About

 

I started this blog in January 2007 with the intention of finding my way home to the Isle Of Lewis in the Scottish Outer Hebrides where I was born.

After spending 17 years living and working in the city of Glasgow, in October 2011 I finally made the break and returned to the island to train as a weaver of Harris Tweed and pursue other projects. The Croft blog played a huge role in making this possible.

Looking at crofting, the people, the land and the culture of the island in the 21st century this weblog continues to gather together many of the things that connect with me and my roots.

In addition, it aims to gather together many of the cultural and historical pieces that make up the rich soul of the northern part of the Outer Hebrides and hopefully, while educating myself on these matters, be able to show others that there is more to this part of the world than sheep and playing at The Good Life.

(And probably some other rubbish too…)

34 thoughts on “About”

  1. alison legg (cousin) said:

    Alright Mike? Nice site, can’t believe your going to swap the bright lights of Glasgow for the twinkling stars of the Scottish Islands, history definitely beckons! Good luck! AL

  2. Hi Al =)

    Yeah, I’ve had fifteen years of the bright lights and not seeing twinkling stars, that’s enough for me!

    Still got a couple of years to go here and a recession to ride out unfortunately but one day I’ll get back home…

    Hope all the Leggs are good and we get to see you soon.

    Mx

  3. Paul Johnson said:

    Proud to have been an official for the BNP.

    You lot are just a load of drunken Island imbreeds that no nothing about crofting other than how to get your grants!

    As for a bigot take a good hard look at yourself you narrow minded idiot!

  4. I will Paul, thanks for the advice.

    Why did you move up here anyway? Were you expecting the last bastion of pure-blooded Celt-dom or something?

    Nae luck cove!

    We islanders are the bastard sons and daughters of every seafaring nation to ever land on these shore in the last few thousand years. And we’ve been sailing the seven seas sowing our wild oats for centuries just for good measure.

    You want to talk about patriotism? Go and read my Remembrance Sunday post and try and try and justify throwing these sad little insults at the people of this island. Not a family here has not shed blood for our so-called Queen and country.

    Now toodle off back to Blighty and leave us to our whisky and grant fiddling 🙂

    (BTW is yer egg n chook business VAT registered at all, at all?)

  5. Sorry your having a bad day, re your rant on the19th hope tomorrow is better. Just remember that it could be a lot worse as you are healthy and good looking (well that just goes without saying) i hear it runs in the family. Hold in there, tomorow is another day. Hope you and J have a great Christmas and a Happy and healthy New Year.

    ps love your blog hope you get your icelandic sweater from santa if i could knit i would knit one for you but alas i got the looks and not the gift of knitting.

  6. Aye, Twitter caught me on a bad day. Tis the season for the masses to get drunk and demanding though and some of us are charged with providing the booze and entertainment. The evening of the day after the day after (tonight!) is better though!

    Looking forward to Christmas, we have some good food in and a couple of days peace to enjoy. And hopefully Santa will bring that jumper too 🙂

    Will drop you and yours a line by email soon, take care n much love…

    The Good Lookin’ Crofter

  7. Luke Collins said:

    Hi

    found you on Twitter browsing glasgow folks and clicked through to your site.
    looks good! will check back more

    cho’
    Luke

  8. Great reply crofter to That insulting BNP nazi P johnston
    Not worth the hassle guys like that
    Yes I can see him on his off time Marching around in his hitler outfit
    moustache an all. Morons like him use the internet to express how they feel
    hideing behind the screen
    Sorry dude you should have being born in the forties Hitlers Germany
    But if you had!!! some russian would have beaten the crap out of you

    So i have said my peace P johnstone

    So i raise my whiskey glass from one crofter to another

    Exiled Siarach

  9. Entertaining Mr Johnson?

  10. I see Mr Johnson has reared his obnoxious head again. He’s gotten banned by several forums – Point Online, NEEPS, Stornoway Chat – you name it, for being a troll. He’s left the island thank goodness and is now probably stirring up trouble in the Borders.

  11. To be fair I did start on him first by blogging his name and address when the member’s list came to light 🙂

  12. You sure he’s left the island? I thought he’d moved to Pairc 😉

  13. Reg Gambier said:

    Croft..it will be interesting reading your Blog. As a former Hotelier and now Resident on Lewis (nearly whole year now…) I am sure we can swap opinions/thoughts , even perhaps politely.
    Les….only nice people live in Pairc
    regards
    RJG……aka
    http://gravirlife.wordpress.com/

  14. Och, you can be as impolite as you like around here RJG. It’s like the Cearns of the interweb.

  15. Andbwell said:

    Hi. Just stumbled upon your blog and thought your post on CalMac’s Sabbath sailing was brilliant – level-headed, revealing (to a non-islander) and a pleasure to read. My sis lives in Stornoway so I was kind-of interested to find out a bit more about the place and, in particular, the Sabbath thing. Just wanted to offer some small words of encouragement.

