Travels Part 2: Edinburgh

Sunset in Edinburgh Marchmont

It was time to leave Harris for the second part of our trip: a week in Edinburgh, followed by a few days in Helsinki, and then the long, long journey home.

We’d said our goodbyes, stuffed things back into our bags, and negotiated the notoriously tricky security line at Stornoway Airport. We were sitting on a tiny plane waiting to taxi to the runway.

Ten minutes later… we were still sitting there.

Twenty minutes later… we were still sitting there.

The pilot came on the radio and said he was going to turn the plane off and turn it back on again, in an attempt to fix whatever mechanical issue was causing the delay. Unfortunately, the old on-off-on again trick doesn’t work as well on Embraers as it does on iPhones, and a few minutes later we found ourselves traipsing down the aircraft steps and back into the airport. Continue reading

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Travels Part 1: Hobart to Harris

View from Tarbert Isle of Harris

No matter how many times you’ve done it, there’s still something miraculous and disconcerting about strapping yourself into a metal tube and flying across the world.

Airlines go to great lengths to persuade you that it’s a normal and comfortable thing to do. They try their best to make that tube feel like home. Qantas welcome you with a hearty ‘G’day mate!’ and hand out complementary socks with cartoon kangaroos on them. Finnair design their cabin lighting to resemble the aurora borealis, and Loganair provide Harris Tweed headrests and Tunnocks caramel wafers. But when you undertake ten flights in three weeks, from Tasmania to the Outer Hebrides and back again, the resulting sensory overload means there’s no escaping the strangeness of air travel. Continue reading

The One with the Referendum

Scottish Independence Referendum Green Yes

Och. I was doing so well too.

You have no idea how hard I’ve tried to be good about this. How often I’ve sat on my hands, and not commented, or liked or retweeted or shared or argued or said a single frickin’ word, because it’s not my business anymore. I HAVE BEEN SO GOOD! Ask DorkyDad how restrained I’ve been. Ask him how often in the last few months he’s heard me come out with some hideously bland and diplomatic answer when people have asked me about the Scottish Independence Referendum. He’ll pull this tortured face at you, like he’s stuck at a dinner party between Britney Spears and Kim Jong-un, and he just needs the whole thing to be over already.

But I’m so inspired and enthused by reading other people’s stories – so excited by the number of folk, women especially, who are finding their political voice for the first time – that I feel compelled to add mine to the chorus.

Continue reading

An Isle of Harris Holiday: In Photos

Howdy-doodle.

We are back from a lovely ten days in Scotland. Two 35 hour journeys in less than a fortnight has not left me at my most eloquent, so I will save the write-up for another day, but I wanted to share a few photos of our time away.

We were staying in a stunning self-catering house called Croft Cottage, which has views of East Loch Tarbert and across to Skye. On a still night, this is what it looked like…

view from Tarbert Isle of Harris

Continue reading

There is going to be a wedding

marriage

There is going to be a wedding.

This July, back on the island where I was born, my oldest, closest childhood friend will exchange Miss for Mrs, although in true Scottish fashion she already shares a surname with the man she is due to marry. She was my bridesmaid, almost seven years ago, and I’m honoured that she has asked me to do the same.

What a joyful celebration it will be. I can imagine already her shy smile, her graceful walk, the radiant light in her eyes. I know there will be giggles as she and her husband try to steady their shaking hands for long enough to ease on golden bands. Continue reading