No, it wasn't Brigadoon appearing out of the mists, but rather a piece of modern Scotland that arrived at New Yorks Grand Central Station. While several visitors expected thatched roofs and crofts, people were surprised to see the more modern Scotland put forth at the exhibition

  In conjunction with Tartan Day celebrations Visit Scotland, the Scottish Tourist Board set up an exhibit which dealt with various aspects of modern Scotland. There were exhibits about education, business development, golfing, and food. Glenfiddich whisky also had an exhibit. The famous Wallace sword was displayed as well.

  There were performances daily on a stage set up on which appeared a variety of people demonstrating the arts and crafts of Scotland as well as lectures on a variety of topics such as genealogy. Introducing the various performers was the talented and personable Christopher Tait who in real life is Robert Burns well almost! Christopher does performances about the life of Robert Burns. His web site tells all!

Christopher Tait

  Chefs Kevin MacGillivray of Ballathie House and Joe Queen of Monument Hotels produced some Scottish delicacies which were passed around to the people who had gathered to watch.

  Ian MacDonald and Dan Ramsay, coopers with Glenfiddich demonstrated the art of cooperage or barrel making and repair. Mr. MacDonald demonstrated the way a barrel is broken down and reassembled, while Mr. Ramsay showed the intrigued crowd how to remove a single stave from a barrel and replace without disassembling the entire barrel.

  Cameron Taylor gave lectures on genealogy, and there were fashion shows of modern kilts. Other performances included music and dance by such groups as Shooglenifty, Dancebase-Innit, Scottish Screen also present some short films from Scotland.



Consider an Island
Eilean Sgitheanach

By Rhona Rauszer

Polygon, Edinburgh
192 pages

Consider an Island An t- Eilean Sgitheanach is a book of short pieces told by a master story teller, Rhona Rauszer, the daughter of Marianna MacLeod and Christopher Sykes. Born more than nine decades ago, her life is just as interesting as the people and places she writes about on Skye, the place where she lived from 1914 to 1930. She worked tirelessly during the war in the Voluntary Aid Detachment at Lenox Hill and later for five years in the Womens Royal Naval Service. She married Kazimir Stanislaus Rauszer, a Pole stationed in Dunblane where Ms. Rauszer was living at the time. Later she wrote and recorded stories for BBC Scotland over a 30 year period.

The stories in the book range from childhood memories to tales of the Skye dwellers right through some neatly supernatural stories. The stories are full of people whose characters are defined in masterful strokes, and within minutes they are people you feel you know. From the very first piece, To School on Skye the world view of people about their island and the way they view of life resound through the tests. The relationships between family members, other Skye dwellers, outsiders and supernatural beings are wonderfully told and we are given insight into the way the world is seen through their eyes.

There are thirty two stories in all (far too few), a map and a glossary of terms used in the book from both Scots and Gaelic. Linda Williamson, who edited the book, has written an informative introduction as well.

For anyone interested in Skye, its people and their view of the world, this book is a must! My only regret is that the book doesnt come with recordings of Ms. Rauszer telling the stories! We hope there will be a Now Consider This! sequel to this book.