Wild Women #2

Although I don’t consider myself a christian in the traditional sense any more, I have a few incredible friends who humble me with their faith and spirituality.
Continuing my series in honour of the wild women in my life, may I introduce you to Grace and Klara.
hearts
Grace
Grace is a yarn-lover, a giver, a warrior.  Grace and I first met when Eldest was an energetic, bouncy-ball of a two year old!  We knew in an instant that we were going to be friends.  She continues to love me, my girls and my man with a depth that just astonishes me.  She is funny and wry and has the most beautiful mahogany brown eyes.
Grace walks with suffering.  Her body is limited but her hope is limitless.  She weaves kindness into every stitch of her crochet or knitting.  When we sit together and share lunch (soup, of course) she never fails to ask all about the little details of how the girls are doing.  I feel so loved when I spend time with Grace, and she brings a peace with her that’s hard to fully put into words.
I am so glad that in leaving the church I didn’t lose Grace.
Capiz-Shell-Chandelier
Klara
Klara is an artist, a lover of tea and beautiful fairy cakes, a pioneer.  For me, she is the epitome of an adventurer – both in her work for which she travels all around Europe, and in her life as an artist.
Over the years Klara and I have prayed and talked deeply.  We have eaten the most delicious pizza.  We have shared with each other our wildest hopes and dreams.   Even though Klara now lives in another country, I will always picture us in her bijou terraced house sharing tea in china cups.  There will be rose-scented icing on tiny cakes.  There will be flowers artfully arranged on the table and I will sit and admire the most beautiful iridescent capiz shell chandelier.
Klara rides a red bike, she paints, she writes, she loves.  When we speak on the phone it’s like we are just there, sitting under the shell lampshade and delighting in our friendship.  I still miss spending time in that bijou little home, but our conversations never fail to leave me exhilarated and ready for the next adventure.

Wild swim Skye

It’s taken a little perseverance, local recommendations and an OS map to find swim spots on the beautiful Isle of Skye. Much of the land is fenced off – even by the coastline, and there are very few marked footpaths.

The payoff for our research has been incredible though!

Snorkelling off Colbost jetty revealed a world of vibrant seaweed and iridescent fish darting about.

A hack through fields found us on Milovaig beach where, on honeymoon 19 years ago, we had combed the beach for sea glass and Victorian pottery. This time we lit a fire, toasted marshmallows and enjoyed the company of an inquisitive seal while Eldest and I swam. We found huge purple-blue lobster shells – Little One calls them ‘lompsters’, I hope she never grows out of pronouncing them that way!

The crowds visiting Coral Beach faded away as we took to the water, bright turquoise and clear as glass even under wild grey skies. Tiny fragments of shells and white coral peppered our feet as we rushed to get our clothes back on in the wind.

Potholes like craters bumped us along the road to Ramasaig. We asked the farmer if we could climb a couple of his gates and a boggy squelch downstream rewarded us with a waterfall and pool right by the sea.

We picnicked on a flat rock looking out into the bay, warmed by the sun. In the waterfall we scrambled up to ledges and let the rust-coloured peaty waters tumble over us. I found a natural jaccuzi for a bracing pummel of cold water.

However, we wouldn’t recommend a swim in the bay here! Eldest and I were thoroughly freaked out by the dense forest of leathery seaweed just below the surface, and the rough scramble over barnacle-encrusted rocks was pretty treacherous.

We decided to give the summer crowds of the Fairy Pools a miss but it’s on the list for an out-of-season return trip. I would imagine in October or February it is indeed “Baltic” – to quote a local vlogger

Thanks to a tip-off from the vlog above, my final swim on Skye was a magical skinny dip in a thundering waterfall – there was even a ledge to jump from the edge of the pool into the falls. There’s nothing quite like the feel of river water on your skin, and the softness of your hair as it dries after a waterfall shower. I kid you not, it’s a mere ten minute walk from the Sligachan bridge which swarms with day-trippers getting their photo shot of the Cuillins! After walking a hundred yards from the bridge, we met no-one else on the path.

Instagrammers of Skye, thank you for sticking to the well-worn path and allowing the wilds to remain wild!

Long may it stay that way…

Swimming

Flat, still sea blends softly into the horizon

Tingling hands, catching breath

Coolness and deep surround

The sea, the sky, and I
Run gasping into the breaker spray

Full of power the sea pulls us

Tumble of white

Icy cold exhilaration
Skin pricked with goosebumps

Delicious salt-sting as I pat with my towel

Quickly into my down jacket

Smoothed stones & hot mint tea

Give thanks to the sea