The Outer Hebrides

This summer we went up North, and spend a couple of weeks camping in the Outer Hebrides, mainly in and on the water–open skies, brilliant colours, and eagles soaring above the bay.

Well ….

… only after our Outwell Montana 6 held its word and survived gale force 10 storms with only some minor bruises! While I was huffing and puffing lugging the heavy tend over uneven ground, when I saw other tends collapse like houses of cards around us I was rather grateful for our old lady! A local farm shop supplied us with fetching olive green and lined fishermen trousers–allowing walks to the beach. Maybe walks is a bit of an understatement, charging against the wind, stomping through wet sand, along a raging shoreline is probably a more adequate description. We played Ninja Paws, ate chocolate, and chatted while the tend hissed like a chained dragon trying to take off.

long exposure evening sky all blue hues
long exposure evening sky

Our weather app had thrown it’s virtual and proverbial hands in the air. Eventually the storm receded, and we were able to get out more. We went out with the kayaks, and while the boys were fishing, I made good use of the fishermen’s trousers and sat in the wet sand for long-exposure shots. We flew the kites, went to see standing stones, and even caught some days of such warmth that we swam in the Atlantic not needing our normal 5 mm wet suits. So all in all a perfect summer, after a wet and stormy start.

It is needless to say when spending time on Harris and Lewis the sew-inclined person has to visit Clò-Mòr the Harris Tweed exhibition. There are some interesting designer garments to see, and you can learn about the history of Harris Tweed. I reminisced in childhood memories combing some wool and had to have serious words with myself about budget for fabric!

The fabric I eventually decided for reminded me of the colours of the Highlands and Islands–and well, my favourite camping mug.

Whilst you can buy garments and some fabric at the exhibition, they have a bigger store in Tarbert close to the ferry terminal. And there it is really difficult to choose just one panel for making a dress! Did I say really, really? You could not buy lining there–or at least I don’t remember seeing lining, which is a bit a shame as they could sell lining matched with the beautiful wool they have in the shop. Once at home I tried to draft a couple of designs that would work with the dress and could not stop myself from superimposing the figure onto the landscape. More about the actual dress in the next blog post.