Return to a certain kind of roots: darkness

Eion, Calum, Joey, Sara, Irene, Dale, Caithlin, Anastasia, Margaret (hidden), Clio, Niall, (hidden), Pauline (hidden), Sam, Dianne, Yvonne.

Once again I’ve been quiet for the past few weeks. Excellent reason. A scintillating writers’ course at Moniack Mhor, near Inverness, in northern Scotland, where I met a superb group of inspiring writers in a wonderful moorland atmosphere, away from the internet and mobile phones. And the whole week was both a metamorphosis (my incipient novel changed focus and became dark with psychological menace) and a rejuvenation. More posts on the “Dark Side Writers and the Fluffy Kittens” in due course. And Guivellic came up again, not to speak of the true story of morris dancers on the Soviet politburo, and the highlight ‘Spatula Grimes VIIIth’ – a stand-up original comic of scything humour – caused me to dream of spatulas and the unexpected uses for two nightmarish nights.

Eion reading Spatula Grimes, appropriately observed by Robbie Burns


The visit to the far north gave me the opportunity to revisit the area of Sutherland and Wester Ross where I roamed free (and worked incidentally). This time I took some pictures. If you haven’t seen Suilven rising majestically out of the misty landscape as you travel across from Lairg to Lochinver, you have missed one of the great eye-candy sights of the North-West Highlands. Or take the magnificent Stac Pollaidh, with its crenellated summit like an much overused gigantic comb.

Stac Pollaidh

Or the nature reserve at Loch Fleet on the east coast: we always hoped in our dreams that it would be a nature reserve. Now I have to write the posts to go with the stories. In due time.

Meanwhile a few pictures for scene-setting: the stories will emerge gradually, and I still have 4 to write from the earlier central Europe tour. Meanwhile the Copenhagen visit is impending, although that’s the other kind of work. It might not generate a blog post. And the Grave Memories 1 needs its follow-ups.

With the dysfunctional nature of what I do, multitasking like a squashed ant (helluva a lot of roadkill on UK roads compared with continental ones). However, I hope all of us managed to metamorphose from our conventional lives and become exceptional – even if just to ourselves. It’s an escape from the hum-drum: someone once said, ‘Most of the time most people do what most people do most of the time.’ Let’s say we were exceptional in Moniack Mhor.

To be followed up.

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