Sunday, 1 July 2012

And I didn't see one Alien.....

I recently spent a weekend on the beautiful Isle of Skye, in the Scottish Highlands.  I was excited about this trip for a few reasons.
- I would be accompanied on the journey by Rickie Lee Jones & Admiral Fallow
- I would be spending time in the great outdoors
-I was staying in a B&B run by Paul Weller!

Even although I can listen to music @ home anytime, I always think there is something rather special about embarking on a car journey armed with my chosen musical companions.  I heart the new Admiral Fallow album, Tree Bursts in Snow and always, always love listening to Rickie Lee Jones on long journeys.  Smooth, groovy and with an aura that's just a tad edgy, she somehow makes the passing scenery feel even more beautiful.
I'm always a wee bit nervous about staying in B&Bs, sometimes it's a bit too much like sharing a stranger's house.  However, I was willing to let this slide to stay in a house run by a guy called Paul Weller.  I knew it wouldn't be the Paul Weller I had had a musical crush on for 30 years, but it was a close enough association to have me thrilled @ the prospect.
I think you need to be a certain kind of person to open up your home and look after paying strangers and Paul & Jan Weller did it wonderfully.  Comfy bed, brilliant shower, fabulous breakfast and just enough charming but gossipy chat about previous guests to have me hooked.    If, like me, you get a kick out of staying with people who could possibly be celebrities, you could do worse than stay @ the old Church House on the Isle of Skye.

The main event however, was the breathtaking scenery and challenging terrain.  Climbers will recognise the term "bouldering" as something entirely different, but, for me, it's all about clambering gleefully over big boulders, a pastime which fills me with sheer delight.  Add an uneven surface with lots of mud underfoot and I am moved to take to my heels.    So, the thought of clambering 300m up to the Old Man of Storr on a drizzly weekend afternoon was my idea of heaven.   I was superexcited to see this landmark for the first time, since the opening scenes of the recent Prometheus movie, where the scientists discover caves with ancient paintings, were filmed there.  A challenging half hour climb saw us arrive @ this wonderful stone formation, which has been fascinatingly fashioned from thousands of years of landslip.  There were a few movie fans tracing the steps of the actors and taking pictures from just the right angle to reflect the director's viewpoint. 
Once they had gone, the top of the hill was deserted, allowing me to sit in complete silence, taking in an awe inspiring view and filling my lungs with the freshest of air.  Until I started climbing, I didn't get it.  Now, I will never tire of this experience.  The only moving objects sharing my sense of wonder were a couple of sheep and my climbing chum, who was excitedly pointing his camera all around.   The enlosed picture is his version of the Prometheus view.
I am interested in the notion of mindfullness.  For me, it means being present in the moment and thankful for the here and now.  How easy to be present in such an environment.  My challenge is to recreate that feeling of calm and groundedness when my circumstances and environment are quite different.   The more time I spend in the great outdoors, the easier I find it to recreate the feeling in my mind's eye.    There's a lesson in there somewhere - for me @ least.

The only disappointing thing about my first visit to the Old Man of Storr - I never did find those cave paintings and I didn't see one alien...

isleofskyeoutof10 - 10!

my favourite weekend in skye songs:

No comments:

Post a Comment