Hello and welcome to the new edition of the Voice for Arran!
What is it like to live on a Scottish island? And what is it like if you have lived on an island before, but now live elsewhere? Is a connection maintained, and if so, in what way? These are questions which one contributor, Island Researcher Kirsten Gow, is exploring in her PhD, and ones I have been returning to over the last few days. Bringing with them notions of ‘centre’ and ‘periphery’, ‘local’ and ‘global’, they highlight a certain quality of island living which is not always easy to pinpoint. But it is one that I have sensed in the issue as it has come together, perhaps because of its distinctly local feel.
And so despite the darkening autumn days, we have news of lots of lovely things to do over the coming month. You can find details of your local Food Share, now taking place every evening in villages around the island, as well dates for Eco Savvy’s Zero Waste Cafés which will be in Shiskine, Lochranza and Corrie in November. There are Stroll with It Arran! health walks, a Music Arran concert, and a talk on the Glasgow Girls at the next Arran Saltire meeting, among many other things.
Along with these upcoming events, we have some more personal reflections readers have sent in, including a fascinating account of one resident’s High Corrie memories, and a report from an islander on their round Arran rowing expedition last summer. We have as well, an obituary of long time and much loved Arran community member Lynn Gray Ross, who passed away last month. The details of her funeral this coming week are included. In these personal stories we get a sense of the lives lived, at different times in familiar places, and which are perhaps the things that become understood as ‘local’.
Yet as many of the articles also reveal, the ‘global’ is never far away. The COP27 Climate Conference begins in Egypt next week and it is maybe here, on issues of Climate, that any sort of distinction gets dispelled. Sally Campbell’s piece, ‘COP27 and the state of the world 2022’ provides a review of the situation in particularly vulnerable countries, reminding us that the impacts of climate change are not equal. We are however all implicated, both in terms of ecosystems change as well as the system-wide transformations needed to significantly cut emissions by 2030. Joining COP27 Coalition groups across the world, there will be an Arran Action for Climate Justice on 12th November. One of the organisers, Jan McGregor says, “We will stand together – a huge global movement of movements – to protest against the inadequacies of the COP process and show the world that now is the time for action.”
If you are on Arran, it would be great to see you there. If you are an off-island reader, we would love to hear about your connections to Arran and what they mean to you. Wishing you a great month, wherever you may be, Elsa