Diary of a Writer – September Prompt

The power of the sea is awesome but, as this picture tells us, can take time. How many years would it need for the waves to carve this bridge from the bank?

I’ve been on a holiday. First vsit for me to the islands of Tiree and Coll in Scotland’s Inner Hebrides. Tiree week blessed by wonderful weather, Coll more mixed, but “We weren’t kept in…”

The depth of this wall indicates that Tiree’s weather isn’t always benign. However, the modernised thatched cottage was a delight and very comfy. A lot of reading was done, but not so much writing – I was on hols. However, the endless beaches, the history implicit in the surviving thatched cottages, the opportunity for skullduggery in the excellent bird hides (we saw a male hen harrier) and the more modern story-lines underpinned by paddle-boarding expeditions, whale-watching boats and arriving in a small plane were rich fodder indeed.

Coll is more undulating and has ‘Big Hooses’ – called castles in fact. As I’ve said before, place haunts my subconscious. I really enjoyed walking among the castles and their outbuildings – some of the most extensive I’ve encountered and much of the complex now turned into holiday accommodation. The castles are both still privately occupied so tours weren’t an option. Sigh!

New Breachacha Castle, Coll

Boswell and Johnson were entertained in this one, though, so I might be able to learn a little about the interior from them.

Our actual berth on Coll was in the newly extended Isle of Coll Inn where we were blissfully content in a re-furbished room and so well-fed. Excellent local seafood and fish formed the mainstay of the menus and as I enjoy both, but don’t really cook seafood, that was also a delight.

Many of us will by now have taken tentative steps back to pre-Covid normality. I feel priviliged to have made this trip and mentally both rested and stimulated by it. I hope all of you will find the confidence to start going out again. Scary, I know. We did find the hotel very safety conscious, the ferry operators likewise and there was the wonderful Mhor 84 to break the journey where social distancing was also much in evidence.



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