Home of the @HI_Voices rotational Twitter account, which features a new voice each week from the Highlands and Islands of Scotland

290: Rosemarkie Beach Cafe

by handivoices



21st – 28th April 2019

Cafe manager Philip is retiring on 17th May after a decade at the helm! This week will be an opportunity for a glimpse behind the scenes at the cafe and at life in general for Philip and myself during the coming seven days, whatever it throws at us.

I run many community social media accounts and over the years this one, @rosemarkiebeach, has grown far beyond just providing cafe news to become a bit of a Black Isle magazine account.

If you enjoy my content this week, do please follow me on @rosemarkiebeach and on my writer’s page too @veewalkerwrites.

Happy Easter to all!


289: Chris Grant

by handivoices



14th – 21st April 2019

Hi there. I’m Chris Grant, 26 and born and bred in the Highlands. Currently living in Invergordon.

I’m the Scotland County Co-Ordinator for Abilitynet which I enjoy.

Looking forward to tweeting this week.

288: Shona Maclennan

by handivoices


7th – 14th April 2019

Hello everyone, my name is Shona Maclennan and I live in Tarbert on the Isle of Harris. I’m known as a ‘townie’ from Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis, although I now live and work in Tarbert.

I grew up in Stornoway but with both parents from Harris, I spent many weekends on the golden beaches of the west coast of the island. I returned home in 2015 after 4 years at university in Edinburgh and a year living and working in Germany. I loved my Uni years and my time living abroad but I always knew my heart was at home.

I’m very happy to be a part of the team at the Isle of Harris Distillery having joined them in the early days of 2015. After working in the distillery canteen, shop and tour team it was time to switch roles and so I am currently learning the ropes in Storytelling and Social Media.

I love living and working in Harris and my partner and I have just recently moved into our new build in Tarbert.

The week ahead will hopefully provide a small insight into island life. I’ll share the beautiful island I am lucky to call home with you all and I am sure Isle of Harris Gin will make an appearance at some point!


287: Andy Hemphill

by handivoices


31st March – 7th April 2019

Hi Everyone, my name is Andy Hemphill and I’m from Greenock. I currently work as a primary school teacher, so I’m lucky to have this weeks holiday to share my adventures with you. I love to get off the beaten track and look forward to share with you what sites the local area has to offer.

I’ve been learning Gaelic for the past six months so hope to use this week as a little bit of practice, and hopefully engage a bit more with the Gael community.

I hope you all enjoy what I have to share!


286: Creative Inverness // Circus Artspace

by handivoices

Circus Badge


24th – 31st March 2019

Hi, my name is Kirsten Body and I live in Inverness. I’m part of a new artists collective wanting to set up an artist-run gallery in Inverness called Circus Artspace.  I founded Creative Inverness in 2015 as a social platform to raise the profile of the city’s creativity across all artforms, share arts opportunities for Highland practitioners and support the development of the local scene in Inverness.  Creative Inverness administered the Wasps Creative Hub demand study in 2015 and since February 2017 I coordinate a monthly networking event called ‘Lonely Arts Club’ with artists Rebecca Brown, Cat Meighan & Lorna Campbell. I also work part-time within the exhibition team at Inverness Museum & Art Gallery.

285: Knoydart Community Hall

by handivoices


17th – 24th March 2019

Hello, I’m Isla Miller and in my spare time i’m the chair of Knoydart Community Hall. It’s a community owned building that isn’t just in the heart of the village of Inverie – it is the heart.
Sadly the building built in the 1950’s is very much on it’s last legs and this year see’s the culmination of a lot of hard work to raise funds to see the new hall being extended and renovated to last for generations to come.
To find out more about the project or to see how we are getting on you can visit our website www.knoydarthall.com

284: Barbara Henderson

by handivoices


10th-17th March 2019

I’m a writer 🙂 and it still makes me smile to say that!

During a recent National Storytelling Week event at Brodie Castle.

If you’d like to know more about my work, check out www.barbarahenderson.co.uk and have a browse, or follow me on @scattyscribbler on Twitter and Instagram.

My three children’s novels, Fir for Luck, Punch and Wilderness Wars are all used in Scottish schools and I get to do fun things like school author visits which I will tweet about. I help run a book festival called NessBookFest in Inverness, alongside a great team of fellow volunteers. I am also one half of the Artyness column in Scottish Provincial Press publications and review books and theatre for The Wee Review.

For my day job (and most writers do have these!) I work as a drama teacher in an Inverness primary school.

Can’t wait to share my life for a week, and to hear about yours!




