2030 Miles to Scotland and home again …are you coming with me on this visual diary of wonder ….

The view tattooed in my mind forever… this was heaven on earth

I’ve rested up at home over the past fortnight  and I’ve been finishing this blog I hope I give my journey the credit in my writing that it soooo deserves because Scotland was incredible  … This is a visual diary of emotions written on route around the Highlands ….Scotland in autumn was showing me how amazing this world is …..

How do you even begin to explain to people that from the darkest of times really does bring light ….from the pit of desperation comes inspiration ….

There was a reason why we clocked up a ridiculously high amount of miles …(not by me I will add …I did no mile at all )….My husband kindly drove me over 2000 miles from south to north and west to east picking up the NC500 … we went up to the top over the dramatic highlands to the east coast and finally dropped down across the country back home again ….

The journey begins following that red line ish !!

The challenge was to conquer the NC500 but the journey up and back wa far more the greater Miles undertaken but a super drive ….

We were about to experonce 2 wonderfully delightful weeks living amongst what we love the most and that is nature …

when we were lost deep in forests or sitting next to babbling brooks or high on mountain paths we felt free …

The cairngorms mountain walk

Even a tree that stood twisted bare and dead gave me inspiration ….and when we dropped into civilisation for a shower or a food shop we felt restricted ….hemmed in with rules and time restrictions so we quickly did the necessary bits and headed away from that lifestyle as quickly as we could…..

you see freedom equalled forgetting …

walking equalled freedom..

silence equalled a quiet head space …

and our van equalled quality time together …..

I’m guessing (in fact I know for sure )that the land would provide and so would nature as it has done for eternity if we went wild forever, but I’m not quite ready for that way of life however tempting …I doubt I ever would be ready to rebuild a bothy or attack a derelict Croft even a cave appealed at one point along the top of the country lol but they are all dreams

west coast 
north coast 

because as I write this swaying about riding shotgun the radio set to radio 2 I am looking forward to a bath and sewing my bags, creating and crafting using what my soul has soaked up here in Scotland and I found a feeling I haven’t had for a while …

A sense of belonging to a life I actually recognise….

I’m desperate to be home so I can be the mumma, nanna and friend to all I left behind 2 weeks ago….I mean if they all came with me it would be perfect …..I’d go and wouldn’t look back …..

There is a strong pull towards home for all that is familiar, safe ,even predictable because as we started our adventures to the northern lands we were sent on our way with so much love and many wonderful wellwishes…

I’m not going to lie I did leave wondering if it would be forever !!!

So …. I found my eyes soaking up the many sites from smoking chimneys in the Midlands to the mountains in the highlands and everything in its entirety inbetween…

thoughtful moments 

my thoughts and emotions mostly soaring up high above my tiny body, way above this huge vast amount of land and my thoughts would be found flying on the wings of the golden eagles that swooped around us ..

My body was challenged awoken in the cold waters on each coast line we met (a challenge I set myself to help me feel connected alive and well )…So the Northsea and the Atlantic….The fresh water lochs and the tidal lochs alike I dipped in them all …

Loch Hope (Mount hope in the background )
Applecross evening dip at sunset
Trinkie pool …A Northsea swimming pool

The glimpse of a deer in the Woodlands or a stag in the highland heathers …left me feeling overwhelmed ….

The seal in the harbour or out in the swells of the waves….he watching me and me watching him …..

what was he thinking ?? …

I saw freedom, but I also saw a tuff life… They have a fight …. struggle against man… against the bigger sea predators… I saw our polution …I saw sadness and I saw happiness all at the same time…

but I think when you look around our own human race you would see the same …

Cape wrath seal watching before breakfast

The salmon run … wow …The male fish fighting and leaping up stream was incredible and to think they use every ounce of their being to get back home to spawn and in doing so die …..again what I soaked up visually and felt in my heart reminded me of life …

of our own personal journeys. ….

The falls of shin salmon run

My senses, all of them were alive ….I felt as if I’d broken into heaven ,my breathe caught in awe with every sun rise and sunset ……every rainbow filled my heart with joy …. I felt gratitude for what my eyes were able to see

Sango bay
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somedays were rediculously brilliant…. I was well engerised and enthusiastic and on other days I was totally beaten….

one day I was pushing the restricting boundaries that ms has set out before me and other days it was harder than my photos show ….

You see my smile shows hope and it shows courage ….chris saw me managing symptoms… he is one of very few who gets to see me in my raw state and that’s so tough for him ..

He tucked me into bed early checking all meds had been taken and stroking my head on injection nights to ensure I fell asleep…. He finished my sentences when my words failed me ….and made me laugh when I felt like crying …

Sometimes we were silent but there were unspoken words happening between husband and wife …. our glances exchanged looking for support …I was searching for love and reassurance that I was doing ok …chris would say “what you looking at ” scooting around the obvious in a silly tone ,but that’s Chris. ..

his smile would say it all though….

and he was looking for signs that I wasnt ok …making sure the challenges I set myself were realistic and achievable…..

