Tuesday, 10 November 2015
The last two posts were looking back at days in history, one sad, the other evil. Today's entry is neither. Eleven years ago today, I was on a long-distance coach from Fort William to Uig (Skye), a journey of about 130 miles or 4 hours. It is a scenic trip, particularly the stretch between Invergarry and Cluanie, where the A87 affords a long view down the glen, west towards Loch Hourn, some 25 miles away. After crossing the bridge, the trip goes the length of the Isle of Skye, a place I had seen quite a bit of in previous weeks. My arrival in Lochmaddy was at 4.45pm, when it is nearly dark. The place I had booked into (which will remain nameless) was equally dark and empty. Thanks. Fortunately, there were vacancies elsewhere, and it was to be the start of an extended stay in these islands. At first in Uist, but after a brief foray into Berneray, finally into Lewis and Harris. Much has changed in the 11 years that have passed since. The natural and evocative beauty of the islands and their environment has not. Neither has the kindness and welcoming attitude of the people that live here, only too aware that we all may come to rely on each other at a point of adversity. As I type this, we are a few days away from what may become the first stormforce wind event of the autumn and winter. That could prove, once again, to be a test for all.