  16. I love the bnp they are as funny as angus og, they want britain for the brits then when it comes to ireland they backtrack and want ireland for the brits as well so they dont upset the unionists, when i first heard the saying alternative comedians i thought they were talking about the bnp.

  17. hi, great blog. I found it after googling ‘Brian Haggas’ (I was looking for an email address so I could send him a few ‘carefully’ chosen words!) . Consider yourself bookmarked!

    Tioraidh,

    Toby

  18. Hi

    Just found your excellent blog via a google alert for harris tweed – we’ve just recently put the above website together. These sure are difficult and challenging times for the Harris Tweed Industry.

    John Maclean

  19. Congratulations John, website looks good, I’ll do a wee blog about it shortly.

    Good luck and all the best for the future!

  20. Hi Toby. The blogs here can be a little irregular but there’s plenty of older posts to trawl through while the newer ones come about! Feel free to comment as input from the outside world is always good.

    All the best.

  21. Caught by the River has added you to it’s links

    http://caughtbytheriver.net/links/

    all the best

  22. Thanks Jeff, honoured to be on the blogroll.

  23. alastair j said:

    the croft,

    are exiled sgitheanaich allowed on this site? just wondered. and who was that clown paul johnson?

  24. All exiles welcome!

    Paul J was a BNP member living in a Lewis village when their membership list was leaked a couple of years ago. Thought I’d do the decent thing and blog his address and poke some fun at his expense.

    He wasn’t too pleased…

    https://thecroft.wordpress.com/2008/11/19/the-only-bigot-in-the-village/

  25. Milis♥ said:

    Greetings from Balmacara! Cracking blog! Paul Johnson should be shot with a ball of his own shite…what a moron. Makes me ashamed to be a mainlander! Coming over to Swainbost again soon and cannae wait. There’s nothing I like more than spending time with sheep bothering, grant claiming inbreds….it’s what I live for! See you all soon, it can’t come soon enough xx

  26. Love it. Glad I found you. Inspiration.

  27. Someone was good enough to post a link to your blog from Flickr…the post about the train in the snow. I’ve now spent half an hour enjoyably reading your blog …it’s well written and obviously from the heart…along with a great many others, I suspect, I will be following with anticipation! Cheers and enjoy your festive season!

  28. Cheers Iain and you too!

  29. “My other wife’s a Hindu” is one of the wittiest things I’ve heard all year (so far 😉 )

    Congrats on a great wee blog – as a lass of island lineage living in England it made me thoroughly homesick!

  30. Thanks K, get yourself home for a visit soon!

  31. Brian John Adams said:

    Hi Mike . Just like to thank you for organizing the Harris Tweed Ride . I shook your hand on the day but we didn’t get an opportunity to chat. I am embarrassed to say that at the time I had no idea you were the man behind it all . I seem to have become mildly obsessed ( if that’s possible ) with Harris Tweed since the ride and have been reading into the history of the cloth, watching videos of the making of Harris Tweed and looking online at the many quality products available that are made with it . I even picked up a fantastic 1970’s recently on ebay . I had visited the Outer Hebrides about 15 years ago and on putting my nose to the jack I swear I could smell the sea and the wonderful fresh air that seem to be magically woven into the cloth . Memories came flooding back. I do hope you plan to hold another Harris Tweed ride next year and it would be great if young children were able to join in as my grandchildren saw the photographs and are desperate to take part in 2012. Thank you once again. All the Best Brian J Adams

  32. Brian John Adams said:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wabi-sabi. Why the Japanese are in love with Harris Tweed

  33. Pleasure Brian, it was a grand, if damp, day out but we put the tweed to the test and it proved more than a match for the elements. Be warned, it’s a dangerous world, the world of Harris Tweed, once you get into it. Once upon a time I ran the hippest clothes shop and coolest nightclub in Glasgow and now all I do is pursue the clo mor. A sorry tale indeed…

    I have a few ideas for Harris Tweed Rides with a twist next year, keep an eye on the blog for 2012.

    All the best. M

  34. Brian John Adams said:

    A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.
    Aldo Leopold

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