Away to Berneray

Hello! Tom here. Kate and I spent all of last week away in Berneray and North Uist, where I’ve been working on a new photographic project (more of which later). Late spring and early summer is a truly beautiful time of year in the Outer Hebrides, and we feel very lucky to be able to…

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at lamraig cottage

We’ve just returned from a very relaxing break in Berneray and North Uist, staying in lamraig cottage – a beautiful Hebridean blackhouse: carefully restored, formerly occupied, and now run as a holiday rental by our friend Meg (of Birlinn Yarn fame). If you’ve read the Shieling section of my West Highland Way book, you’ll know…

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back here

When something really major happens in your life there is always a before and after. And when that something is a massive transformation that alters your body and identity, when that something is a stroke that suddenly changes you from an able-bodied person to someone who will spend the rest of her life managing the…

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vicarious

Lucky Tom has spent the past week cycling around the Outer Hebrides with our friend, Mool. I have so enjoyed the photos that he’s been sending me each evening that I thought I’d share a selection with you here. All of these photographs were taken with his phone.

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An Cliseam

One of the highlights of our Hebridean camping trip was a walk on An Cliseam (Clisham), and the tops that make up the Clisham ridge. This ridge, connecting the highest hills in the outer Hebrides, crowns the wild and beautiful landscape of North Harris. Our route was circular, and you can trace it on the…

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from the Uists

creatures in the landscape. places that suffered brutal clearance . . . . . . neolithic tombs recall these islands’ human losses . . . Barpa Langass. darkness in the place of bones. But outside, a living landscape full of light and colour. . . yoke-yellow lichen on a fence post. stuff of the shoreline…

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Vatersay – Barra

The islands of Vatersay and Barra are beautiful and arresting. Camping on the Vatersay machair, there are beaches to the East: and to the West. The East beach is good for swimming and strolling. The West beach is more exposed, and a little more compelling: all pounding waves and gneiss boulders with fabulous ice-cream swirls.…

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camping: a short, personal history

Phase 1. Here are myself, and my sister (Helen), circa 1979. Back then, family tents were gigantic bungalow-ranch-style constructions, with separate sleeping pods, living/ kitchen areas, faux glazing, and obligatory orange curtains. Putting up one of these babies was a process quite close to building an actual bungalow. To expedite matters, my mother devised a…

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lyttelton

Hello! If you don’t come here for the knitting and are bored with talk of garment construction, stitch patterns, and the like, then my apologies. Move along please! Nothing to see here! I can now report that another pattern is ready. This was a very interesting project for me, as it is the first garment…

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in colour

I’ve been thinking a lot about colour of late, and about how closely one’s experience of colour is tied up with one’s experience of landscape. I had a conversation with Mel the other day — concerning the crazy hues of the lichens she’d seen in a particular West Highland location — and was reminded of…

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