I am sorry it has been so long since my last post (not counting the Irresistibly Sweet Blog post). We have not done very much traveling. Add to that the new pains meds my doctor prescribed. Within 24 hours they had turned me into the walking dead. Forgetful…yes! Lethargic…yes! More painfree…no! So, without doctor’s consent or consultation, I have forthwith removed myself from said zombie-producing drug and hope to be my old self again. And, we have been on the road again with beautiful photos from Chris’ talented eye to accompany the words.
Back in December, we met a delightful woman at the Christmas Gairloch Market. A photographer with a free and easy approach to life, she piqued Chris’ curiosity and seeing her sell well at the market made him more determined to get back to taking more photographs and getting his website moving again. (It is down for maintenance right now as we have some adjusting of prices and sizing to do. It will be back up and running again very soon and I encourage you to check it out. You will find a link to the right of this blog.)
This past Thursday, Chris and I (lethargic and addle-brained) took a trip to Gairloch to meet up with Lizzii (the woman from the market) and to listen to her advice on selling photography. We went by way of Garve, taking the turn towards Achnasheen and the road that takes us beside Loch Maree once more. It was lovely – lots of snow on the hilltops and whispy clouds in the sky. It looked much different than last time – I suppose that is the magic of the Highlands; every day the light hits just a little differently and the hills take on new shapes and you notice furrows and hillocks you hadn’t noticed before. We met at The Sheiling (translation: shepherd's hut) and enjoyed coffee while reclining on huge leather sofas in a room with floor to ceiling windows looking out to the sea. Lizzii shared her philosophy about her art with us. Her attitude is amazing…and contagious. We so enjoyed our time with her, as much as we enjoyed the trip there and back.
|The Torridon Hills from|
Upon leaving Gairloch, we decided to follow the northern route, toward Ullapool, for our journey back. We had not driven this road for over five years and we looked at it differently now. We had a greater appreciation for the beauty of the place – knowing that it is, for all intents and purposes, at our back door. For now. We really do want to move to this part of Scotland but know, as things have happened before, that the time and place will make itself known to us when it is time to make a final move to the place we will never want to leave.
|Sunset near Fain|
Our trip out of Gairloch took us to the road to Poolewe and through areas of barren land and lochs and amazing views of the snow-covered hills in the distance. We drove the narrow road that took us alongside Loch Tollaidh and were rendered almost breathless with the view of the Torridon hills. We passed by Gruinard Bay and stopped to breathe in the clean, cold air. We continued along, detouring quickly into Aultbea so we could see where the market is held (extra sweaters and scarves will be needed) and then back again onto the road that would lead us to Little Loch Broom, up to Braemore Station and on the road back to our home in the mill.
|Snowfall at Loch Glascanoch|
The hills, the light and the sudden appearance of snow – each and every vista was new and breathtaking. No matter how long we live here (and we will until it is time to scatter ashes in the hills), I don’t think we will ever look at the scenery and find ourselves complacent. How could you ever be complacent about seeing so much unspoiled scenery? I feel as if I can be anywhere in time when I look at these landscapes, for there is little evidence that man even exists.
The forecasts for the week ahead look good and I feel sure that a trip to Skye or the far northwest corner will be in our plans for the time ahead. I long to go up the road to Kinlochbervie and Oldshoremore. To cross the bridge at Kylesku and perhaps follow the coastal road that runs along the northern tip of Scotland. I want to see the sea from the Waternish peninsula on Skye, the fields of Highland cattle and the twinkling of the sea - to return to these places and to know that we will not be nor will ever be disappointed.
Our spring will include a return to the States for two weeks at the end of March, beginning of April. The homesickness we felt for Scotland while living in the States was far greater than what we will feel this spring, but we will be homesick. Never has a place beckoned me so…never has a place so felt like home.