How to do you get back in the saddle again?
When you’ve dropped the ball, fallen off your horse or bike, gone into hiding, or, more to the point, let go of tasks that were part of your routine because life interfered, how do you get started again?
That’s what I’m asking myself this Saturday morning.
My weekly blog postings came to a halt at the beginning of April when I went off to the London Book Fair.
Although I had great intentions, my determination to write and post weekly was easily whipped aside by the attractions of London (meetings with clients; visits to the British Museum, a Chinese acupuncturist and a Chinese foot masseuse; shopping at Selfridges and House of Frazer; a night at the Queen’s Theatre for Les Miserables; tea, scones and clotted cream at the Sloan Club; walks through Kensington Gardens and St. James Park, etc.) and Scotland.
Oh, Scotland! My leisurely week started with the overnight train (The Caledonian Sleeper) from London to Inverness. Though charming, and something I’d do again, The Sleeper didn’t lead to much sleep. I arose at dawn so I could catch the scenery for the last two hours of the trip. Some bumbling around in Inverness to pick up a rental car and find my way north for a client meeting (three times ’round the round-about was all I needed to figure out the signs were in English and Gaelic and that I needed to focus only on the white lettering.) By noon I headed south for what became a completely unrelaxing drive along Loch Ness and into the highlands towards The Isle of Skye.
Teeny car. Steering wheel on the right. Remember to shift gears with the left hand. A new mantra: “Drive on the left. Drive on the left. Drive on the left.” All that, plus narrow, winding roads combined with the impossibly gorgeous scenery to create a most frustrating day. On the advice of someone I met along the way, I detoured to visit the small coastal village of Plockton, about twenty minutes before Kyle of Lochalsh and the bridge to Skye, my destination that evening.
I arrived in Plockton around four in the afternoon with the intention of taking tea. Parked my little red car on the main road and walked around a bit. My body started to release all the built-up tension from the long day of driving and I was caught in the enchantment of tiny little Plockton. After a few misses, I found a bed and breakfast with a room available, just two doors from where I’d parked my car. An Caladh B&B. The resting place on the shore. This will do, thought I.
And I stayed for three days.
Little Plockton is known as the prettiest village in all of Great Britain. I wouldn’t argue with that assessment. A spectacular walk on the promontory led to fairylands of moss-covered boulders, a rock throne fit for a queen that was surrounded by tall Scotch pines and faced east to Loch Carron, and meadows and ponds and a stone-covered beach at the Loch’s edge.
A short boat ride with Calum Mackenzie provided seal sightings on nearby islands as well as a chance to see Plockton’s entire waterfront with the Isle of Skye’s snow-covered Cuillin mountains in the background.
Plus I got to meet Fiona Mackenzie, lovely daughter of the captain and first mate on our cruise. Fiona is an opera singer who heads home to Plockton whenever she can. Plockton is home to a national music academy for high school students and the local Plockton Inn pub offers outstanding traditional entertainment on a regular basis.
Food was wonderful at each of the three main restaurants in town but I particularly liked Plockton Shores. After my third visit, one of the waitresses confessed to me that she’d told the cook I was a restaurant inspector – not sure if that meant I received better service than most, but everything I ate was delicious.
Finally, I simply had to leave Plockton. I had a commitment in Perth.
But Plockton captured my heart so much that I – one who abhors cold winter weather – I have actually considered the possibility of spending a winter there!
After all, Bob and I need someplace to go in November when we leave our current care-taking situation here in the jungle in Tulum, Mexico. Who knows?
So, folks, there you have the beginnings of my weekly blog posting again. Let’s tag this one in the memoir category – it fits into my memoirs anyway. And it’s an example of one of the techniques I talk about in my course, Memoir Writing Made Easy – just start writing and see where the writing takes you. That’s what I did this Saturday morning, and we got all the way to lovely Plockton. Also, check out our newest online coaching program, Aspiring Author to Published Pro.