Eilean hopping, pt. 1

There is one matter for which the debate is truly settled. For which any referendum is redundant. An issue about which not only Scotland, but the rest of the Isles, too, made up its collective mind a long time ago. It is that some people in Scotland are really rather good at weaving cloth.

The categorical certitude of this matter makes it remarkable, if not remiss, that until now, neither jacket nor shirt nor trouser nor jumper in the workshop has ever been able to call the Land of the Gaels its place of origin. Wales, Irelands Northern and Republic of, England — yes, yes, yes, and respectively, yes. But Scotland never once. Right on the doorstep, in a manner of speaking, and at time of writing, not much more than a river — a river called Tweed, at that — to mark down here and up there. Yet not a scrap of cloth given so much as a run-out on the cutting-table. Talk about taking the place for granted.

But, from this point on, that changes. Scotland, whether it likes it or not, has been drawn into the warm embrace of a different type of union. First its islands, and then its highlands. The righting of the historical wrong begins in a place so many miles higher up the Isles than previous title-holders of most-northerly-mill, in Yorkshire, that it may as well be a foreign country. But, then — take a look at the place. Could be a foreign country anyway. This is the Inner Hebrides — and over here you can read all about it.