Every summer there is an inter-island Small Isles games between Rum, Eigg, Muck and Canna. We take it in turns to host – so every isle gets a go once every four years. Just as the four islands each have their own ‘personality’ and feel, so do the games depending on which island is hosting.
The largest of the Small Isles geographically is Rum – we are wider, longer, taller and wilder. We are the third in population size though. Rum is partially owned by Scottish Natural Heritage and partly by the Isle of Rum Community Trust. Our wildlife is pretty diverse but very red deer heavy, oh and midge heavy too! Eigg is the second bigger island and by far the largest population of the four islands with over 100 people. Eigg is community owned and is a really thriving and diverse mix of people, properties, businesses and endeavours. Canna is owned by National Trust for Scotland and has the smallest population of the four islands. Muck is privately owned with a similar sized population to Rum. This year the games were hosted by Muck.
Muck is the sort of tiny Scottish island you might imagine if you have been reading Katie Morag books. It is pretty, everyone has a place and a job and it all runs very efficiently. There are generations of the same families living there and people who visit the island year in year out. It has a lovely feeling and is tamed and organised. There is a healthy diversity in ages across the island with plenty of young folk from toddlers to teens. They are fit and active and certainly for as long as we’ve lived in the Small Isles they win the games every year in a whitewash of victory! This year was no exception. The games were a great mix of fun and creative but with a heavy emphasis on sporting achievement, something the rest of the isles are not quite a match for Muck on, either by lack of resident numbers, lack of sporting prowess or the lure of the beer tent! Either way we were all very happy to compete, have plenty of fun and be very gracious runners up (Eigg came second, Rum came third and Canna came fourth) and cheer on the victorious Muck once more. Before retiring to the village hall for food, drink, dancing and quite possibly the longest raffle I have ever witnessed (seriously it went on for nearly an hour!)
Very excitingly Davies and Scarlett returned to Rum on the ferry on the same day – they were happy to miss the evening in favour of a film watching marathon and their first ‘home alone’ experience. So they came back to feed animals, deal with the cat and the dog and tie up the wind turbine as the high winds which had been moving around the long term weather forecast all week had finally settled during the early hours of Sunday morning. Ady and I stayed on Muck for the evening celebrations and caught a lift with the remainder of Team Rum back on the Marine Harvest fish farm boat on Sunday morning.
It was a rough, but super speedy trip back and we were home before sleepy teens were even awake.
Thanks Muck for another memorable Small Isles games.