September Inspires

Things to inspire....
Despite the sudden, but yet somehow quite typical, downpour that August has become, we are inspired by our lovely garden of wildflowers. I have been out of a night talking with the owls, who talk back of course. This expands the former early evening soiree of "singing to cows".
"The boys" as I call them live over the road and saunter up to the field head each night. Sometimes they even sing back.

Anyway, to the matter in hand: Outlandish Spirit, Ina. As you may remember, Little Miss Ina Sunshine was on the May Jamie and Claire Tour. So inspired was she by Scotland's beauty that she is coming back. Very soon.

She picked up on the existence of Calanais when here. I mentioned that I was thinking about offering a tour to these remote and remarkable standing stones as a further, off-book adventure to Outlandish Spirits, perhaps ones that had been on the Jamie and Clarie Tour and wanted to explore the Western Isles, which of course, Jamie and Claire do not get to.

So, we have timed a reconnaissance trip to the Outer Isles to coincide with her October visit. (Ina is also partaking in literary smuggling on the trip. Call her "mule". She will be smuggling in the hard copy of the newly released, yet not available in Europe, hard copy of Echo for us. If she is caught, then we will deny knowing her as we exit Edinburgh airport in a hurry).

Our trip (pilgrimage) to the Eileann Siar, will take two days just to get there (island hopping by ferry). It's a long way west and north. Makes Ardsmuir look like a downtown cafe. Well worth the trek though. The string of islands is a most remarkable place. Here are some photos Scot took in August 1996 when there. They have had NO colour enhancement or digital scullduggery.

The megalithic complex was originally 19 standing stone sites, interlinked across several miles. It makes Stone Henge look like a garden ornament. The landscape of the place is quite unnervingly beautiful, challenging, oppressive, inspiring... Scot's favourite stone ring in the whole of Britain and Ireland is there (and he's visited a lot of them). The Western Isles are a quite fantastic place too. They are not really part of Scotland, remote, bleak, pristine, windswept, Gàidhlig speaking, hard-living, a wonder of nature, half viking.

If you consider yourself an outlandish traveler and would like to come on this trip (some time in 2010), then help me create it. Get in touch via the Jamie and Claire Tour website and lets talk about what we would want to do on the trip, the best time of the year, cost, focus. I've put a wee Poll to the left for some basic opinion gathering. Only fill it in if you would consider coming on the tour.

So, Bonnets off tae ye, Ina, Outlandish Spirit that you are.


  1. I had 2 glorious weeks in Scotland last month, and spent time visiting Orkney. and the Ring of Brodgar (and Standing Stones of Stenness)...there was a cleft stone, but I could not make myself step through!!

    I have missed Scotland since the moment I left, and your blog makes me miss it even more, but makes me feel closer, as well. Thank you for sharing your Outlandish Spirit!

    Kentucky USA


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