over the edge

Yesterday, I had a lovely relaxing day with @katejkatz. Tomorrow, I fly north with my boy to escape over the edge into the wilds.

After a friendly suggestion from BA that we might like to take a trip before mid October, accompanied by that threat that if we didn’t we’d lose our dragon’s hoard of accumulated airmiles, going away seemed obvious. It didn’t take long to settle on Scotland; we used to go almost every year, but it’s been 3 since we last got there, when we nearly (but sadly didn’t) got stranded on Islay by storms.

There is a little Fiat 500 waiting for us at Edinburgh airport, and a B&B expecting us near Portree. The weather promises balmy (double digit!) temperatures, good visibility and only two days of rain, so we’re all set to ramble on the western shores and maybe even up the odd hill or two. Mostly, though, we’ll simply enjoy the clear air, cool weather and autumnal landscape of one of the most varied and beautiful islands off our shores.

Skye is a splayed hand sitting on the western edge of the Highlands, with each finger parading a different geological heritage. One old romantic commented that the misty isle is conclusive proof that sometimes even God shows off. Its 10,000 or so inhabitants don’t leave much of a mark – last time we stayed, we had a 45 minute ride down a tiny single-track road to the village we were staying in, and mostly saw more cows and seagulls than people. The southeast’s flat moorland is overshadowed by the volcanic peaks of the Red and Black Cuillins in the southwest, which include the Inaccessible Peak that I intend to admire solely from a distance. The north features black sand beaches, sea stacks and the rearing outcrops of the Quiraing. In the west, nestled by the waters, is the exception that proves the rule that no good distilleries  have names beginning with T (unlike other Ts, Talisker is undeniably excellent fire water).

If I’m not back next week, you can assume I’ve been stolen by the faery kin of Dunvegan, or mesmerised by a seelie on the far coast. These are the hills of Stardust, but I doubt I’ll meet Michelle Pfeiffer at a crossroads (although I’ll be certain to be cautious of old ladies offering me food and promises as I travel). Brushes with the other side notwithstanding, I’ll be back in the urban glories on Tuesday.