He’s always said I am to set the pace and he won’t ever stop me at least trying …..

There were other times ….ohhh how we laughed …my words all in a muddle and my map reading back to front ….

For as much as I test his patience he does understand my predicament …

Our predicament …

because this journey could be the last…..well the last before the boundaries change again

and again

and again ….

With life we dont know what is around the corner, but as I’ve said in many blogs, with Ms we live in fear of what is snapping at our heels….

At times I felt insignificant… very lost in the landscape …but I wasn’t afraid .. …

I prayed in ruined churches whilst soaking up the history of the tombs stones of clan members …..

In those churches I could See the beauty in something that had fallen into disrepair..

I left my offering at the clootie well and as I took in the vast array of coloured rags or disintegrating discoloured cloth I could see I was surrounded by hope …..

I understood the pain and I understood the plea’s for help, peace and healing ….

The silence hurt ….ohhh the sadness I felt for some prayers left here…

They will have been answered in the way perhaps that a person would not have wanted them to be answered….

An outcome leaving loved onces left behind distraught, alone, confused …..

My flower offering
Clootie well

And others living another day to tell the tale as such …..

So we( that is Chris and I) are here together sharing moments and making memories …..

Red sands beach
point of stoer trying to reach the old man of stoer but chris did a great impersonation and saved me the walk !!!

The amazing west coast road

I know he wants for my soul to be fed and I want for him to enjoy anything I feel I can do so we can forefill at least some of our many dreams ….

My quiet moments have been nothing more than processing time …the mind busy …

Thoughts of amazement… gratitude and joy …. Time spent processing my disease…..digging deep for strength to keep fighting ….moments of despair pain and an underlying “its not fair” nagging thought ….

but With views from my bed and the words live every moment stuck above the ever changing scenery I knew life was good really …..and I was grateful to be alive ……..

I saw the land being used in so many ways …the human race utilising or embracing and some views showing ruin,destruction,poverty ….

Poverty in towns …homes falling into disrepair

Sometimes there were so many people …so many cars …so many buildings and so many miles of roads ….. and once up the country it all changed ….

I saw artists painting walkers walking … joiners woodturning… tree fellers felling

The  balnekeil craft village durness
wonderful keith
The drive down into applecross
Ullapool candle shop a crafting hub for disabled adults
The east coast fields being harvested
The wick fisherman

…shepherds herding….fields being plowed by the farmers and fisherman in the harbours or far out at sea their boats bobbing in the distance their peaceful place as beautiful as mine .

I thought about a quote I once read “a ship is safe in the harbour but that’s not what it was built for …

I saw many lighthouses lighting ….and felt safe as we slept under the turning light surrounded by a million stars in my hubby’s arms ….

Every person we met was hard working happy so very friendly and extremely welcoming …..

Tarbetness lighthouse an overnight stop …
Lybster harbour
dunnet head  the most northern point ….not old john o groats !!!
The point of stoer our pitch lol …

And when we were on the motorways… all that was familiar. ..

Truckers trucking …business men driving….factories storing holding making ..

It reminded me of ants busying themselves back and forth… same old same old …

Humans existing not living …many living the only way they know how safe within their comfort zone, safe what they know ….and that is fine ….but at some point something may happen to awaken them …..as it did with us …..

An accident on a motorway on route home brought about frustration within me… I mean we had covered well over 1000 miles sharing the road with a few others ….more the likes of sheep highland cattle and pheasants ..

I was uncomfortable tired thirsty and needing my meds .

I was cross for being delayed …that plan in my head scuppered by bloody traffic …..That was until Chris said that someone will have received an awful call ….their life thrown into turmoil….. lives changing in an instant for all involved …..The same as it was for us ,just different circumstances….

I’ve thought about loss on this journey and how I’ve adapted along my way to the loss I’ve personally gone through and the number of times I lost myself in amongst the chaos of life ….one thing has comes to light though and that has been consistency …the love of my life ..my lighthouse …my Chris……a beacon of light and my constant strength ..If I go off track ,lose my mind ,my focus wavering he guides me home…

He keeps me safe ….He keeps me sane …..

