1 EAGLETON NOTES: Stories My Suitcase Could Tell

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Sunday, 7 December 2014

Stories My Suitcase Could Tell

Every now and then something one reads hits a chord.  

People get sniffy about all sorts of things: the popularity of Cav and Pag or Mozart Forty or  Classic FM or Jack Vettriano.  Some I know add Facebook to that list.  I like Cav and Pag. I like Mozart's Fortieth.  I would doubtless listen to Classic FM occasionally if it were available in the Hebrides. I enjoyed some of the early Vettrainos long before he was as popular as he is today.  I enjoy Facebook as a way of keeping up with news and friends in different parts of the country and the world.

Today a neighbour shared a post on Facebook: a post from an Islander's blog.  That post hit a chord.

 It was from a blog by Katie MacLeod entitled "Stories My Suitcase Could Tell".  Katie writes:

"I’m Katie, the owner of this ‘suitcase’ full of travel stories.  I’m a twenty-something Scottish islander and International Relations graduate with a love of politics, reading, coffee, chocolate, writing, and of course, travelling.  When I’m not blogging or trying to see the world, you’ll find me busy with my day job as a local journalist, which I love – every day is different."

The post was entitled "On Leaving Home, and Loving the Hebrides" and describes the bond between Islanders and their Island.


I wasn’t brought up on the island and have only lived here for forty of my seventy years but I feel the feelings she described. I am the first generation of my family living here. The second generation was brought up here and is married into the island as well. I think my son would write as Katie has written. I hope that his children will feel as she does and write as she has.

11 comments:

  1. Although I have never been an islander myself, I know very well what it is like to feel a bond between myself and a place. There is such a bond between myself and Ripon - even though I have never lived there and came to Yorkshire for the first time only 14 years ago, when I first met my future husband after we'd been chatting online and on the phone for half a year. The family I have there feels like family regardless of the fact that they are no blood-relations of mine, and the place feels nearly as familiar as my birth- and home town. On an island, the feeling is probably stronger, because of the clearly drawn limit the Sea puts to the land one calls their home.

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    1. Meike I'm sure that you understand completely how I feel and I understand how you feel too. Living in two places as I have for the last 9 years hasn't altered my feelings for the Island even though I feel at home in New Zealand as well.

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  2. I really enjoyed reading Katie's story and the deep love she has for her island...and I understand all too well how much she learned to appreciate her home after she went away.
    I too wanted to leave and explore the wonders of the world and live in another country, but on one of my many trips back home, my heartstrings were tugged willing me to stay....it's the beat of the home drum.....
    Barbados will always be home for me.
    After reading her story I "see" more of what you see and what you share with us on your blog.

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    1. Virginia it's always good to read things which give us a greater insight into each other feelings and points of view.

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  3. Islands engender a special loyalty. Returning to one's island after time away may be like astronauts returning from outer space. Here on the island things seem clearer. A sense of belonging. An island can be like a world in itself.
    You have probably blogged about this before I tuned into "Eagleton Notes" Graham but what brought you to Lewis all those years ago? Why Lewis?

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    1. YP I think that Islands are rather special because of the natural boundary and relative isolation. I may never have blogged about why I came to Lewis. I was offered a job here and I decided to come for two years. I loved it and just never left.

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    2. The council was hard up for talent then, right enough. Oh, I forgot, they employed me too.....but just slightly earlier.

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  4. Cav? Pag?? But I do listen to classic FM in the car (although after his latest faux pas, I do hope they ditch David Mellor). I would LOVE to live on an island, if only my family were near.

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    1. Oh dear Frances. I thought everyone in Wiltshire knew the operas Cavalaria Rusticana and Pagliacci by Puccini as Cav and Pag. Sorry. I'd forgotten who David Mellor was until the recent news. I didn't know he was on Classic FM. If he's a presenter then all I can say is 'How the mighty have fallen.'. The solution to the last sentence is easy. Get your family to live here too. We desperately need doctors for a start.

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  5. The first paragraph (the island of opera) made me feel completely lost, whereas the Hebrides have come to feel quite familiar through your blog (and Peter May's books) even though I've never actually been there!

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    1. That's one of the beauties of Blogland Monica. We can see places on an everyday basis through the eyes of people who live in the place. It is analogous, in my humble opinion, to the situation my family discovered when we spent quite qa few Octobers in Berlin. We were not tourists: we were visitors. To me there is a world of a difference.

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