The Wild Old Hag

Foremost among my inspirations over the past several years, and strongly derived from the time I spent in the wildest, remotest reaches of the Outer Hebrides, on our sea-soaked croft with the wildest of views out to Scarp and St Kilda, is the legendary figure of the Cailleach. I have often written about some of the reasons why, and the ways in which the myth of the Cailleach springs directly out of the landscape here in these old Gaelic countries.

In Ireland she is known as An Chailleach Bheara: the Hag of Beare. There are so many stories about her that I could tell you … but only one film that I know of. Watch it here; it is stunningly beautiful and has haunted me during all the days since I first saw it.