RAB IS LIKE SOME KIND OF NORTHERN HIGHLANDS MACGYVER
Rab (must be gaelic for half artist, half engineer) makes beautifully crafted Sgian Dubhs (pronounced ‘skin-doos’) – the traditional little knife kilted- Scots wear in the sock. And there is a huge demand for Rab’s version. In fact, he’s working his way through a one-year waiting list.
Rab was nothing sort of a genius. His workshop reminded us of something out of Back to the Future. Originally from the Isle of Jura, he met his wife Tanya at university in Aberdeen. Long story short, they fell in love with each other, and then with a very old farmhouse in a tucked away place called Divach near Drum. For the record, they are very gracious hosts on little to no notice.
Rab credits his creative ingenuity with growing up on a farm in the Isle of Jura. He says that it was simply a necessity of island life. If something broke, you had to learn how to fix it with what you had.
Obviously, Rab was paying attention. One of his inventions, the Sgian Brew, looks just like the real thing but features a handy bottle opener instead of a knife. Needless to say, these are very popular.
Over a hot cup of tea on a cold rainy day, we asked Rab and Tanya what they believed when it came to the monster. Suddenly a hush fell over the house. While they didn’t quite buy in, their six-year-old son Max was a very firm believer. So for Max, who was just down the hall, we decided not to debate the issue in great detail.
We were fortunate to photograph Rab between downpours. Almost.
After countless drams, 12 photographs, and an eight-day tour of Loch Ness, it was time to head back to Edinburgh to begin our journey home.