We've spent the last week in a fabulous little two-roomed 'hobbit-home' by the shore of Loch Duich on Scotland's spectacular west coast (I'm not saying exactly where, because then it may become too popular!), looking out at water that has alternated between dead calm one day and 'lively' the next.
As expected, the weather has been unpredictable, glorious sunshine following sheets of rain carried on a gusting wind, and vice versa; but that's Scotland for you!
Culturally, we've visited Camusfearna, the famed home of Gavin Maxwell's Ring of Bright Water trilogy (which I'm proud to say I've read); Plockton, the setting for the TV series Hamish MacBeth (which I've watched); and we've spent a day as proper tourists on the Isle of Skye (which resulted in me buying a bottle of Talisker Storm single malt whisky).
We've paddled in our inflatable canoe, walked in the woodlands and down by the beaches, and we've sampled some of the local food and drink.
And we've been fortunate enough to spot an otter, share the water with a curious seal, spend several evenings watching the resident garden mice scampering across the patio and, on the Wednesday evening, when a power cut plunged most of the north of Scotland into darkness, we were privileged enough to be visited by the local pine martin.
So, all in all, a fantastic break, not only from the drudgery of work but also, perversely, from writing. In fact, apart from a hurriedly typed note to myself on the evening of our arrival, the only 'writing' I've done is this blog entry…which is strange, because I'm currently two-thirds of the way through what I'm hoping will be the final re-drafting of my next book, 'Fractured Time', and I'm desperate to get a working draft out to the posse of eager beavers that I have lined up to proof-read and critique it.
So, if anything, this week's holiday should have been a source of frustration, an unwelcome interruption in that final reviewing process. But it hasn't been. Instead, it's kind of recharged my creative batteries, given a great boost to my enthusiasm and left me looking forward to the next couple of weeks of review and redraft with renewed vigour and positivity.
|The beach at Camusfearna|