Today, the first tours of 2019 got underway as we had the pleasure of sharing our spirit and story with eleven new guests, showing them life behind the scenes here at the Isle of Harris Distillery.
So, it seems like a good time to introduce you to another member of our working family, the wonderful Marie Morrison one of our small team of local tour guides.
Marie, or ‘MM’ as she is better known here, hails from Scalpay, a small isle just off our own little island, where she was not only born and raised but has lived most of her life.
Married to a fisherman and with two small boys, Marie is rightly proud of her island heritage, and her love of Harris shines through in the tours she takes.
She originally joined us as a baker of bread and cakes for our Canteen in late 2016, and it was not long until our Guest manager Shona spotted her potential as an enthusiastic storyteller.
And so, MM became one of our much lauded tour guides, embodying the best of our island and imparting it to hundreds of visitors each week during the busy summer season.
We’re pleased to say she loves her work as much as our guests love her, as she tells us…
“I have lots of favourite parts to my job, I can’t choose just one! Meeting people, working with my fellow guide Sandy and seeing her big smile each morning. I love the distillery, and what it’s doing for the island, I think it’s just fantastic, and it’s done so much already in such a short space of time.”
It’s also no bad thing that there’s a little Isle of Harris Gin to the job too...
“It makes for a rather nice tipple! I knew nothing of the distilling process to begin with though. I found it fascinating to discover what our distillers do to make such a beautiful spirit. Even just the fact that they know the exact ratios of botanicals needed to create such a special gin is amazing to me.”
Like all our guides, Marie herself distils much of the essence of Harris in the warmth of her character and generous spirit of her own.
Through her stories told with an island lilt, she effortlessly connects all who hear her to our work and wider Outer Hebridean community.
With this in mind, we’re also looking forward to launching some special Gaelic tours with her later this year as well as more activity using our local language as we grow.
Meantime, like all of us here at the distillery, she has Harris at heart. When asked to define what makes this island home so unique she lights up…
“Everything! The peace, tranquillity, the views that change every day, they can take your breath away. I love my home. Why would I want to be anywhere else when I have everything I could ever need right here?”
Our thanks to MM for being such an excellent voice of Harris and if you’d like to hear more from her and our other great guides, then please book a tour with us in 2019.