“There is so much to do in Arran in the summer!” So said a twenty-something year old long term visitor to the island this week! Following a busy July with the village gala weeks, August continues with the big annual summer Shows – Arran on the 1st, Highland on the 4th and Horticultural on the 8th. In this issue we highlight many of the other events that are taking place over the next few weeks. There are a wealth of concerts, exhibitions, art studios, book readings and films to go to, from the Something of the Sea exhibition at COAST, to the Arran Open Studios weekend, a double bill of concerts from Music Arran, and then to the start of the McLellan Arts Festival which begins at the very end of the month. The festival this year opens with a visit from renowned poet (and this years festival poetry competition judge) Sinead Morrissey.

The Voice has been trying to keep up with it all (not easy!) and has met many interesting people on its way, including some of the artists at the recent Wood exhibition in Corrie hall. Now in its third year the exhibition provides a great showcase of the amazing wood work that is produced here. We have a slideshow of pictures from the exhibition in this issue, and we also talk to local children’s author Alison Page about her new book The Westie Fest. Readers can see her at a number of events in Arran this month.

Amongst the reviews, previews and posters of all things Arran there are a few pieces from local contributors which take us to a more contemplative place. We have an illuminating article on the Arran Women in Black peace group, another fascinating piece on Sound therapy and the Soundbaths that take place each month in Brodick, as well as a more gritty reminder of the effluent problems in the Kilbrannan Sound from the fish farms in the area and also the new Arran distillery. There is also part 2 from the Open Seas series Stories from Scotland’s Seabed. In the whirl of an Arran summer the wider politics and problems of the world may seem to have been temporarily put on hold. Luckily one bit of news from ‘out there’ hasn’t escaped us, and that is the decision by the Irish government last month to divest all its finance from fossil fuels. Let’s hope in the next months we see more governments do the same. The hot summer has been amazing but perhaps not so lovely or innocent when we remember to look at it in its longer term context…

We hope you enjoy the news from the Voice and the rest of the Arran summer!