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TITLE
'Iona Boy'
EXTERNAL ID
AB_LL_MARY_RHIND_01
PLACENAME
Culbokie
DISTRICT
Muir of Ord
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
ROSS: Urquhart and Logie Wester
DATE OF RECORDING
2008
PERIOD
2000s
CREATOR
Mary Rhind
SOURCE
Am Baile
ASSET ID
1408
KEYWORDS
audio
literary landscapes

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This audio extract is from 'Iona Boy, a children's fictional story written by Mary Rhind, published in 1996. It is read here by the author.

'Before long, they came to a place where the land opened out wide in front of them. There were flowers of every colour imaginable everywhere.

"This is the machair," said Diarmid indicating it with a wide sweep of his arm. "Over there... and there... and there," he pointed, "you can see our barley growing." That was why I came over here yesterday, to see if there had been any storm damage."

"And was there?" asked Colman looking at the bright green patches of stalks that Diarmid was showing him. The other boy shook his head.

"No, we were lucky this time. Just as you were lucky too. Over there is where I found you," and he pointed again. Colman looked at the sea and the rocks. He had been lucky but he shivered despite himself.

"Come on," urged Diarmid thinking his friend was cold, "we go this way." He began to stride out as the ground climbed gently from the flower scented machair and soon they were crossing rough moorland. The ground here was uneven under their feet and they had to keep their eyes down to avoid twisting their ankles in the clumps of coarse grass, bracken and heather. They passed a small loch with last year's bog cotton bobbing beside it and as they passed two ducks flew noisily into the air.

By the time the boys had caught up with Colmcille the day was well advanced. As Diarmid had predicted the abbot was indeed sitting on the hill, silhouetted against the evening sun. When they arrived he was gazing out to sea. Now he turned and seeing them smiled, starting out of his thoughts.

"My goodness, my sons!" he said, "I had forgotten all about you! Come here and sit down beside me."

They did as they were told.

"The monks call this hill Càrn Cùl ri Eirinn, the Cairn of One's Back to Ireland," Colmcille explained to Colman, "because although Ireland is out there, you can not see it as it is so far away. You are therefore bound to turn away from it to the land you are on, and in, and part of. Strictly speaking the land you came from and this are joined as one by this sea. One day, though, this sea will separate the two. Then, in that day, there will be two countries speaking different languages and a lot of blood will be shed. But there will always be a shared history. That can never be taken away or denied.'

Mary Rhind was born and brought up in Edinburgh and now lives in Culbokie on the Black Isle.

After graduating from Aberdeen University's Department of Celtic Studies she researched the early Christian period. This research influences her stories.

Her first novel 'The Dark Shadow' won a Quest for a Kelpie award.

She is also a Gaelic columnist.

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'Iona Boy'

ROSS: Urquhart and Logie Wester

2000s

audio; literary landscapes

Am Baile

Literary Landscapes: Mary Rhind

This audio extract is from 'Iona Boy, a children's fictional story written by Mary Rhind, published in 1996. It is read here by the author.<br /> <br /> 'Before long, they came to a place where the land opened out wide in front of them. There were flowers of every colour imaginable everywhere.<br /> <br /> "This is the machair," said Diarmid indicating it with a wide sweep of his arm. "Over there... and there... and there," he pointed, "you can see our barley growing." That was why I came over here yesterday, to see if there had been any storm damage."<br /> <br /> "And was there?" asked Colman looking at the bright green patches of stalks that Diarmid was showing him. The other boy shook his head.<br /> <br /> "No, we were lucky this time. Just as you were lucky too. Over there is where I found you," and he pointed again. Colman looked at the sea and the rocks. He had been lucky but he shivered despite himself.<br /> <br /> "Come on," urged Diarmid thinking his friend was cold, "we go this way." He began to stride out as the ground climbed gently from the flower scented machair and soon they were crossing rough moorland. The ground here was uneven under their feet and they had to keep their eyes down to avoid twisting their ankles in the clumps of coarse grass, bracken and heather. They passed a small loch with last year's bog cotton bobbing beside it and as they passed two ducks flew noisily into the air.<br /> <br /> By the time the boys had caught up with Colmcille the day was well advanced. As Diarmid had predicted the abbot was indeed sitting on the hill, silhouetted against the evening sun. When they arrived he was gazing out to sea. Now he turned and seeing them smiled, starting out of his thoughts.<br /> <br /> "My goodness, my sons!" he said, "I had forgotten all about you! Come here and sit down beside me."<br /> <br /> They did as they were told.<br /> <br /> "The monks call this hill Càrn Cùl ri Eirinn, the Cairn of One's Back to Ireland," Colmcille explained to Colman, "because although Ireland is out there, you can not see it as it is so far away. You are therefore bound to turn away from it to the land you are on, and in, and part of. Strictly speaking the land you came from and this are joined as one by this sea. One day, though, this sea will separate the two. Then, in that day, there will be two countries speaking different languages and a lot of blood will be shed. But there will always be a shared history. That can never be taken away or denied.'<br /> <br /> Mary Rhind was born and brought up in Edinburgh and now lives in Culbokie on the Black Isle.<br /> <br /> After graduating from Aberdeen University's Department of Celtic Studies she researched the early Christian period. This research influences her stories.<br /> <br /> Her first novel 'The Dark Shadow' won a Quest for a Kelpie award. <br /> <br /> She is also a Gaelic columnist.