The Isle of Skye (The misty Isle) is my temporary home during a break from my work on the cruise ship, Voyager of the Seas. A stunningly beautiful island off the North West coast of Scotland it attracts visitors from all over the world for much of the year. It was a slight shock to the system after the hustle and bustle of city living, however Skye's gentle yet rugged charms soon cast their spell and I have slowly adjusted to the rhythmic day to day routine of the island and its people.
Everyday activities often require a little more planning. For instance, an invitation to lunch from our friends Rob and Yvonne involves a choppy boat ride to their isolated croft on the isle of Scalpay and it is not unusual for us to arrive dripping from sea spray.
As the island attracts film makers from all over the world it is often possible to see film stars in the local pubs or stunt horses galloping over the rugged terrain. Michael Fassbender filming Macbeth was the latest famous visitor.
Thanks to the bridge that links Skye to the mainland it is no longer necessary to catch the ferry to leave the island. I recently crossed the bridge to visit Plockton a picturesque village, five miles from the Skye bridge. It would be easy to feel that you had slipped back fifty years to a simpler time. Locals tend their waterfront gardens and Plockton palms sway gently in the breeze. Looking out across the bay it is possible to see the train hugging the shoreline carrying visitors to or from Inverness and it is not difficult to imagine steam engines of earlier years making the same journey.
The big sale was on in the local knitting shop. This is no London hipster shop, it is a tiny cottage manned by local ladies. Highland authentic to the core and knitting for generations, they now teach locals and visitors the skill. Gorgeous hand knits and tweed items lined the walls and whilst I browsed they chatted away about the history of their place and the changes that they had seen. Obviously I couldn't resist taking a photo of the 'Knitting Nanas' and they were delighted when I took them a copy a week or so later.
Back on Skye I continue to take the rough with the smooth. The nearest large supermarket is just over 100 miles away, Internet speeds fluctuate between extremely slow and stop! And during some summer months the Infamous Scottish Midges, tiny biting insects, can literally turn the air Black! However! Turquoise sea lochs, soaring mountains, Sea eagles, otters and stags more than make up for any inconveniences.
Taking everything into account I have to admit that Skye provides me with the perfect place to write, the only interruptions being of the wooly kind!