Country diary: a remote island, but still full of noises

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Ness, Lewis, Outer Hebrides: The spirited residents are working to stem the outward drift of people from these shores

In my youth, Druim Fraoich – or Heather Ridge – was often full of noises. At night, there might be the twanging of guitars or the pounding of an accordion coming from Ness Hall, built in the 1960s on the site of a former quarry. During the day, its stone cliffs – where my father started work with pickaxe and hammer at the age of 14 – were home to twites and sparrows. Their chirping would accompany me as I dawdled home from Cross primary school in the neighbouring village.

Related: Scotland's rocky road: a journey to the edge of Lewis – a photo essay

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