1 EAGLETON NOTES: Gone

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Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Gone

I have just watched The Family's international flight land in Auckland. It's quite strange to me who, as a youngster, had schoolfriends who had fathers at sea. They could be away for many months at a time and any letters with their whereabouts or intended destinations or return home might take months to arrive. 

Now it is possible to follow their every move and even speak to them or hold a video call almost anywhere in the world. 

Interestingly the flight went over the Cocos or Keeling Islands of which I had never heard. 

As I write this it is 54 hours since they left. To me it seems like they left yesterday and then I realise just how much I've done since they left including having two nights of sleep.

They have spent an overnight in Edinburgh and caught up with family and spent the rest of the time in airports and on planes travelling to just about as far away from here as a commercial airline can take them.

So much happened when they were here and yet the week went so quickly. The Heb Celt Festival was on and they went every night. It is many years since I had been and it has come a long way from being a local event to being almost international. There were certainly visitors from all over the place who had come principally for the Festival. It was a sell-out with a capacity of 5,000. It still manages to feel homely though and I enjoyed the events I attended which included Blazing Fiddles.


Whilst they also went visiting (Wendy and Martin lived here years ago) they also showed Catriona some of the history. It was 2010 when Wendy, Fraser and Catriona last came and, now that she is older, Catriona has a much keener interest in the history of the places she's been.

On Sunday we all went to Garry Sands and, despite less than perfect weather, we had a lovely time just chilling out and walking where we had walked so many times before. As usual we were waiting for Martin who was having a last long look at the beach.

26 comments:

  1. Do they have anything else at the Celt Festival besides different musical acts? It surly is amazing that you can put family on a plane and with just the flight number, follow them all the way home.

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    1. Mrs Thyme there are some of the usual commercial stalls in the Craft Tent but it is, principally, a musical festival.

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  2. Sharing just got a lot faster with modern technology. It's good to attend things with friends and relatives.

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    1. Red the world gets smaller with every new app.

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  3. Mr P loves those flight trackers. He "watched" me fly home to Sydney from Greece earlier this month, collecting screen shots of interesting locations, too. A new twist on plane spotting!

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    1. Pipistrello, I find it fascinating as well as a way of keeping contact.

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  4. That final photo is very poignant. I hope he has it framed!

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    1. That's a good idea for a pressie. Thanks, Cro.

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  5. I agree with Cro, the final photo "speaks" to me, too.
    As for keeping in touch - well, even when someone is not on this planet, we can communicate with them! Only the other day, Alexander Gerst (my favourite astronaut who has featured a few times on my blog) was joining in via a video call at a Kraftwerk concert in Stuttgart. Relay time is, I believe, 3 seconds. When humans will eventually travel to Mars, that time will extend to about 20 minutes if I remember correctly. All based on the laws of physics - isn't it marvellous!

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    1. I'm glad that the photo has that effect, Meike. Modern communications are marvellous and the very fact that we can actually get an astronaut up there in the first place is pretty amazing.

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  6. I guess that "chilling out" has long been a Hebridean activity - especially in wintertime!
    There must now be a quiet and slightly empty space where the New Zealanders were so very recently. Can't you go back there again Graham? Maybe one last hurrah?

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    1. YP in terms of the climate 'chilling out' might have been the order of the day for many Hebrideans. As far as the rest of the time there was always a surfeit of work to be done. We are, however, now catching up with the modern ways of the UK. The space is big and very empty although my next visitor (again from NZ) arrives next Tuesday. I would love to think that I'll get to New Zealand again. First I have to clear all the medical issues (sorry Frances) to enable me to get insurance to travel anywhere.

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  7. Love that last photo and I can imagine it being quite an emotional farewell (as so often when one is leaving behind views and/or people one loves, and maybe not sure when the next time will be...) (Even if nowadays there is all the technology enabling us to keep in touch across vast distances.)

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    1. It was, Monica, very emotional. One of those 'say the goodbyes, turn around and walk away without looking back' goodbyes.

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  8. Your last post about Mo was , for me , too sad to comment on and this one also brought the lump to my froat! Goodbyes are awful. Lesley

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    1. Lesley, as you said goodbyes of any sort are rarely happy events.

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  9. I’m so pleased that the “family” were able to enjoy the festival. It is lovely that you were able to have them to stay. I too think that photo is well worth framing. It says so much without using words.

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    1. Thanks, Beverley. The photo seems to be speaking to people in the way it spoke to me. That is always pleasing.

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  10. A wonderful, cherished time spent. You have much upon which to reflect...many smiles and warming of the heart.

    Your previous post and my current one have similarities, it appears, Graham. :)

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    1. Lee, I gathered many memories in a short time. I'll pop over to your post later (everything is always 'later' why not 'now'?)

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    2. Because often "now" is not suitable! :)

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  11. I feel so sad for you, Graham. Seeing them go must have been so hard. I agree with the others who commented on the last photo - it really is a keeper, the lone figure, the sky, the shut gate, it all says so much. No point me saying "Keep smiling" - I know you will.

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    1. Pauline I find leavings harder the older I get. You're right, of course, life is too short to stop smiling.

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  12. Just seeing in my own family how painful it can sometimes be when loved ones live so very far away. I do think that Skype and modern communications make it easier. I have been reading many books about Ireland recently and I think how grim it must have been for the mothers to see most of their children go and never come back.

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    1. Jenny, Im sure that that must have been the case in Scotland during The Clearances and afterwards too and for the millions in many countries who saw their loved ones go off to war never to return.

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