283: Graham Neville

by handivoices


4th – 10th March 2019

Hi everyone, my name is Graham Neville and I live in Muir of Ord, on the Black Isle. I’m the Area Manager for the Northern Isles and North Highland Area, for Scottish Natural Heritage. I’ve been with SNH just over 15 years, having had a variety of policy, advisory, and operations manager roles.

I grew up in Helensburgh. During my time at secondary school with local government reorganisation, Helensburgh became a part of Argyll and Bute – and I do love Argyll. But I moved north in order to secure longer term work opportunities (I was with SNH in Edinburgh briefly) and I don’t regret it for a moment.

I particularly enjoy getting out and enjoying the incredible access we have to nature in our region. I’m a cyclist – cycle touring, road bike and mountain biking- almost always calling by a coffee shop on a ride! I also enjoy swimming, both churning out the lengths in a pool, but particularly wild swimming in the sea, lochs, and rivers. Running occasionally features, as does hillwalking when I can find the time.

When not outdoors, I enjoy playing music- mainly wind instruments (Sax, Clarinet, Flute) and piano. I’m privileged to play with a couple of big bands from time to time, and also a military band which I’ve played with, with a few gaps, for 21 years!

I am married to Dawn, a GP, and we have 2 boys. One of my boys has cerebral palsy with complex additional needs and receives support from St Clements ASN nursery, and we are really grateful for the range of support services from the Health Board, Council and others. All of these allow him to have a quality of life that would otherwise be hard to achieve – including our determined physiotherapist who found a way of helping us keep him supported in the cycle trailer – allowing family rides together.

During my week I’ve had the pleasure of sharing a bit about my work as I visited Orkney and family life back home.

Best wishes to all.



282: Donald Macleod

by handivoices


24th February – 3rd March 2019

Hello Highlands and Islands!

I’m Donald Macleod and I live in Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis. I’m originally from the crofting community of Aird in the Point district of the island but now live and work in Stornoway.

I’ve worked in education for the last 21 years. I started as a primary teacher in Aberdeen, where l’d completed my training, and then returned home to Lewis in 2001. I’ve been a teacher and then headteacher in several island schools and now work within the local council education service supporting the 15 schools on the Isle of Lewis and working with colleagues in school across the Western Isles. I’m very lucky that my job regularly gets me out of the office and around all corners of Lewis, Harris, Uist, Benbecula and Barra as well as several trips a month across to the mainland for meetings and events.

I have two young sons and, when I’m not at work, the rest of my time is about family. I used to enjoy getting out and about around the island taking photos but time has not allowed for that recently. I really need to get out with the camera again.

Hopefully the week ahead will give the opportunity to share a few things that will be of interest to folk out there. There might be the odd Gaidhlig tweet during the week too.


281: Katy McSweeney

by handivoices

no twitter account

17th February – 24th February 2019

Vet and hotel-owner living in Balintore.

280: Calum Galleitch

by handivoices


12th February – 17th February 2019

I’m a bagpipe teacher and performer living in London.  Originally from Argyll – a Vale of Leven baby, I was brought up in Helensburgh and Garelochhead, until the family moved to be nearer my mother’s parents when I was around ten.  We lived in East Lothian then moved to the Scottish Borders.  I then went to university in Aberdeen, then ended up living and working in Edinburgh before I took a two month internship in London in the summer of 2011.  And I’m still here…

I primarily teach piping in London, and do a small amount of performing.  I play with a pipe band, the City of London, and run a Scottish traditional music session near Peckham.  Tha mi ag ionnsachadh Gàidhlig (slaodach…!) and I sing in Còisir Lunnain, London’s Gaelic choir.

279: Richard Cooke

by handivoices


3rd February – 10th February 2019

Hello I am Richard Cooke. I have been living on Lewis in the Western Isles of Scotland for the past 15 years and originally from St. Annes on the sea.

I am a big weather geek. I run Western Isles Weather across Multiple social media platforms including twitter. I chase tornadoes as a hobby. I have been to the USA 4 times and seen 13 tornadoes. This May I will be going again for the 5th time.

I work for HM Coastguard in the operations room in Stornoway. I like to swim and walk. I also volunteer at Stornoway Phab Club. Citizens Advice and Befriending Lewis. Any other free time I like to chill out and watch a good box set.

This next week will see me posting a mixture of things from my love of the weather and storm chasing to various things I love about the islands. In the process I will try not to break anything…

278: John Mulholland

by handivoices


27th January – 3rd February 2019


I’m John Mulholland. I took early retirement in June 2018 from my job as a Tax Inspector with HM Revenue & Customs. I relocated to the Isle of Lewis with my wife and 6-year-old daughter, got a new job and I’m now enjoying a very different pace of life!

