June and Winter…. actually, just winter.

Yes, i know i’ve used a variation of that quote before. I can still see snow from my hotel in inverness, however, so I think the repeat is justified. There is only one season in Scotland. It’s the reason I can recognise what year it is in all my holiday photo’s as a child by what raincoat I had at the time. ( Reversible yellow and blue mac, I miss you )

Anyhow, this is the Nevis and the Mamore range from the Commando Memorial at Spean Bridge on May 31st 2015. Inviting, isn’t it? Still, it’s not officially summer until the June 21st solstice, and it’s not actually raining right now.

I’m currently 453 miles from home, not as the crow flies, but via a slight detour over Rannoch Moor, Through Glencoe, and up the side of Loch Ness. Sure it takes longer, but I was only on the A9 for 5 miles this way, and thats worth the potential death-by-tourist coach crossing the peat bogs, and the dangers of the assorted Lochs overspilling their banks onto the roads. ( October 2014: St Fillans, Loch Earnhead, Tyndrum to name only three. If driving through a Loch which has gone wandering, and there is no other way, wait for the nice people from BEAR scotland to wade through first and mke sure it’s ‘safe’)

I know some people go on holiday to soak up golden beaches, turquoise seas and to bake until crisp, and I did it once or twice when I was eighteen or nineteen, but I’ve come to realise that for me, the feeling of being exactly where I’m supposed to be in the world is having a mountain at my back, and the sea in front of me, sitting on rocks having the skin abraded off my face by the wind, with drizzle slowly creeping down the back of my neck.

The drizzle is not mandatory, but is rarely optional.

I want loneliness, except I never am, and seas that have selkies, not mermaids, and as my fourth * favourite hobbit once said “I want to see mountains again”.

( * Merry, Pippin, Sam, Bilbo. In order. Sorry, Frodo. )

Tomorrow we’re heading to Skye.

If the gale force winds haven’t closed both the Bridge and the Ferry.