Tagged: Scotland

Thursday 5th December 1996. Braevallich Cottage, Scotland.

(2017– an unusually detailed, day to day, mundane entry. Editing the 5 pages of writing to give just the flavour! I think I was experimenting with writing styles and needing to air some personal frustrations!)

“Bitter sweet, winter days….foggy, misty glens and saffron, snow burdeoned, clouds. The low winter sun casts a pale yellow aura on the barks and bracken. Air that feels like ice. Frost lies in the shadows.
Slept badly, tossing and turning, awoke to the dream sound of my mother crying. I felt very frightened….took a long time to get to sleep again.”

Followed by a long description of a very frustrating day, trying to get my bike into a car, discovering that the car would not start, the saga of trying to find jump leads on my Dad’s farm ending with this telling sentence…

“…and when I went to hug him and to apologize for using his time, he stiffened and curtly pointed out how I always seemed to have to spread my problems widley and involve everyone in my shit…. I saw red. He said I should realise how lucky I am to even have a car. I do not ‘have’ a car. I get to use the precious farm car, that would normally be sitting virtually unused. I pay my own fuel, I maintain and keep an eye on it….o.k. it is depreciating, but it is an old , well-used car. of course I am grateful for being able to use it and I express that, or try to! I do not need to be told to be and therefore subtley accused of being irresponsible and disrespectful!!! Aaargh.
I’d spent 3 hours trying to get his car started, to take it to his mechanic to remedy some serious faults that would have got worse if no action was taken. I felt gulity that I had bothered everyone and stupid that I was not able to do it all myself…..judge from the above what is true. I began the drive into Lochgilphead in angry floods of tears…”

(after leaving vehicle at the garage, cycled the 6 miles back to my boyfreind’s house)

“Such a beautiful cycle ride back. Really cleared my head….The bridge over the canal was spectacular. The pink, slate reflective water, the heron flying through the clinging mists….”

So full a fashion. 1993. Lewis, Scotland, with a soul mate.

I have never loved in so full a fashion.

Each moment crystal clear.

At one with all the world in a moment.

Alone with sea and cliff and fear.

The fear that drives the wanderer onward, the fear that lies in letting go…

the fear, like a guy rope, pins you downwards,

if you move on,

the fear you tow.

In a distant island I lived a little,

My fear of ‘alone’ a distant mist.

But somehow I wish, as we were together,

We could have sealed it

And kissed.

Snippets and bitty bobs. 1990.

“Anyway…left Brighton, not sad to go mood. Sat in Preston Park for hours listening to the town whispering its falsehoods after me. I read my book, confident that I was leaving – at least for a while.”

7th July.

“Brighton – London- Scotland, chug-a-boom, clickety-click, the train is gliding through the familiar, but always spectacular trail that leads to ‘home’. But this time I am alone, with no-one to share it’s beauty, and I, largely, ignore it – a little frightened of its strength and all the memories it holds – a kind of emotional blackmail.

I left Brighton in a calm panic. Is it all still the same and it is only that I am bored with it? I do not think so. The whole situation has changed.”

“(I had forgotten how wonderfully GREEN, in the rain, Scotland is, sharply penetrated by the purple spears of foxgloves in the sidings.)”

“I wish I understood how people can change so dramatically. She only seems to be my friend when she needs me, only when there isn’t something better to do! I do believe I should stand by this friendship though, because she might really need me one day and I’d kick myself if I wasn’t there.”

“Pen away from it all to London. Very delayed and tedious journey. “The World according to Garp.” is fantastic. I love it when I am travelling. It is so basic and honest and, more importantly, unpredictable.

Arrived in London about 11pm (we’d left at 8!). Marched purposefully toward Stockwell. I seem immune to crime in London. I think (I shouldn’t, I know be too confident in this!…) that I can look very strong when I walk alone. When I am internally afraid even more so!! I grit my teeth and scowl, walk in a kind of manly fashion and, in the dark, with my leather jacket, even the most rugged shadow lurkers seem to avoid me. This is a kind of talent. Laughter, also, has protected me. When I am alone and potentially vulnerable I seem able to think very logically and clearly about steps that should be taken, in dangerous situations. Its almost instinctive. Maybe I am a born survivor in among the rat-race. Drunken bums and the ‘crime’ brigade I find easy to handle – fascinating and, often, malleable.” (!!!..well I was only 21…I do not feel proud transcribing this!)

“I do not think anyone, friends or family, can have any idea the amount of time I have spent in first hand communications/contact  with that kind of living. And how often I have fended for myself when accosted by drunks etc. My friends are forever telling me to “shut up”, “walk on”, “ignore them”. As that is the ‘sensible thing to do’. There are occasions when it is – but I have a peculiar knack for the crack, a gift of the gab. And with more positive effect! I suppose I feel quite proud of my ability to cope with difficult people!”

“(Crianlarich, the stop and tea station of rain and stark mountains, crowded by fences.)”

“Anyway, after the “concrete and dim lights, black, staring faces” trundle to Prioy Grove, I arrived.”

“Harlowe reminded me of Lochgilphead housing estate. Concrete painted on to the earth. he was saying about it all having been built at the same time = New Town. They feel very lost somehow, these places. They have no history.”

“Philosophising…….”

“Boadicea’s fort in Epping Forest” “Dick Turpin and family.”

“Buckhurst Hill. Sun and ducks and a bulrush pond.”

“….Black Horse Tavern…..”

“…got very stoned…” “watching Channel 4 art films…”

“…Wimbledon….”

“…..East Richmond…”

“Ate well and back to Stockwell.”

“Caught the bus. Uneventful, but relaxed journey. Arrived in Glasgow. Coffee and cigarettes and then the train.”

“Glasgow was grey and loaded with yet more memories. I’d like to come back here though. Sometime during the holidays. ‘DV8’ are performing, perhaps I can get tickets for that. I’d certainly like to muster up the courage to ‘bump’ into HIM…”

“And so from the City of Culture 1990 to Loch Awe. For some unexplainable reason I feel a sense of foreboding – but in time I am sure it will heal. I am frightened to face up to the space and the people, who I have openly characterised over the last 3 months, to such an extent, that I can’t really remember just who they are!

(It really is so breathtakingly green, a stupendous stew of hues. I must get ready now…my destination is only a few track miles ahead!)”.