I plan on posting photos and my thoughts about my first 7 months on the island – I am the man who bought a house he’d never seen on an island on which he’d never been. And, if any other Highland & Island information catches my eye, I’ll post that too.

277: John Dyer

by Simon Varwell


20th – 27th January 2019

No bio submitted.

276: Pete Honeyman

by handivoices


13th – 20th January 2019

Hi – I’m Pete Honeyman – musician, educator, woodturner, I’m stretching the boundary of H&I voices this week – I’m based in Perth, which is not in the Highlands, neither am I from the Highlands or indeed Islands and as it happens I was born and raised in Yorkshire (but don’t hold it against me).  I  do have family connections to Caithness, and have spent a lot of time in that oft neglected and beautiful corner of the region.

I have lived in Scotland for over 35 years, and work for UHI – I’ve been involved with the UHI project since the very beginning back in the 90s and these days I have responsibility for music, art, sound production, design, drama, film and creative writing courses throughout the university from jhetland to Argyll.  This means I get to travel a  lot around the patch, and this week will be in Inverness for a few days.

It’s a great privilege to have a job that involves travelling in the most stunning countryside, and to work with such amazing creative people who do such fantastic work with students and the creative sector.

I’m a performing musician, mainly jazz and blues and R&B these days, though I have turned my hand to most styles, and turn perfectly good chunks of wood into piles of shavings in the name of woodturning.

So, expect travel pics, some music, some heroes of mine, and I may ask .you some questions – there will be a test.

275: What We Do In The Winter

by handivoices


5th – 13th January 2019

I’m Alasdair Satchel, I run a podcast series about the lives of the people of Mull, Iona, Ulva and Gometra called What We Do in the Winter.

wellies profile

Throughout the week I’ve been exploring notions of community and belonging.  I’m fascinated by the Gaelic notions of Dìleab and Bunachas, inheritance (in a cultural sense) and rootedness.

I’ve been looking at language, imaginary podcasts, asking for questions to ask the podcast interviewees, books and films about community and culture.

If you’re interested in finding out more about the podcast have a look at whatwedointhewinter.com or have a rummel around your nearest podcast platform.

274: Sam Bubbly

by handivoices


30th Dec 2018 – 6th Jan 2019

Hi so I’m Sam @sambubbly from Loch Maree. I’m an artist – need to paint more rather than spend my life on the A9! People tell me I’m chaotic – domestic goddess not. My big big mouth got me involved in a global art project #TAE19 http://www.twitterartexhibit.org #ArtonaPostcard for charity – this year #twitterartexhibit is supporting  ArtinHealthcare http://www.artinhealthcare.org.uk – they bring creativity and art to those in healthcare through visual arts and workshops. We’re currently inviting artists to join us (it’s free) by sending original postcard sized work, so if it’s ok I’d like to tweet a bit about that to ask Highland and Scottish Artists to join in.

I’ll probably tweet about my daughters horse and our view and generally chat about trivia and life. Is that ok? Looking forward to meeting everyone. Thanks

273: Fiona Ross

by handivoices


23rd – 30th December 2018

Hello! My name’s Fiona, and I’m a Highlander living and working in Yorkshire, where I work in Account Management (ooh, vague).

I grew up in Evanton, Ross-shire, followed by a brief stint at Aberdeen University before finishing my degree in Education at the University of York. I’ve lived in Leeds for 5 years now, with a year’s hiatus where I taught English in Seoul, South Korea. My other half and I have been back in the UK for just over a year; we recently moved to a new house and got engaged so I’ll try not to bore you on those topics.


As I’m working over Christmas and then travelling home for Hogmanay, I thought I’d share some snippets from my life ‘down South’ and our journey North at the end of the week. The photo above was taken at Dornoch beach, my favourite place in the whole world (and that’s no exaggeration).

Looking forward to sharing this week with you all!

272: Urras Oighreachd Ghabhsainn

by handivoices


16th December – 23rd December 2018

Hi, my name is Courtney!

I’ll be taking over this week along with some of my colleagues at Urras Oighreachd Ghabhsainn, a community land trust based in the north of the Isle of Lewis.


I am currently working as a Marketing, Events and PR officer as part of the ScotGrad scheme.

Looking forward to an exciting week!

271: Isobel Thompson

by handivoices


10th December – 16th December 2018

Hi everyone, I’m Isobel from Westray, Orkney. I’m happy to be taking over @HI_Voices Twitter account this week. I’m currently on a ScotGrad Graduate placement at Westray Development Trust.



I work as the Trust’s Social & Economic Researcher but when my placement comes to an end I will then be WDT’s Project Officer, managing various community projects on the island.