Living the Island Dream

I sit all day making a one-eyed monster dance to the wooden tune of my clattering keyboard.  I must admit that sometimes my thoughts stray from server configuration or the tangled webs of computer code.  I have a few of my photographs on the wall of my torture chamber.  They occasionally distract me, but there is no window and the light is fluorescent. The prints radiate a dim luster in this light. So when Ruari  Cumming began his first AV sequence last night I felt the gloom and concentration of the day melt away as I was transported to the wonderfully clear air of the Hebridean islands.

Ruari titled his presentation this year “The Island Dream”.  He chose to look closely at the life and daily activities of five residents of the Isle of Colonsay.  It was “an exploration of the islands on the edge, their isolation & fragility, their charm & allure”.  I must say that the characters he chose showed ingenuity and alacrity in meeting the challenge of island living on the edge of the Atlantic and on the margins of comfort.  For example the school bus driver (an ex-hotel owner) who doubles and trebles the jobs he does.  His daily routine of ferrying the children to school, supervising the ferry port; transporting the tourists; running a bookshop and publishing house; back to the ferry port and then off to deliver the children home and then off to do a few other jobs left me breathless! Then, also, the story of the well respected postman also charmed us. We saw photos of his island rounds through some of the most wonderful scenery witnessed through the spotlessly clean windows of his ‘post bus’. The story of the enchanting artist using flotsam and jetsam and of the brewer who also was a sheep farmer were also captivating. All this was described through the medium of high quality photography and audio visual sequences. Together we visited the wonderful beaches, witnessed the open pasture and encountered the waters of the Atlantic in many moods – a truly engaging viewing of the life of this island .

I remember from his presentation last year that the quality photography were supported by well chosen music. In fact I discovered a new musical interest that evening which has lead me to many enjoyable listening experiences since that night. So I really looked forward to the experience last night. I was not disappointed. Ruari
waxed lyrical about something that has clearly been a lifetime passion.  It is always a pleasure to hear someone talk about their passion. With Ruari you get completely immersed in the experience.  His professional AV delivery was great, the sequences of shots were well compiled and the angle he chose to approach the subject was engaging.  If you missed it – you missed a treat.

Damon Guy


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