average wind SSW, 37 mph, gusting to 48 mph

do I care? I do NOT!

I am safely tucked up inside bricks and mortar,and don’t need to worry about the tent blowing away. I had a couple of days on a campsite just outside Stornoway. Perfectly adequate, and I was able to wash both myself and my pile of dirty laundry, accumulated during the campervan weeks. But I do wonder about the propensity of people to squeeze onto a smallish site and lie down on wet, boggy grass to sleep… It’s different when the sun shines and the machair is calling…

So, the day started very well, with a *perfect* cup of coffee at the arts centre in the town. And then got better, at a wonderful exhibition by the artist Will Maclean, called Veering Westerly. Evocative title for very interesting work – you can see why I loved it here http://www.artfirst.co.uk/will_maclean/paintings.html

Then to the library, where with the help of Margaret the librarian there I spent some happy and productive hours searching their shelves for evidence of string used in crofting traditions. Just as I thought I had got to the end of the pile, Margaret would appear again round my shoulder with another book to consider. Found some real treasures and lots of  references to follow up.

Tonight I am having langoustines, or prawns as they call them here. The fishmonger and I agreed 5 was a suitable number for one portion, but he weighed out 6, then threw in another 3. When I protested I wouldn’t be able to eat all that on my own, he said ‘Oh yes you will, when you get to taste them, cooked in a little butter, with garlic and lemon. And it’s Saturday and they’re fresh and I don’t want any left at the end of the day.’

So with a mini bottle of Prosecco to accompany them, I am looking forward to a feast indeed. Tomorrow I head south again, to North Uist, for a week of an art / archeology summer school called Creative Pasts – kindling creativity. Bound to be some string in there somewhere.

Here’s an exquisite example of what is called a Norse mill. It’s an ingenious water-mill that uses an underflow for power. And inside the wooden hopper is suspended from the roof with string, and the thatched roof is lashed inside and DSCF3014held on with the same. See, it get’s around.


4 thoughts on “average wind SSW, 37 mph, gusting to 48 mph

  1. Hello dear Anna. What a time you are having! How could W.C. Refuse a grant application? Your camping more successful than my wash out in the Lakes but I joined you in the spirit of ‘touching the sweet land’ again and listening to badgers snuffling around outside the tent, more enjoyable than the lager louts in the wee small hours! Summer racing on, or away, too fast and still no sea swims cos of the prevailing wind/rain/cloud. Well done you….


  2. Dear Anna I am so enjoying your stories and have been meaning to comment but well I never, a Norse mill indeed! Hard to get a feel for the scale from this picture, it looks very small or is that a door? Is it possible to see the inside? So many questions! Glad you are having a wonderful time. Lucy x


    1. Of course, I thought of Rowan as soon as I heard about this place! That opening is actually where the water passes underneath the mill. There are (many) more pictures… will add some


  3. Hello lovely xxx. So not slumming it at all when it comes to a spot of supper then? Great photo of the Norse Mll, I am intruiged indeed and still not sure of the scale of it!
    Looking forward to tales of the summer school – am very envious of your epic adventures so am joining in with a viewing of the exhibition of Will Maclean! xxx


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