Sunday, 31 May 2015

 
This is the blackhouse village where we stayed on the Hebridean island of Lewis ...

That's us. Last cottage on the right, nearest the beach.



And here's our blackhouse. The tiny window in the roof was my bedroom. 



And this is Peigi, who lived there until 1974 when she moved to the council houses up the road. Born in 1895, she left to work in munitions in Glasgow during WW1, then stayed on after the war in the herring curing but returned to the island in the 1930s to look after her parents.

I didn't do much reading. Wild, blustery Hebridean weather doesn't allow for lounging in deckchairs. But I did manage to read Entry Island, by Peter May who wrote the Lewis Trilogy. Entry Island is nowhere near as riveting and I wasn't terribly interested in the present-day murder on a remote Canadian island. But the flashbacks to the 19th century, the potato blight - which affected Scotland, as well as Ireland - and the brutal Highland Clearances were fascinating to read in a landscape where there's so many derelict crofters' cottages. As for The Blackhouse, the first book of the Lewis trilogy ... now I simply have to read it again.

12 comments:

A Trifle Rushed said...

It sounds wonderful, I can imagine it being very dramatic, and I've downloaded The Blackhouse, so must read it.

mary said...

It is breathtakingly beautiful, Jude - and the most spectacular beaches, completely empty. I think The Blackhouse must have boosted the tourist industry.

Gina said...

I loved reading tThe Blackhouse and your photos are just how I imagined it would be. It looks wonderful as a holiday spot but harsh to live there.

mary said...

It was 15 mile trip to nearest shop, Gina - and not a lot when you got there. But the most wonderful light and, especially on the Harris beaches, you'd think you were in a painting by Cadell.

Anonymous said...

Looks amazing. How did you get there and are there cars on the Island?

Herts

mary said...

Yes, there's cars - and we got there by ferry from Skye, then drove up on the causeways via Benbecula and the Uists.

Anonymous said...

Thanks. Sounds like an amazing drive. Was looking at Scotch paintings today at Richard Green's gallery on Bond St.
Best, Herts

mary said...

That exhibition looks lovely; I might try to go tomorrow. And yes, it's a wonderful drive all the way.

Lucille said...

Are those ropes and stones holding the thatch on?

mary said...

Yes! And I can't imagine what the wind is like in winter.

Toffeeapple said...

I haven't been that far up, but it does look spectacular.
I read Entry Island as an introduction to May but I disliked it intensely so now feel that I shall never try another of his.

mary said...

I found it disappointing after the Lewis books, Toffeeapple - but maybe he's not the author for you.