Tag Archives: Isle of Skye

Pam Burks: My Heart Belongs to ………. | The Love Of A Good Book

Pam Burks: My Heart Belongs to ………. THE ISLE OF SKYE

Every holiday throughout my childhood, my family would squeeze into our wreck of a car and drive the 250 odd miles to our grandma’s home on the Isle of Skye – birthplace of my dad and his parents and their parents and so on.

Growing up in Edinburgh was brilliant, no question. I’d gangs of friends, played out all day, dodging cars and strange-looking men. I’d climb church roofs with killer drops, clamber to the top of great high oak trees, coming home only when it grew dark. So why did I long for Skye so much?

I’d have sleepless nights beforehand. Ached to get there.

The journey was horrendous, all five passengers taking turns with the sick bag. The roads were windy, bumpy, some of them mere dirt tracks, but as soon as we reached the Kyle of Lochalsh car ferry, I knew I was almost home.

I’d leave the car and breathe deeply, as we made the crossing, absorbing the sweet scent of the peat-burning fires emanating from chimneys of the whitewashed houses dotting the landscape.

We’d arrive at my grandma’s house, late at night. The beds would have been warmed with the stone hot water bottles, a fire would burn in the range. I’d crash out the minute my head hit the pillow and next morning, I’d squint open my eyes and know I was in heaven.

To me, the freedom here seemed even greater. There was only one family living nearby, but they had five kids, so with my three sisters, I’d eight ready-made playmates alongside all the chickens, cats, dogs, sheep and cows.

We’d fish for crabs, go on boat trips to empty the lobster creels and spend hours messing around in the rockpools. We’d wade through peat bogs, stand perilous close to crumbly clifftops and take dips in the cold North sea. Once I had to swim like crazy as a huge fin appeared ten feet from where I was bathing. Turned out to be a harmless basking shark.

I’d follow heather tracks for miles, knock on any door and the householders would usher me inside, clucking away about how they’d known my dad since he was a “wee bairn”.

Last year, I returned with some of my family. Part holiday, part research. I was afraid I’d be disappointed. Our childhood friends had moved away. Some had died. Our family croft and the house I knew as my second home had long since sold. There was now even a bridge to the mainland. Where was the romantic ideal of “over the sea to Skye”?

Wasn’t a great start. I found out that I booked in one of the busiest holiday periods on the island as the Highland Games had just finished. I expected hordes of people, crowded shops and tourist sights, with the capital Portree changed beyond recognition. I was worried we’d be bored.

How surprised I was.

We visited Dunvegan castle, drank in fabulous pubs, danced at ceilidhs (where I was flung around the dancefloor by kilted members of a Chicago Piper band).

We sailed the bay to see white-tailed sea eagles soaring high above us and seals playing in the water.

We walked around the magnificent Cuillin mountains and picnicked beside the Fairy Pools.

Yes there was a bridge, but the ferry still ran. Yes it was busy, but there weren’t the hordes of tourists I expected. Maybe because each passing place on the narrow roads, is its own beauty spot. The scenery was outstanding.

I travelled back as I’d arrived, via the ferry, but no sooner had the boat left shore than I was aching again to return, knowing that I was leaving my home.

My heart belongs there.

Oh wow, I’m still amazed by that shark. Thank you so much for sharing Pam

via Pam Burks: My Heart Belongs to ………. | The Love Of A Good Book.

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BookBitchBlog – 10 Fun and Random Facts…

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BREAKING NEWS FROM THE BOOKBITCH… 

click on link above (title) to read whole guest post, feature and book excerpt.

10 Fun & Random Facts About Author Ellie Campbell (aka Pam Burks and sister Lorraine Campbell)  

1) We are both mad about horses, IMG_1018although Lorraine has three and Pam has none, which is not fair (according to Pam). Lorraine doesn’t mind one bit.

2) Pam grows most of her own vegetables in her allotment. It is in a fab location right next to a lake and a park. She loves nothing more than escaping housework and family, calling up her friend who she shares it with and sitting with her at their picnic table putting the world to rights.

3) Lorraine once worked as a charter cook on a boat in Belize, sailing around the Caribbean. Not a bad job considering she is a hopeless cook.

4) Pam hates cheese and olives. Lorraine loves both.

5) Lorraine is pretending to write, but really she is going on an intensive training course to be a horse trainer.

6) Pam is pretending to write and scolding Lorraine for sneaking off, but really she is sunbathing in the garden and reading other people’s novels.

7) Lorraine once trained to be a healer – in Canada. She’s also done courses in Silva, Psych-K, massage, EFL, and had to bow 3,000 times to get certified as a Dahnhak yoga teacher.

8) Pam once took a ride on cabin 2008 114_2Lorraine’s new young apparently docile horse and got bucked off in spectacular fashion within about three seconds.

9) Both Pam and Lorraine got tossed by cows. Pam in some small village in India and Lorraine on the Isle of Skye, the highlands of Scotland.

10) Both Pam and Lorraine loathe talking about themselves. But they seem to do an awful lot of it these days.

via BookBitchBlog.