Solo in Skye


I’ve made it to week nine and as of yet, there hasn’t been a major meltdown. Some days I feel perfectly chilled out about the whole thing then other days it’s constant waves of OHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYGOD.

It was a relatively spontaneous decision but I’ve spent the last two days in Skye on my lonesome in an attempt to get shit done. I’d fancied doing this for a while but hadn’t found the right time, or the right reason, to take off to my favourite place on my own.


I’m not really sure why I love this place so much, I think it’s a combination of things. My Dad brought me here a lot when I was young, introducing me to camping and the Skye midges from a very young age! My beloved Runrig kicked things off here. I spent my 30th birthday here with a bunch of my favourite people. Plus the landscape is so ridiculous that you expect to see a dinosaur blocking the road instead of sheep.


At the moment, I’m writing some short stories, of which all the characters are based on Skye. I feel a bit stuck, they’re not flowing quite the way I expected and this portfolio is due in four weeks so there is no time to be arsing about. I had planned to take a few days off work around this time anyway but felt like it would be more productive to be somewhere that doesn’t need washing hung up or dishes done, and doesn’t show back-to-back episodes of Say Yes to the Dress.

At Moniack Mhor earlier this year, I’d chatted to a lovely author called Ross Raisin, about how it’s not always an idea that can initially inspire you to write, sometimes it’s a person or a place. When he signed his book for me (us booky folk get authors to do that, I don’t really know why) he left this little message: resize

So I did! And it’s been the most productive couple of days I’ve had in a long time. Unbelievably, it was sunshine and blue skies when I arrived on Sunday afternoon so I spent a rapid two hours chasing the sun around some of my favourite spots before heading up to my new abode, the Cowshed in Uig. Within a few hours of settling on a big sofa, I had another assessment done and submitted. Today I’ve finished off a mammoth interview, started a review, written a blog and worked on a couple of stories. Dancer.

The Cowshed calls itself a boutique bunkhouse and it is by far the nicest bunkhouse/hostel I’ve ever stayed in. We’re talking personal reading lights, lockers and underfloor heating in the swanky bathrooms! It overlooks the pier which looked very quaint yesterday but is today being subjected to Skye’s usual wild weather.


resize4I feel a bit of a moron when my roommates ask me what I’m doing here and I reply with: “Eh, uni work…” but I had the last laugh today when everyone had to ship out early to see the sights in the pissing rain and gale force winds, and I was sat with a cup of tea, padding about in my fox slippers!

I did actually venture out for a little while today to have a wander in Portree and to have lunch at my favourite pub in Sligachan. Turned out it was shut which was pretty gutting after aquaplaning pretty much the entire way there, but the wee hotel bar was open and had hummus so everyone was happy.

I was a bit nervous about heading off on my own but it’s actually been pretty ace and definitely the way forward when trying to find enough focus to fire through assignments. Undergrad me would NEVER have made this much effort. How times change! Also, if anyone knows of a job that only involves reading, writing and taking photos, hook me up.

I will finish up by saying that today I SAW DONNIE MUNRO IN THE CO-OP! Anyone who knows me well enough can imagine what my face looked like…

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