Landscape and Light of Skye

When you go to Scotland on holiday it would be a bit much to expect Mediterranean style sunshine requiring the sporting of bikinis and suncream wouldn’t it? Well, luckily, that’s exactly what didn’t happen (and anyway, bikinis and I are strangers these days). What we got was a proper old mixture of Scottish Weather.

We had some brilliant sunshine, and some absolutely atrocious rain and cold, some days dawned bright and sunny and then went a bit down hill. Some started at the bottom of the hill and managed to claw themselves through the cloud to the sunny summit above by teatime. On at least one day it was entirely beautiful, if not exactly warm, between 08.00  and 20.00. Even so, there wasn’t really any need for BBC Radio 2 to rub it in, with “It’s the hottest day of the year! Why not call and tell us how you’re spending this gorgeous Sunday afternoon??” “Well Lisa I’m drinking a cheeky margarita on the patio, while my husband is burning things on the barbeque!”  while we were shivering in a Jeep just outside Portree and wondering when it would be possible to dash to the nearest cafe without getting a drenching (I’ll tell you what, you realise quite quickly just how South East-centric the media is, after a day or two in the north).

Good weather or not though, I had a new camera to play with – I couldn’t face hauling the huge Canon about with me, and though my phone takes pretty good pictures, I wanted an ‘inbetween’ camera. I bought a Panasonic Lumix TZ60. I had a much earlier version of this camera so I know my way around it (sort of) and it takes great pictures. 

The Sleat peninsula is the southern end of Skye, the part nearest the mainland  via the Skye bridge or the ferry. I took huge numbers of pictures of the sea and the landscape, which I am always drawn to over anything else.  If there’s a place that does landscape well it’s the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. I have multiple pictures of the same view, because the view is not the same at all, depending on when you catch it.

One early morning I found Janey balanced on the patio wall with camera in hand, catching THE LIGHT. The light is pretty amazing, it turns the sea into silver, grey, and blue (and orange, though I didn’t manage to capture that).

The hills change their faces as the day goes by, or they hide their faces behind cloud veils, thick and thin, which can be whisked off as the wind gets up.

Some days Mallaig – with its white buildings and the way it hugs the coast – looks like a Scottish fishing village, on others like a Greek fishing village:

I did take the time to wrench my eyes from the horizon occasionally (it wasn’t easy!) and look down. I had several pre-breakfast walks and scrambles on the rocky shore, during which I realised I’m nowhere near as agile as I once was, and perhaps I should start doing yoga again. There were some nice cushiony heather topped bits to rest on though, so I didn’t suffer too much. the little beach – I’ll call it a beach, sand or no,  is rock pool heaven. All manner of things are trapped in them, little winkles, crabs and snails, bright green kelp and dark green bladder-wrack. Kev told me they’d been down the week before and surprised a big old dog-fish, which thought it could hide by sticking its head under a rock. 

It’s not all sea views of course, and though spring comes a little later up on Skye than it does in Oxfordshire, there were blossoms and spring flowers about, and interesting mosses among the rocks and undergrowth.

I could have taken millions more pictures, just on this tiny part of the island, but we did venture further afield, and I’ll write about that in a bit. I hope you enjoy looking at the photos as much as I enjoyed taking them! I’m pretty sure all of this inspiration is going to show up in my pottery, and other makes,  in the future.


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