Sam Wilding's Blog
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The journey back from Uist

Going Home

Hardly on the same level, but I now know how Palin feels when a ferry doesn’t turn up or a plane is missed. My plans are foiled and I will have to travel home via Uig and Eilean Donan castle. After the full Monty at the Polochar Inn, I say my goodbyes and head north to Lochmaddy. I pass Whooper Swans upturned in still, frozen lochens. Some of them look as if they’ve been frozen in the act of tipping; their bums jutting from the surface like fluffy icebergs. It’s like a summer’s day at Lochmaddy. The sea is like glass and I wander round the ferry terminal making sure that I have at least some of my descriptions right in the book I’m working on. I decide to keep my imaginary bus stop in place rather than plump for reality.
On the ferry, I sunbathe on deck as we pull out of the harbour. It’s so nice that I wonder about sun tan lotion etc. A foreign couple have a good laugh at my expense as I try, in vain, to balance my thin camera on my bag and push the timer at the same time. They eventually show some mercy, stepping in to take my pic. I write a few chapters on the smooth crossing and wiz off the boat at Uig. Between Uig and Portree I catch a glimpse of some really massive wind turbines on the horizon. This is why I’m writing the new book. It’s a stark reminder of the duality, the conflict, the good and the bad. They cut an ugly swathe on the mountain-top but, on the other hand, there’s something imposing and majestic in the way they move.
Moving down the west coast via Fort William and Glen Coe, I eventually chat to my old-time bass player Jim as I journey down the side of Loch Lomond. Home is only a few miles away now. I’ve missed the family, Betsy and all.

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