Harris Tweed diary – week three

It’s all about the location.

 (Horgabost i phone photo)

This week has been rather a mixed bag – what with the weather  determining my ability to work and that in itself determining my mood, I have finally realised that there is not a lot I can actually do about it but keep strong and carry on.

Saying that, I have come to rather like some parts of Harris and Lewis. Such as Carloway, with its crofts, valley and small harbour, along with the Blue Pig, the Harris Tweed Textiles mill, Rare Bird I(makers of bags and other things from tweed) and Norman the retired dentist (now a weaver and a crofter with too many Hebredian cheeky sheep) and his family. Yes Carloway does have a special energy.

I also think that my day trip up to the Port of Ness on my savoured day of dry sky, was indeed a gorgeous treat. Stopping off at two weavers and the Beach House, where not only did I eat a really lovely Smokes Salmon Carpaccio, (something that I thought only Shoreditch House could make that special) I also had the honour of seeing some remarkable textile art on the walls by Alison Macleod, who can seriously put Tracey Emin to shame.  Paintings with the edges of flowers etc stitched. Although this is not a new style and from London, I have had the chance to see many galleries showing this kind of work, the paintings by Alison were really lovely and I hope she keeps on with this. I really loved her stitched words.

Down on Harris I visited 4 weavers and Willy Fulton a painter who’s work has an effervescence about it that makes you simply want to stare into his ‘voids’ for a long long time. The view from Ardbuidhe cottage, where Willy paints from, is really the most beautiful spot and I am not surprised why he doesn’t go for all the hoity toity yes sir no sir of city galleries.

He made me realise that peace in oneself can be found and that doesn’t actually mean letting go of too many luxuries or dreams. In fact it might indeed enhance ways of enhancing one’s life.  It is the way he works I think that made me think about this. Working with layers and working with the light. It is the light that I gasped for. All photographers gasp for light.(Even my Leica M series gasps for light even if it is a glint of sparkle, it gasps).

The Leverburgh and Balallan horticultural shows also made me realise that life on the Islands has a particular way of living, but the main beauty of these islands for me, even in the rain, yes even in the rain, perhaps more so, is the beaches on Harris. The wild camping at Horgaborst is really a magnificent place to spend a rainy day or two and my goodness what would it be like in the sun shine.

So with this in mind, on this yet another rainy day, I am off to the said beach, to set up my tent and this time, point it towards the sea, like last time, but up on the hill to be able to see (if there is one) a superb sunset from inside my tent..

Location location location. Yes it is all about the location.