Oh, well everybody ... You see, when you went out peat cutting ... See at that time in Calbost we were the only ones left in Calbost really cutting peats although we weren’t living in Calbost all the time. But in all the other villages round about, you know, everybody mucked in together. Everybody went to cut the peats and everybody brought a picnic like flasks of tea and coffee and scones or ... So everybody chipped in and it was a good day out, and I think that’s what made peat cutting ... I’m not going to say fun but nobody minded it because everybody was out together and everybody was on the same boat and everybody was working together and playing together and ... you know? So although we were on our own, there was one other old elderly couple in Calbost but by that time they had stopped cutting peats, but we were used to this, growing up, everybody chipping in together and having a picnic. They worked very, very hard but they knew how to ... they somehow knew that bodies needed rest and to relax and let off steam as well. They somehow knew these things that we had to take care of our bodies and our minds as well as survive and earn a living. So, you know, they made sure everybody was fed and looked after and rested and there were especially, I found myself, careful and kind with women who were expecting babies and who’d just had babies. They seemed to be a lot more kind to them than they are nowadays, you know? They didn’t want the woman who were ... of course, they were used to people losing their lives in childbirth and babies being stillborn so I found they were very gentle around mothers-to-be and young mothers as well. But, yeah, he brought the first car to Calbost and he let everybody know it! He did. That’s photos with his brothers. That brother, James, went to America and Murdo was the second youngest in the family. They were very close, these boys. Yep ... That’s my father with an auntie, Mrs. MacFarlane, Marvig. She used to run the post office in Marvig. She actually gave me my father’s mother’s wedding ring, which I thought was very kind of her. I thought that was very nice of her to do that. Now I remember this getting taken. This was myself and my brother and my father and these were two first cousins of ours. One was home from America and one was home from New Zealand so very rare that we were all together. They were from California. And that’s a photo of ... they lost a daughter when she was just fifteen. Oh it was awful, traumatic for them. She was their actual only daughter. My brother and I were adopted after she died so she was their only child. My mum went to wake her up for school one Wednesday morning and she had passed away. She was fifteen and she looked lovely. She was a beautiful healthy girl but she suffered from epilepsy and she had taken a fit in her sleep and suffocated and it was tragic. It shocked the whole island. Since I came home in 2002 almost everyone I’ve spoken to remembers Isobail dying and there was ... I did some research myself and ... Cos I was curious why everybody remembered this death. I thought there’s bound to be other people, young people, die. And two other young people died the year she died. One was a girl who was ill and another was a sudden death as well, but I wondered why this one stuck in everybody’s mind so much and the only two reasons they were coming up with was my father was well known with the Harris Tweed industry and, two, she was their only child. And that’s why it’s ...

  • Elizabeth McGowan
Thursday 3rd June 2010