I took a wee trip to Cairnbulg. And also Inverallochy, as the two fishing villages are joined together. I drove myself, a major milestone in the healing process (see posts about illness here and here).
The library had some lovely signs up, written in the Doric, the Scots language as spoken in the northeast of Scotland. They were fairly simple, but I will translate under the pictures.
My favourite was the one that separated the adult books from the junior section.
There’s a vaguely Pictish feel to the statue outside the library.
After perusing the books and signs, I drove down to the beach.
I had forgotten how beautiful the rugged and rocky nature of the coast at the bottom of the village was.
I just had to walk down onto the beach. Another ‘blue mind‘ moment!
The memorial below commemorates all those who have been lost at sea from the community.
Haste Ye Back!
And lastly, probably needing no translation, but I will anyway, Haste Ye Back! To the blog as well as the library…
Set in 1st century Scotland, my latest novel, SISTERS AT THE EDGE OF THE WORLD, includes the battle of Mons Graupius between the Romans and the Caledonian tribes. The book features a neurodivergent main character and some rather complicated romance!
Set in an Aberdeenshire castle, THE MERMAID AND THE BEAR features the Scottish witchcraft accusations, a handsome Laird, an ancient stone circle and a love story.
FIREFLIES AND CHOCOLATE was inspired by the 18th century kidnapped children of Aberdeen and is set in both Scotland and Colonial Pennsylvania.
The term ‘blue mind’ describes the mild meditative state that we enter when in or close to natural bodies of water. It was coined by marine biologist Dr. Wallace J. Nichols. He wrote a book on the subject and did a Ted Talk too:
So ‘blue mind’ in mind, and encouraged by my wee trip to Rosehearty Harbour last week, I ventured out again. Travelling slightly further this time, I arrived at New Aberdour beach where everything was blue, blue, blue…
Blue Mind to Pink Rocks
Feet bare, I sat on the pink rocks and stared out to sea.
I saw stones and pools and pink, lots of pink everywhere.
I am just looking at the soft shapes of land, and the hard shapes of rock, as they drop away into the sea. No in-between places up on top here. No beach, no marsh. Here the space between life and death is painted clear. You could be walking on grass one moment and dead on the rocks the next. This is a place of instant transition from one state to another.
I recently explored Tarlair open air swimming pool with my husband and children. Despite having fallen into serious disrepair over the years, it retains a certain beauty, and is evocative – for me anyway – of times past.
Tarlair in memory
It was the scene of many halcyon days one summer. I was fifteen, and due to head off to dance school in London that September. I recall lying on the grass in the sun, messing around in the boating pool, buying sweets from the shop and chatting with friends. The hazy, golden hue of these bright points in memory is augmented by the nature of other events from that time.
There was a face off with the girl who used to beat me up in primary school. There was an abusive incident with an older family member. He was much respected, and I didn’t feel able to tell anyone. An older boy grabbed me on a bus and kissed and bit my neck. Actually that’s not a dark memory. Non-consensual and unexpected as it was, I found it rather exciting at the time.
There were other daily disappointments, but it can be bitter to dwell too deeply. Some things are over when they’re finally over, and they are now.
But Tarlair remains bright, both as it is now, and as it appears in my nostalgic image of the past. Four girls on the brink of being women laughed together and talked of their hopes for the future. We swam in the water of the North Sea with all our clothes on, and got changed in the only one of our homes that was free from adult disapproval. We ate chocolate in an abandoned campervan. White Russians were enjoyed in a local nightclub where no one questioned our age; hangovers were revelled in the next day by the pool.
None of our lives turned out quite how we envisaged. We trailed away from those teenage maps we drew for ourselves that summer. We’ve all tasted despair but known great joy too. Maybe we couldn’t have had one without the other.
Tarlair is being restored. I look forward to making new memories there soon.
Below: looking out to the wider ocean through the Needle’s Eye, a rock formation beside Tarlair.
My Books, set mostly in Aberdeenshire
The latest novel, SISTERS AT THE EDGE OF THE WORLD, released September 21st in both kindle and paperback. It features Romans, Celts, romance, a neurodivergent main character and the Battle of Mons Graupius.
Privacy & Cookies Policy
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.