To go back home, never more to roam, is my dearest wish of all.

Bob Simon: Is it possible to be socially acceptable to be a teetotaler on this island?

Ailsa Hayes: Yes.

Bob Simon: Are there any?

Ailsa Hayes: Yes. But– I’m not one of them.

Over the years, the island’s people have learned how to entertain themselves, often at gatherings called Ceilidhs which feature traditional dance and sad songs, mostly about leaving Islay and yearning to return.

[Man sings: “To sit with my love on the bridge above the rippling waterfall. To go back home, never more to roam, is my dearest wish of all.”]

If this looks and feels a lot like Ireland, that’s no coincidence. It’s only 25 miles away. They come from the same tribe, share the same Celtic culture and Gaelic language, not to mention a love of good whisky that gets them through stormy weather and the long winter nights.

There are no movie theaters on Islay, no dry cleaners, no supermarket, and no McDonald’s…at least in the fast food business. Jim McEwan says there is a long list of things that Islay doesn’t have…and doesn’t want.

Jim McEwan: We don’t have any crime, we don’t have mugging, carjacking, house breaking, rape, just dope, drugs, we don’t have that. You can keep that. You’re very welcome to it.

Bob Simon: How do you explain the fact that there’s no crime here? There’s crime everywhere else.

Jim McEwan: There is no crime. If you commit a crime in a small community, you’ll be ostracized and have to leave. Not only that, your family, your children and your children’s children will be remembered as the children of the man who committed the crime.

~ Bob Simon, excerpt of an interview on 60 Minutes in a segment titled Whisky Island. Simon visits Islay, a magical place in the Hebrides islands off the coast of Scotland, known for making some of the great single malt scotch whiskies in the world.  Find full report here.


  1. Ah yes… I worked for Corby Distilleries for a few years and we carried some brands, such as Laphroig. Such an interesting little Isle, would you not say?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What’s more valuable? Working towards what we desire, or knowing what must be avoided? Dreams are not just made of events, but those places between events. There’s something enviable about someone who plans for peace rather than adventure.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. this sounds fascinating

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Same concept as the small towns of the olden days where there was practically no crime (except the kid who stole the money from the milk bottles at the end of the walk) and people didn’t have locks on their doors.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Aaah, now I get the FG attribution a day later!
    Spent a lot of time reading and viewing all of this wonderful whiskey story…. Having lived in the UK, I knew a bit (not much) about the pride whiskey producers took with their babies. It fascinated me then, it still does. EVERYTHING done with love and devotion will get you results…
    Was – amongst others – visiting my brother’s house, together with a few more, similar houses, sitting huddled together in a mini village, not far from larger places but basically ‘in the middle of nowhere’ (in Swiss terms spoken) and the cars were not locked, the housedoor only locked upon our insistance (we couldn’t take our handbags into the salon for fear of falling over them) with brother-heart saying: Sis, we don’t do crime here…. 🙂
    We brought them a very old Port (not from France but Portugal, obviously), a ‘Blanc de Blanc’ and a good white & red wine from France – but I’m sure he would have loved a whiskey too…. Once, we brought a friend a very expensive whiskey from UK over to Switzerland – it was his wedding gift, and found the very same bottle, same year, in a French shop considerably CHEAPER…. Speaking of good PR!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Wonderful share. Thanks Kiki. Especially loved this: EVERYTHING done with love and devotion will get you results…

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Sounds like a nice little community (bet there are lots of redheads!!, plaid and handsome men) and I like all three!…I’ve never had any interest in consuming alcohol. Being a Designated Driver is responsible & loving action.

    Liked by 1 person

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