Difficult to Choose

BBC Radio Scotland’s Out of Doors programme are currently running a series about “My Favourite Place” and they are asking listeners to submit a piece of writing describing their favourite place.  It got me wondering which place I’d choose as my favourite place, and it would be very difficult.  It would depend on my mood, the weather, the time of year, a whole host of different variables.  I’ve lived in quite a few places including the beautiful Stellenbosch area of South Africa, the very pretty and busy city of Cape Town, a quaint. ever-so-English village in Hampshire, and all of them have their merits and their own beauty.  We have travelled over a fair amount of Scotland, and there are many stunning views that will catch your breath and whisk it away and leave you feeling like you’ve never seen anything more beautiful – until you round the corner and see the next view.  But thinking about the challenge of choosing one place, I decided that for me it comes down to where I feel most comfortable and at home.  And, I’m delighted to say, that is right where I live.

Today was just glorious, and so we took a gentle stroll around the croft which surrounds our house, and it wasn’t hard to see why my final choice was so easy.   It was just a short walk, but there was so much to see and to distract you from the outside world.

Just a few steps from our front gate and you come upon Paisley, now a ruin but you can’t but help wonder who lived here and why they left.  It has unusually curved walls surrounding what was obviously their garden:

Beyond Paisley and up to the top of a small rise you get the incredible view over Stoer Bay.  This view offers a host of colour inspirations, depending on the time of year and the weather conditions, and I could start waxing lyrically about the organic flow of lines of the reeds on the lochan, but I’ll not:

Then turning back on ourselves you come around to the front of our house where the boggy peat holds the promise of a host of yellow irises in the near future:

And against the ruin of the old byre some rhubarb is just starting to poke through the ground, promising a regular supply for rhubarb crumbles:

And close on hand is the little burn where we have seen otters and herons, and of which we make good use at the end of long, muddy walks to wash off wellies and paws.

But if I had to choose one view to take to a desert island, it would be this one:

Because beyond those two rickety, slightly skew gates is the promise of home – my favourite place.

8 comments to Difficult to Choose

  • Oh, what lovely, lovely shots – and I’m not in the slightest bit surprised it’s become your desert island… Sigh… (And the colours, the colours…)

  • Beautiful Helen. Although there is some interesting scenery, sometimes stunning due to limitless skies, near me, it just doesn’t compare to your views.

  • Jill S

    Thank you for giving us more gorgeous photos of Scotland, Helen. I wondered how much of the land around your house actually belongs to you?

  • Anne

    I agree with Lizzi, Helen – you’re an artist with your words!!

  • Pam

    What lovely photos. The view to Stoer Bay is my favourite – stunning shapes and colours! I heard Out of Doors yesterday and, like you, I’ve been wondering about ‘My Favourite Place’ but it’s very difficult to come up with just one place. Perhaps I’ll just have to settle for ‘Scotland’!

  • Lizzi

    Helen, you should send this to Radio Scotland. I know the pictures wouldn’t be shown but the words are beautiful – you paint a lovely picture with them – I was quite moved.

  • Dorothy Stewart

    What a great post and lovely photos. What a lot of colour possibilities there are in them ! No wonder you are so good with colour.
    Having been to those gates and knowing what lies beyond I would agree that that’s the very best photo and would be a winner !
    Glad to know you are feeling better and we have you back with us to chat to !