Pabbay is described by Martin Martin as being ‘half a league from Berneray‘ and – considering that a league was originally the distance that a man could could walk in an hour – this is a slight underestimation. However, it’s where the steward responsible for St Kilda traditionally lived. The outlying island group – 41 miles beyond the main Hebridean chain – has once again been in the news – with the death on 29 September of 88-year-old, Norman John Gillies. The obituary that appears of him in the current edition of The Economist is a must-read for island-watchers. It ends with a reference to a departing islander in 1930 observing the disappearance of ‘hearth and home’ into the grey Atlantic swell. In the same way we say farewell to this man and his memories.