I spent a lovely few days on the west coast of Scotland, in an attempt to re-trace my baby steps. I spent about 18 months living on a small island when I was a baby. It was the place I learned to walk; my first ‘shoes’ were little red wellies.
As I have no recollection, and my father is no longer here to ask for details I had very little to go on. Infact, all I have is a small photo of myself and 3 siblings standing next to an old Citroen and a stone building. This photo was taken 45 year ago. My eldest sibling, who was 10 at the time we left the island, was keen for me to take photographs and report back my discoveries. She has more of a memory of this time of our lives than me, having attended the small island primary school (and was taught in gaelic) and remembers the shop, the school and the ferries.
I took a few photos of the buildings in the areas on the map with the correct names but none are bringing back memories for her, infact she thought our house was at the end of a long dirt track. I did have to point out that 45 years ago, before roads were upgraded to tarmac, probably all the roads on the island were dirt tracks!
The day we spent on the island was one of the wettest days they had experienced for weeks, or months. The island was experiencing a drought and the rain was much welcomed. We were the only two people on the morning ferry, with our bicycles, and the ferry man said he wasn’t expecting a busy day given the forecast.
I thoroughly enjoyed my cycle around the island, but I can honestly say I could not have been more soaked through! It wasn’t cold rain though, probably about 16 degrees, and the cycling was exhilarating, and the exploring and trying to find old places was exciting.
By the time we got back to the ferry point and had to wait for the ferry to come across from the mainland, I was soaked but happy. It really was a good day.