I apologise for blogging out of area again, but I can't just let the 10th anniversary of the Isle of Eigg buy-out go past without a mention on here. Also, bearing in mind that there are, as yet, no island bloggers from the island.
Eigg was privately owned until 1997, and successive owners did not do much for the island's economic prosperity. In fact, wanton neglect was the order of the day after 1966, when the Runciman family sold up. A series of maverick owners moved into the Lodge (the proprietor's residence), and the last two were the last straw. Keith Schellenberg took over in 1975, and appeared to come in with new ideas.
Unfortunately, a string of incidents soured things irrevocably and Mr Schellenberg sold to a crackpot German artist, known as Marlin Eckhardt Maruma. He shot paint at a canvas, set it on fire, and called it art. He bought Eigg as a security against a £3m loan - which was based on thin air. When this was found out, the island was put on the market again. The islanders now had their act together, and managed to gather up the £2m asking price.
I have visited Eigg on and off since 1989, and on my last visit in 2004, things had improved beyond recognition. By the end of this year, Eiggachs will have their own mains electricity, generated from hydro, solar and windpower. Previously, they had to rely on capricious diesel generators.
I once again salute the people of Eigg for their enterprise and wish them every piece of good luck in the years ahead.