I've just come back from Moniack Mhor, north of Inverness, where I've been 'Singing Over the Bones - Women Writing from the Wild'. A week of silence, no computers, blogging or mobile phones and a lot of landscape!
This was my room - like a monastic cell, but with central heating -
my writing table
with views of this -
The object of the week was to explore our relationship with our own wild selves as well as the landscape. We spent as much time as we could out in it, despite a scouring wind that howled round the house for 3 days and nights, and brought rain and snow. It's amazing what you see when you go out and really look. I spent some of my time in the woods - forestry plantations, not remnants of the original Caledonian Forest, and sadly lacking in the kind of bio-diversity that old forests possess. But with the kind of mysterious beauty that all woodlands have.
Despite the wind, the wood anemones were just beginning to open out in sheltered places
and there were trees like this
and rocks like landscapes in themselves.
All of which we talked about and wrote about round the big table at Moniack (with biscuits!).
There were eleven of us and we were all very different - ages and backgrounds and disciplines, but all passionate about the environment. From the beginning it was going to be a very interesting week! Which way did it go?
It was a week full of wonderful surprises, which I'll talk about in a couple of days.
'Singing Over the Bones - Women Writing the Wild' was being run by Sharon Blackie, writer, story-teller, editor of Earthlines and Two Ravens Press, and Roselle Angwin, poet, novelist and mentor.