Posted in Travel, Writing

When Blog Posts are Like Buses…

View across the Cromarty Firth
By the time morning came around, this deserted spot on the Black Isle had gained two surprising new visitors: vast cruise ships moored on the Cromarty Firth – fortunately on the other side of it from our camper van

Catching up with my blog for September

A fraught September culminated with a certain inevitability in a debilitating cold virus, which sent me into near-hibernation for a few days. This has put me woefully behind with my blog, even to do what I regard as the bare minimum: to keep it as a central archive of what I’ve written elsewhere online or for printed publications.

So if you’re a regular reader here, please forgive the prolonged silence, which will now be followed by a sudden flurry of posts before I run out of September!

I’m kicking off with the column that I wrote for September’s Hawkesbury Parish News, when I was in Scotland on my summer holidays. Seems like light years ago now!

Stretching the Summer

In August, we head for the Scottish Highlands, whose soaring mountains make the Cotswold hills look like speedbumps.

It’s not just the landscape that is on a grander scale here. This far north, the daylight hours are significantly longer than at home.

From Mallaig, we watch the sun set over the islands of Skye, Rum and Eigg a good hour after Hawkesbury’s nightfall. On the Cromarty Firth, despite the absence of light pollution, it’s only just dark enough at 11pm to discern the Perseid meteorite shower at its official kick-off time.

It is as if we have travelled back in time to the summer solstice.

Although I have been a frequent visitor to Scotland for the last seventeen years, the difference in daylight hours never fails to fascinate me. In the same way, every time I stand on a beach (in Nairn, east of Inverness, this holiday), I marvel at the way the moon pushes and pulls the tides.

Returning home in time, as always, for the Village Show, I know the earlier nightfall down south will come as a shock, as we’ve been away long enough to acclimatise to northern nights. But it’s not as if we’ll feel fast-forwarded into the fall, because whatever the sun or moon might do, everybody knows that the day after Hawkesbury Show is the first day of autumn.

View from Mallaig car park
Over the sea to Skye – and Eigg, and Rumm – viewed from our camper van in Mallaig this summer




Author of warm, witty and gently funny fiction and non-fiction, including the popular Sophie Sayers Village Mystery series, beginning with "Best Murder in Show", inspired by her life in an English Cotswold community, short stories and essays about country life. As Commissioning Editor for the Alliance of Independent Authors' Advice Centre, she writes guidebooks authors. She speaks at many literature festivals and writing events, and is part of BBC Radio Gloucestershire's monthly Book Club broadcast. She is founder and director of the free Hawkesbury Upton Literature Festival which takes place in April, a member of the Romantic Novelists' Association, and an ambassador for children's reading charity Read for Good and the Type 1 diabetes charity JDRF.

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