A gentle return
So much has happened for us all in the past years hasn’t it? We have all been through upheaval and, personally, I have experienced the loss of two deeply precious people in my life.
The journey through a pandemic and grief has certainly been a challenge, and yet, in times of sorrow, I have discovered a flood of unconditional love, support, compassion, strength and encouragement from the most wonderful people around me. I feel such gratitude for the grace and humanity of these beautiful souls.
Along the way I never stopped believing in the new book I started just before Covid 19 took viral control of our world. Each of my books so far has required around two years; to research intensively, to explore the landscape, over and over again, in all seasons, to connect with the local communities in an authentic way, so as to better understand what makes them tick, the challenges they face and their aspirations too. I photograph, I write and work with brilliant copy editors, and designers, the we reach layouts, incorporating images and maps, we proof over and over again, and at last publish! It’s a huge commitment.
Thankfully, I finished what I started, and it has been the most fantastic ride. My passion for the extraordinary and unique islands of the Outer Hebrides, on the far west rim of Europe, is immense and I am honoured to be sharing my experience of them in my forthcoming book, Hebridean Journey, The Magic of Scotland’s Outer Isles https://birlinn.co.uk/product/hebridean-journey/
My new adventure explores, in words and pictures, the secret places, favourite heart stopping places, deeply mysterious places, spine tingling and uplifting isolated places. Discover North Atlantic shores fringed with silky white shell sands and washed by crystal clear seawater in divine hues of aquamarine, turquoise, emerald, and every tone in between.
My Hebridean Journey takes you into the heart of vibrant island communities with such rich stories to tell and unique experiences to share. Here life is imbued with Old Norse Viking influences and passionate Celtic culture, firmly rooted in harmony with nature.
Gaelic is the first language of the archipelago; a beguiling tongue both fiendish and lyrical. I find its descriptions of the natural world especially lush. There are, for example, over 100 ways to describe a mountain in Gaelic, and my favourite bird of the prey, the huge white tailed sea eagle, is known as iolaire sùil na grèine, or the bird with the sunlit eye.
Of course, I look forward to publication in a few months, although my Hebridean Journey is available to pre-order now.
But first, I must complete work on the the proofs my lovely publishing team have sent to me!
Here’s a wee peek!
My assistant, Merlin, entertaining himself with a mussel from the seashore!