled Inflatable Boat). The proposal is to gather at Easdale during the afternoon/evening of 29th April. Eilean Eisdeal have offered all participants free use of the harbour. The Oyster Bar will act as the gathering point for information and Seafari Adventures have agreed to act as the communications centre.
We are unsure of the response by boaters both local or from further afield but we wish to inform the community of the proposed event. We accept any event however well managed brings disruption but we wish to reassure everyone that every effort is being made to keep this to a minimum. We envisage most visiting boats arriving by road. We expect the size of RIB taking part to be around 6m and suitable for 4 persons. RIBs the size as operated by Seafari are suitable for 14 persons and will dwarf those arriving by road.
Contact has been made with local community groups, A&B Council, the local ferrymen, PC Jeremy Moore and HM Coastguard. It is the intention to assist visiting boat owners with specifics such as parking and launching.
The spin offs to the area we hope will include
1. Promotion of the area as a tourism destination worthy of a long term stay.
2. Increased business for accommodation providers, pubs, restaurants and Balvicar Stores in what is generally a quieter period.
3. Some may visit the other local tourist attractions.
4. Some may stay for a week or return for longer stays in future years.
We cannot guarantee the weather but if the weather is favourable the intention is to head to Colonsay on the Saturday. On Sunday there would be an inter island ‘cruise’.
Quotation from Seilachan December issue
“Currently we have incursions from tourists but they are only here temporarily and they add considerably to our coffers, they pass muster as acceptable and are even sought after.”
It is hoped that in these times when it is accepted tourism is down around 9% our efforts to offer local businesses the opportunity of increased revenue in a quiet period will be seen as a proactive move for the area. Seafari Adventures recognises that many accommodation providers and other local businesses promote their business. By assisting with this event it is a way to offer something back to the local tourism community.
Visit the event website to find out more: http://www.easdaleribrendezvous.org.uk/