An Island Diary - Isle of Rum, Scotland
A Writer's Day In Edinburgh - Edinburgh, Scotland
I’ve been longing to share this post with you all! Since returning from holiday three weeks ago a barrage of birthdays, weddings and novel edits have kept me from collecting my thoughts on my recent island adventure. I planned to write a post for each island but decided to compile everything into one, long post instead. A hectic summer does not a regular blogger make.
Grab a cup of tea (it’s a long one) and let me tell you a tale of three Scottish islands…
An Afternoon In St Andrews - St Andrews, Fife
Edinburgh. A city for old souls. The haunt of writers and ghosts of writers. Streets built upon the bones of something older, an open book where chapter titles are written with invisible ink.
Three days here was a dream. I watched, slowed to the pace of a curious wanderer. Forgot the things I’ve seen a thousand times. I let one of those blank chapters fall open in my hands and noted down what I saw.
Here is the fruit – one blustery September in Edinburgh, seen through the eyes of an autumn-souled writer.
A Week Exploring Jersey, Channel Islands - Isle of Jersey, Channel Islands
On Friday I visited St Andrews with a picnic and hopes for a final summer day out. Here are the thoughts I scribbled afterwards in my writer’s notebook.
The wind blows mutinously from the off, closing the Tay Bridge. Finally we reach St Andrews, where it whistles down dingy closes and tuneless cackles, “Game’s up! Autumn is here!”
I ignore it and find warmth by the sea. A pungent fug of rotting weed and salt. The tide is stripped back, a seal lolls on a rock. The houses lining the coast look like they contain mysteries – consulting detectives, vanishing people and cats guarding ancestral secrets.
Notes to Spring
At the end of June I spent a week on the island of Jersey, a paradise that is neither England nor France but a world all of its own. Below are some of my impressions of the island, taken from my writer’s notebook.
The Hill Of God - Travels In Rob Roy Country
Today the sun feels like it will shine every day. I’m sitting by the window, books are piled next to me on the desk and around my feet too. Coffee cups clatter in saucers from the café below. Up here I can see the elegant old lady make her regular Saturday trip around the town. Immaculate shoes and hair, the May sun does not tempt her into t-shirt and trainers, she is a dark rose in her black, pressed coat and hair of perfumed steel.
From up here I see a man limping to work and stone coloured flies clinging to the cracked lintels.
I see the shadows changing, eaten away by the noon hour.
Motel In The Mountains - Balquhidder, Lomond & The Trossachs
Ben Ledi. The hill of fire, hill of God. Snow falling as the mist closed in, the path melting before my eyes, walking blindly into an obscure hinterland. I lower my eyes from the cold. It is Easter Sunday, winter at the height of Spring. Easter is not kept in this pagan place. Shapes move in the fog; guardian angels protecting the slope; the fae, come to steal my shadow from beneath me.
There is a place I go where I know I can escape the snares of self-doubt that entangle an aspiring writer’s mind, a place of mountains and lochs, where the kingdom of imagination appears before my eyes in the parting of light and thunderclouds, where the mundane and the magical sit side by side, where silver men walk out of the cold loch and a car journey becomes a mad ride on horseback through outlaw country.