My anti-Brexit tirades have lost me countless followers and probably a couple of good friends. If the latter is the case, I am genuinely sorry, but in my defence I don’t think I could feel more strongly about it.
So … what have we been up to in the last week?
Skye first. Three nights in Camping Skye, a £25-a-night stop over in Broadford. It’s modern, clean and usefully placed – but no views, and it is pricey – for us. We spent the time with Jen and James and his mum and dad, Bob and Kath – who are lovely. We went pier fishing, had lunch at where Jen and James had married last Easter and generally pottered about. And then we headed off north, along the west coast.
It’s not until you get to Ullapool that you really begin to understand how wild and remote Scotland can be. The roads are all stunning, with lochs and broken castles, and glimpses of the sea and big, foreboding mountains. We wild-camped for three nights, stopping at the lovely Lochinver and cycling a 25-mile round trip to Stoer Lighthouse (visiting Leigh of the lighthouse’s Blue Tea Van) on the way. She moved up from central England a while back and bought a decrofted croft, set up and ran the tea van for seven years and now, with three Spanish-rescue dogs, still considers herself to be ‘living the dream’.
The weather has haunted us, really since we left Suffolk three weeks ago. As always, though, it has never stopped us from doing what we would like. The long cycle was mostly in sunshine, but against ferocious winds (and some pretty big gradients). Battling very. very heavy winds we wild-camped last night up a hill, beside a big rock which protected us a bit; and we managed a walk, almost crawl, from there to catch a lovely view across Loch Chairn Bhain. And today (and tomorrow) we have booked into Scourie campsite (£22 all in), which is as far north as you can go without hitting the north coast. Just now we walked the Scourie pennisular with, without doubt, the best views so far: Cape Wrath to our right, and Suilven and The Old Man of Stoer to our left. Fabulous.
And all this ‘vanning’ continues to remind me how much I miss travelling full time in Doris. That feeling that she’s home, and not our (lovely) little house in Bradley Stoke. Doris continues to please, although I do have to report that the satellite controller has stopped speaking to the automatic dish … which I pretty sure I can sort, once the wind dies down enough so I won’t be blown off the roof. More watching West Wing then …
I am almost at the end of Unsuspecting Hero rewrite. It will be a much more fluent novel than edition one when I get it out there. Once finished (two days?) I’ll read it out loud to C – she has a nose for picking up irregularities – and then print it out for Rosie (proofreader) as soon as I get home. It’s all on track for an end of October publication.
And then book six. Mmmm. Exhausted already.