Fairy pools

I had sad news of a friend whilst I was away …I wanted to send her a picture I had taken of a sunrise I knew would lift her spirits …you see she’s fighting a cancer battle…

This wonderfully spirited girl is called Hannah…

she was someone I had been in contact with recently…younger than me by 5 years and known because she was the younger girl who lived down the road to me growing up ,she was more the friend of my younger sister ….but with her diagnosis of brain tumours and my diagnosis of ms around the same time give or take a bit we pulled on each other for strength and when we met we laughed with a warped sense of humour simply because we could …there wasno judgement no tutting no worry of offending k awkward silence or strained conversation and definitively no flippant unthoughtful comments ……..she past away in Aug and I’m still here fighting hard but experiencing life in all its glory …..Hannahs memory and her words of faith have travelled many miles with me up in the highlands … ..she is a Christian and sent me some beautiful words when I was at my lowest. ..little did she know what was around her next corner …she wrote this ….”but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31

my golden eagle  Kyle go Tongue 

Hi Kirsten, I hope you’re okay and finding the strength you need on this journey. I was spending some time with the lord and you were impressed on my heart when I saw this verse. I hope you don’t mind me sharing this with you xxx “Hannah also sent this to me which I will now order book wise as I feel drawn to do so ….”When your passion arrives, I highly recommend reading and meditating on psalm 116. It’s helped me so much and it’s very beautiful. I hope you’re having a great week x ”

So looking to the skies on this journey ..its been constantly changing ….

The sun rising and setting without fail every single day , a navigating tool as to which way we had set camp any paricular night

sunset at the point of stoer  an overnight stop …

…..One day blue beautiful and light..

Bonar bridge

the sun bright and pleasantly warm its Ray’s kissing the hills and glimmering on the passing waters …

Another day the clouds dark and stormy …

balnakeil beach

the sun was struggling to break through …the rain heavy and at times the fog was so unforgiving … The wind was cruel with each blow whipping around us ….making us work hard to hold my balance yet so invigorating for the body ,awakening the soul …

the stacks of duncansby the most northerly point of the country 

I am alive and I am grateful… grateful being a word I keep returning too …..

My favourite picture sunrise at sango bay

The world was turning …..

I saw migrating birds but a bigger group than I’ve ever seen before ….what did they teach me as I watched them pass over us. …well they are stronger together than pushing forwards on their own …

A journey is tuff when you are on your own …no encouragement, no guidance and nobody watching your back…

Migrating birds

A little piece of my heart was left up on the mountains of the highlands …and a a little bit of the highlands stolen and locked in my heart …..

Red sands

To hear natures music …rain falling around us or beating on the windscreen… rain on the roof as we slept with the wind whistling around us …some would have maybe felt vunerable alone concerned or even spooked ….for a once anxiety driven woman there was no sign of that woman anymore ….

The clear night skies showed us the never ending universe in all its glory , civilisation miles away from us ….

It was just the 2 of us and a million stars ….

That made me smile every night . …

I’ve been making memories for me to hold tight of …memories to draw upon in darker times ….

The many photos and fb uploads, a photo book yet to be made to hold these amazing pictures in will give me a tangible piece of our past …

I can look touch and remember and it will hopefully maybe leave a little sprinkling of inspiration to anyone I leave behind when my time comes because my message is …

go on try ….life is so short .

Sooooo these words I read whilst I was away in scotland …..

“Dont be afraid of the unknown be afraid of never knowing “…..

I return to the south tired …a week into normality and I’m still so very very tired but I’m happy …

my heart is happy and my soul bursting with so many wonderful thoughts ….

I found me up in the north . ..

me and my other faithful one at the finish of corrieshalloch gorge . 

I found me up on the wings of that golden eagle…

I found me in the arms of my husband under a million stars….

I found me …

I was just a little bit lost for a while …..maybe not lost just on a B road that I thought was oneway …..

Scotland taught me so much …..

And I am eternally grateful. …..❤❤❤

Inverness…  Lochcarron… Bealach Na Ba… Applecross …Sheildaig…  Torridon… Gairloch …Poolewe…Gruinard bay… Annat bay… Ullapool… Falls of measach at Corrieshalloch gorge …. Achmelvich… Point of Stoer… Scourie… Kinlochbervie… Sandwood bay… Cape wrath… Durness…  Balnekeil craft village…  Sango bay… smoo caves… Loch Hope…  Kyle of Tongue… Bettyhill … Strathy point… Melvich… Scrabster… Thurso …Dunnet…  Dunnet head… John o groats… duncansby stacks and head…  Wick… Lybster… Berridale… Brora…  Dunrobin castle… Bonar bridge… Falls of shin… Tarbetness lighthouse Portmahomack…  munlochy Clootie well… and  the Fairy pools near inverness…..what a wonderfully full trip …..

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2 thoughts on “2030 Miles to Scotland and home again …are you coming with me on this visual diary of wonder ….

  1. Loving your beautiful writing and photos. Life is short and you have reminded me of the importance of taking time to embrace it, thank you.


    1. Thankyou sharon enjoy the blogs still to come …big kisses xxx


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