Thursday, January 19, 2012


As I drove down the hill to the harbour I saw the surge of incoming water break into crests and become the galloping horses rushing toward the shore.

By the time I got to the side of the road, the biggest waves had run by. I stood briefly in the cold waiting for the next surge of big waves, but, like fish stories, you'll just have to believe that the ones that got away were bigger.

After cresting, the waves put their heads down like the race horses they have become in a frantic race for the shoreline. A photo just cannot capture the size and the energy of these waves and they were not the war horses of a proper storm.
As they reach the shore, their energy is momentarily spent until the waves rolling along behind them collide. The light yesterday was right so it was worth braving the cold for a try to capture the waves.

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Accessible Highlands

Even if you live here, you can be astonished at how much history is so accessible --and yet so obscure. "What is that hill over there," I asked, totally oblivious--as usual--to the geography of where I am. "It is so very round."

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When we got back home, which is a story in its own right, and looked at where we had been on the map, we discovered that this is listed as a chambered cairn and next to it is a fort and near it are the remains of another couple cairns. Enough archaeology on this site to keep Time Team going for an entire season and then some.

If you prefer scenery without remnants of Neolithic civilisation, here's a couple favourites of mine. First, boggy land with lochs and lochans. Naturalists call such areas "flows" because so much water runs through this great brown organic sponge, and, I suspect, it sounds more inviting.

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One of my all time favourites, if we exclude seascapes, would have to be navy blue hills silhouetted as in this shot.

All these photos were taken from the top of Dorrery Hill.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

It was A Lot to Ask of Soup

I knew it was a big ask, but hard times oblige us all to try harder. My spirit was lower than the barometric pressure yesterday and my ears were tired of the sound of the howling wind and the rain hurled at the windows in a fit of meteorological pique.

Soup. I thought soup was the answer--perhaps that was what the witches had in those stereotypical cauldrons simmering on the hearth. I was definitely looking for some magic in soup yesterday.

Red onions--that sounded invigorating and was pleasing to the eye as I chopped them on the board. Rich olive oil to colour them up and warm them through. Celery, perhaps in retrospect that was the weakest link. Although it is a sturdy vegetable, its pale green was not quite up to the task of the day to beat back the howling winds and the pervasive greyness. Chicken stock, fresh parsley--now that is a sturdy green that says sunshine and spring and calves dancing beside their mothers. And the aroma through the house should have done the trick.

I'm not saying it did not work. Magic always works in its own time and in its own way. When I woke this morning the winds at least were quiet and not much has come pelting out of the sky, but the greyness is there with such an obstinacy that I had to check the clock twice to be sure that it really was morning. It is an act of faith today to believe that there is a sun behind those clouds.

Nonetheless beneath that mantle of grey, I am getting on with things. A blogpal recently asked when do the holidays end ( In the back of my mind as I began filling in my 2012 diary I decided that was the answer. The holidays are over when we start not just looking forward in a vague way to the new year but sketching in the days of the new year.