Monday, August 20, 2007

This is the glorious Eshaness, a simply magnificent coastal walk that we did on Saturday. It is easy to imagine how rough the seas can be thrashing against this jagged coastline. We walked for a few hours and saw two other people and a few dozen sheep, along with gorgeous birds. No otter or seal sightings yet, though. Driving around Northmavine exposed us to more of this interesting place. My Rough Guide describes the villages in the area as 'settlements' and that is indeed correct - some of the settlements are four or five buildings clustered together, making enough of an impact on the landscape to justify their own mark on the map. After driving along the interior, we came upon Hillswick, one of these settlements, which has a wonderful vegetarian cafe at a place called Da Bod, which is housed in Shetland's oldest pub. It's a cozy spot, and we were shocked to see that they don't charge for anything in the restaurant - all they ask for is a donation to the wildlife sanctuary. Very cool, very progressive idea for a tiny settlement in the islands.
And yesterday's sad discovery that nothing, save the newsagents', is open for a coffee on a Sunday afternoon. Sigh. I need to stop living in places that close on Sundays.
I'm also including this lovely photograph to prove how damn cold it was for Saturday's walk. Though this appropriate clothing thing helped significantly. It's August, people.

Memory is not abstract, it is made of bits and pieces, sometimes called junk. These are your materials, the things you begin with. You take them to another place. Writing is your imagination's rescue work. - paraphrasing from Julia Casterton's Creative Writing: A Practical Guide - very interesting take on fiction and poetry from a high-art perspective of what writing, in its purest form, should be.

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