Aunt Julia

I imagine this blackhouse belonging to Aunt Julia, she was buckets and water flouncing into them, she was winds pouring wetly round house-ends.  I keep bumping into her, this time in the prologue to Robert MacFarlane’s LandMarks – The Poet Norman MacCaig commended the ‘seagull voice’ of his Aunt Julia, who lived her long life on the Isle of Harris, so embedded in her terrain that she came to think with and speak in its creatures and climate. 

In truth, this blackhouse is on the western coast of North Uist, a place Aunt Julia conceivably never visited, so embedded was she on Harris.  I would never leave either, not with a challenging 9 holes nearby. On the road south to the ferry at Leverburgh, the Isle of Harris Golf Course at Scarista clings to the edge of the world, the pins straining against strong westerlies, the flags always horizontal.  My window of opportunity to play the course was blighted with hail storms and excessive winds – this image was taken the next day in a rush for the CalMac crossing to Berneray .  I must therefore return, there is much outstanding research for Golf in the Wild – Coming Home.

The Isle of Harris Golf Course ...


  1. restlessjo · May 11, 2016

    The hell with the golf! Isn’t it beautiful? Sorry Robin-I realise I just committed sacrilege.

    • northumbrianlight · May 11, 2016

      Nowhere better (when the sun shines), Jo. Sorry I have not seen your posts lately – not just yours but everyone’s. I have been a bit distracted by other things for a while. Hope all is well with you and yours.

      • restlessjo · May 11, 2016

        Hope that’s good distraction Robin? Heading back from Poland tomorrow.

      • northumbrianlight · May 12, 2016

        Nothing untoward, Jo – all self-inflicted busy-ness. Have a good trip home – tropical over here at the moment 😉

  2. Sue · May 11, 2016

    I’m on Jo’s page re: golf…. I recall visiting a black house…shockingly I don’t recall whether Uist or Harris…..but an amazing place, still imbued with the scent of the past……

    • northumbrianlight · May 11, 2016

      I can only recommend reading Golf in the Wild, Sue – “golf Jim, but not as we know it” 🙂

  3. Joy Timmer · May 11, 2016

    Gorgeous photo of the house

  4. Cate Franklyn · May 11, 2016

    Doncha just hate it when Mother Nature plays games? Great shots and post.

  5. LaVagabonde · May 12, 2016

    Sorry to hear about your thwarted golf opportunity. That totally looks like a Robin Down golf course. 😀 The blackhouse is so cute. It would make a cozy summer cottage.

    • northumbrianlight · May 12, 2016

      Definitely one for the sequel, Julie. I half suspect the blackhouse is exactly that, a holiday home.

  6. easyweimaraner · May 12, 2016

    I would love to live there… and I would love to play golf there…I could blame all my failures on the wind :o)

    • northumbrianlight · May 12, 2016

      And there would be plenty of opportunity for blame I fear – I suspect windless days are few and far between 😦

  7. MJF Images · May 28, 2016

    Very cool subject Robin!

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