I have been wallowing in nostalgia these last few days. My golfing pilgrimage to the far north, eighteen months in the writing and nowhere near finished, has reached Applecross, a detour on the way to the delights of Gairloch’s nine holes squeezed between mountain and sea. Thanks to Monty Halls, everyone has now heard of Applecross – I am thinking of printing a T shirt – I was here before Monty. Long before, in 1973 and many times since.
During the writing of this book I have several times concluded that it is near impossible to convey the majesty of landscape in words, there is simply no substitute for being there; I can only recommend that you go see for yourself. My passion for this isolated corner of the world can be best explained by the following short facts. Firstly, it feels like an achievement just getting there, combined with a strong sense of arrival as you coast down into the village. Secondly, the sun always shines on Applecross, no matter what is happening elsewhere – it was shining when I first went there in 1973 and whenever I return, it is shining still. Thirdly, it always feels wonderfully removed from the world and I immediately start drawing up plans to relocate. Finally, the landscape and the light are beyond words – see above. Just to prove my credentials I dug out this ancient photo of my first drive up and down Bealach na Bà (The Pass of the Cattle) in an 18cwt Bedford CF, from the days when this was the only route in and out. What I like most about this picture is something I don’t remember noticing before; rubbed in the dust on the back door is the word Expedition – there is only one door in the picture so the type of expedition remains a mystery.
Then I became distracted and started scanning some more. In an earlier post from Ullapool I referred to this sunset. Originally taken on 35mm Kodacolor, developed/printed/mashed by Boots the Chemist, stored in the loft for years on end, it has been scanned from the original negative and subjected to Photoshop CS. The colour may be ‘enhanced’ but that watery light is the genuine article.