February 15, 2010

Slàn leat, Scotland...


The highlands were beautiful. There was snow on the peaks, picking out the deep vertical gulleys on the steeper slopes in stripes of bright white. Lower down, first-year stags were testing out their small, single-point antlers on each other as the hinds watched curiously, big ears twitching. Clouds haunted the glens and condensed in silver droplets on the bare birch branches, and the bracken was down, a red rusty tangle among the rocks. It wasn't much colder than in London, though, and at our guest house the snowdrops were out.

The awards ceremony was passably well attended, and it was a thrill to hear my work read out - by the celebrated Scottish folklorist Margaret Howell. Soon I hope to be able to arrange another trip, this time to take up my prize, a private tour of one of the Trust's estates. My heart is telling me Skye...