The Story Behind the Story

A History of The Tides of Life – a whale of a tale

This story was born on the Traigh Mhor (By the sandy airport. BRR is the only airport in the world washed by the tides twice a day) during a summer visit in 2005 as a little note scribbled about cockle raking and trouble brewing. I had accompanied my neighbour, with bucket and rake in hand. It was all new to me. On the Traigh I met Aonghasain and his crew, rode in their van, and received my first cheque from the fish factory. I was so proud of that cheque. Regarding the story, at that time, perhaps born is not the right word – it was a dormant seed. The trip was over, and I went back across the pond and back to work, penning two new stories over the next couple of years. I moved to Barra in 2008. (I was born in Glasgow and spent half my life between Canada and the US, but both sides of my family are Barra – Ardmhor and Glen) Early 2009 I had just finished working on one manuscript and was searching for the next story. Ideas came and went. I was drawn back to the Traigh. It had never left me. It was right there beckoning. The Tides of Life is an amalgamation of ideas and universal themes, but its beating heart is simply the ebb and flow of the Traigh Mhor. Four years later the first draft was complete. Along the way I met so many people who made me feel welcome, gave me a hand, gave me a chance, which led to other opportunities, other experiences. I am forever grateful. I lived on Barra for nine years, the longest I have ever lived in any one place. Circumstances brought me to Glasgow – not a bad 2nd place to Barra : ) And although there are many places I would still love to visit and firmly believe that home is where you hang your hat, I do hope to call Barra home again one day. Thank you, Iain Macneil