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

Land, connections and the islands

by handivoices

hi everyone – I’m Rona. I have taken over the account this week from Lewis where I am currently on one of my regular sojourns to this wonderful part of the world.

I work in economic and community development but only tweet on a personal basis, particularly about my interest in land reform and community land ownership.  You can find more about that on ronajcampbell.com .

My MSc thesis has been published via Amazon which is a real honour for me and I am grateful to everyone who took part in the research. Onwards now to the PhD.




301: Gary Innes

by handivoices


7th – 14th July 2019

gary innes.jpg

Highland born accordionist and MG Alba Scots Trad Awards ‘Instrumentalist of the Year’ winner, Gary Innes has been performing and composing music for over 16 years. Born in the village of Spean Bridge in the North of Scotland, Gary is one of the founding members of award-winning Scottish super-group Mànran,

He picked up an accordion for the first time at the age of 8 and has never looked back. Gary released his first solo album How’s the Craic in 2005 and more recently his second solo album ERA was launched at Celtic Connections 2017 to great critical acclaim, with Tim Carroll writing “ERA is more than one man’s reflection, it’s a view into the world of a master at work.”

Gary has also recorded three albums with his current band Mànran, as well as albums with Ewan Robertson and all-accordion group Box Club.

Gary has performed in over 30 countries worldwide.

Adding another string to his bow, Gary began presenting the longest running radio show on BBC Radio Scotland – the world renowned Take the Floor, taking over from the legendary Dr Robbie Shepherd MBE in 2016.

It’s little wonder BBC Radio 2’s Mark Radcliffe has described him as being “a Jack of all trades and a master of all.”

Gary is an ex-Scottish Shinty captain and Internationalist and has won the Camanachd Cup final with his team Fort William on no less than 5 occasions. During his Shinty career Gary is one of the very few players to hold every senior medal within the game. Having retired in 2014, Gary is still involved within the sport and covers the live televised games for the BBC from the warmth of the commentary box.

For over 15 years Gary was also an auxiliary fire fighter for the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and still volunteers as a First Responder in his home village of Spean Bridge.


300: Eilidh MacLellan (Camus Consulting)

by handivoices


30th June – 7th July 2019

I’m Eilidh MacLellan (formerly Eilidh Ross), crofting law consultant based in Beauly, Inverness-shire.

I grew up in and around Inverness, leaving for uni in 1995. I returned home in 2006 after uni in Aberdeen, Glasgow and Edinburgh, and some time abroad. I worked in Inverness and Skye as a solicitor in private practice, specialising in crofting law, until I launched my own consultancy business in 2017.

I’m really enjoying the flexibility and satisfaction of running a business, although I keep close ties with legal colleagues across Scotland, many of whom I work with regularly. I also act for individual crofters, landlords, grazing committees as well as prospective crofters.

If you take a look at my website, you can see my full bio and some examples of the kind of work I do.

I’m really lucky to live and work in the Highlands of Scotland and I look forward to sharing the week ahead with you (31 June-7 July).

299: @karaspita

by Simon Varwell


23rd – 30th June 2019

No bio submitted.

298: North58Comms

by Simon Varwell


16th – 23rd June 2019

No bio submitted.


297: Sandwick Bay Candles

by Simon Varwell


9th – 16th June 2019

No bio submitted.


296: Western Isles Cancer Care Initiative (WICCI)

by handivoices


2nd – 9th June 2019

WICCI will be taking over this week and hope to keep you updated on what we get up to through the week and also give an insight into the work we do at the Western Isles Cancer Care Initiative.

The Western Isles Cancer Care Initiative (WICCI) is a registered local charity. As a charity we have developed a unique partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support to address needs and provide support for specific issues faced by cancer patients and their families throughout the Western Isles.

Up to £500 per year is available to individuals affected by cancer and can be used to support costs such as; basic living expenses, travel costs (over and above those supported by Patient Travel) and specialist equipment or support required as a result of a cancer diagnosis, treatment or recovery.

This week looks to be a busy one for us. We’ll be out and about but we also have our AGM taking place on Wednesday night. The posts will be made by Helen and Jennifer so we’ll also add in a few tweets of what we are getting up to when we are not at work.

We hope you enjoy keeping up with us for the week!


295: Neil Lancaster

by handivoices


26th May – 2nd June 2019

Hello everyone, I am Neil and I am your guest host for the week, I’m really excited about interacting with a whole new group of tweeters over the next week.

I have been happily living the dream on The Black Isle for close to four years now following my retirement from The Metropolitan Police where I served as a Detective Sergeant combating organised crime. I now spend my time writing, walking Peggy the Cockapoo, staring at the view from my house and trying to avoid any proper work.

I have written an published a crime thriller called Going Dark which introduces the world to Detective Sergeant Tom Novak which is heavily influenced by my former occupation. It is based between London, The Balkans and a major scene in The Cairngorms. I was lucky enough to appear at the Cromarty Arts Trust crime and thrillers weekend recently with such writing legends as Ian Rankin and Lin Anderson amongst others where I spoke about my book and former career.

I’m really looking forward to sharing my week with you all.




