Sunday, 25 July 2010

Keeping Harris With Me

Harris, though joined to Lewis, felt completely different. The landscape is so rocky that at times it felt like we were driving through a mountain range, then we'd turn a bend and be level with the sea.

We stumbled across the stunningly spare and soothing space that is The Mission House Studio. A simple old chapel from the outside, it opens out into an open-plan space which is home to photography by Beka Globe and ceramics by Nickolai Globe. Both collections reflect the rough and weather-beaten landscape around them. Here I wished, for the only time in our travels, that I had walls and horizontal surfaces to cover with beautiful things. Never mind, just being in that space was inspiring, with Jan Garbarek playing in the background the atmosphere was close to spiritual.

On another day, a thrilling drive on the B887 to Huisinis. The road was narrow, often with a drop on one side, undulating and bendy. At the end of the road some small campervans had made it for a spot of wild camping with a view across the bay to Scarp. Unfortunately this is not a road for an Airstream. In fact, not many roads on Harris would suit a 684. Our movements from site to site were very carefully planned, even though there was no booking ahead, the journey would have been well reccied before hand.

And this spot may have felt like the middle of nowhere to us but for the scattered community around it was the right place for a tennis court.

We were sad to leave Harris. Heading back to Skye, lovely as it is, meant leaving the Outer Hebrides where the landscape and the mist and the colours had completely filled me with a feeling of calm contentment. I breathed in that scenery and I still breathe it a year later. If anyone or anything winds me up, I'm back there in moment.

The crossing back to Skye was as smooth as a landlubber like I could hope for. And as we approached our destination the island became enveloped in cloud.


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