294: Morven-May MacCallum

by handivoices


19th – 26th May 2019

Hi everyone!

I’m very excited to be taking over H&I Voice. This month has already been full of adventures and exciting on-goings and I can’t wait to share it with you all.

I’m the author of Finding Joy – which the story of a family’s fight against Lyme disease. Although my novel is fictitious, it’s loosely based on my own 12 year battle with the disease. I live in the Black Isle and I adore the beautiful outdoors with lies before me. Since publishing my debut novel (and the verrry sloooow return of my health), I’ve been raising awareness of Lyme disease by giving talks all over Scotland in schools, bookshops, literary and charity events. I do a lot of work campaigning with MSPs to tackle the various issues around Lyme disease which has taken to the Scottish Parliament on a number of occasions.

So, what can you expect from me over the next week…Well, it’s Lyme disease awareness month and I’ve had a mad month of events, the lighting of Ness Bridge, fundraising and just general attempts to survive all these antics while still fighting this pesky illness. So hold on tight because I’m even jumping out of a plane next Sunday to raise money for Lyme Disease UK! Because, apparently, living with this disease since I was 14 hasn’t brought me close enough to death. I’m so excited to be taking you all on the journey with me and if you’d like to learn more about me then please feel free to click on the sites below:

My Website

My Amazon Page

My Facebook


293: Helen Houston

by handivoices


12th – 19th May 2019

Good evening, I am Helen Houston and I live with my husband Rod, in Golspie, Sutherland. I have been working either freelance or employed in community development for over twenty years. I retired in November 2018 from my role as Development Manager at the Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust.  During my time with the Trust we built the new visitor attraction at Falls of Shin and completed a regeneration project on the derelict Lady Ross site in Ardgay, provided a home energy service for Sutherland, a Monday Community Café and a programme of activities for all age groups. Great fun and you can follow the Trust on twitter @KOSutherland or check out their website.

But did I say I had retired? Well not true. One Cllr Pauline Munro, wanted to meet for a chat four weeks ago  and hey presto I am out of retirement and working two and a half days per week for the new Invergordon Development Trust. My contract is being paid for by local businessman Roy Macgregor – well done to him for supporting the new energetic committee.

What is on the agenda for IDT – uniting the community to work together to improve the town; purchase the Town Hall and refurbish to create a community hub; support community groups to develop their offering; establish a stakeholder group to take the strategic lead for town improvements.  You can watch progress of the Trust only on Facebook just now.

Away from work I love cooking, playing Scrabble and walking Bronson.  This week I am not sure what I will be posting but hopefully you will find the posts interesting.  Eventually I might even post a picture of myself but I have never used WordPress and cannot work out how to add a photograph – great start to my week!!!

292: Alex Ogilvie

by handivoices


5th to 12th May 2019

Hi there – my name is Alex Ogilvie and I work as a TV executive for a large US media company based in London. But none of that is important this week! I grew up just outside Fort William and for the last ten years I have been a trustee of a charity called the Highland Society of London, which aims to promote and support the traditions and culture of the Highlands of Scotland.

One of our more recent initiatives has been to launch the Highland Book Prize in conjunction with the Moniack Mhor writers’ centre (near Beauly) and the Ullapool Book Festival (where the second annual prize is being announced and awarded this Saturday 11th May). I have been one of the judges for this year’s award, and I am travelling up to Ullapool in a few days.

I wanted to spend some time this week sharing my experience of working on the Highland Book Prize (including some of the wonderful books that are written in and about the Highlands each year), but also talking about my love of the Highlands and Islands, which I try to visit as often as possible during the year. I hope you will enjoy the week as the anticipation builds to the prize-giving on Saturday night!

291: Merryn Glover

by handivoices

Merryn Glover Cairngorms with golden retriever

Merryn with Sileas the Golden Retriever in the Cairngorms


28th April to 5th May 2019

Hello there!

I’m Merryn Glover, author, playwright and occasional poet. I live in Kincraig on the River Spey and for 2019 I’m Writer in Residence for The Cairngorms National Park facilitating a project called Shared Stories: A Year in the Cairngorms. It’s all about deepening our connection with the natural world by responding to it in creative writing, and anyone can get involved! There are workshops happening across the Park throughout the year – follow the link above for info – and we are inviting submissions to our end-of-year anthology – from anyone who has ever spent time in the Cairngorms. Guidelines and how to submit can be found here. The project includes my own writing about life in the Park, which can be found on my blog Writing the Way.

In other work, my fiction includes many short stories that have been widely anthologised and broadcast on Radio 4, and the novel A House Called Askival set in India, where I grew up. I have written six plays, two for stage, two for Radio Scotland and two for Radio 4, as well as poetry, journalism and blogs. My second novel, Colvin’s Walk – set in the Cairngorms – is currently with my agent, Cathryn Summerhayes of Curtis Brown, and is due for publication next year. After five years working in a high school library, my third novel, nearly finished, is for younger readers and kicks off – where else? – in a high school library at midnight!

I’m excited to share news of life in the Cairngorms National Park this week and look forward to hearing from the many Twitter followers of @HI_Voices! You can also follow my own Twitter feed at @merrynglover


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.