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  • Monique Sliedrecht

Some Time Away

Updated: Jun 23


Photo by Tze Seeto



We’ve just passed the longest day of the year, the solstice of summer. I did not manage to stay up to watch the sun set though. Generally speaking, it hardly sets here in these days anyway. In past occasions of staying up long enough and if the skies were working in our favour, I seem to recall the sun simply moving along the horizon to rise again!

I remember when I first experienced the midnight sun in St. Petersburg in Russia. It was the strangest experience to see people walking around, chatting and laughing at 3 am in a sort of half light as though it was the middle of the day!

Here it is just as remarkable, but without all the people and buzz of city life. It is amazing to have these long days in the north of Scotland, where 10 pm feels like 5pm. I’m waiting to light that bonfire on the beach at the right moment when friends and visitors are able to join and the sun is shining brightly close to midnight.

I just got back from a trip to some western islands and promised in my recent newsletter that I would post a few more photos of that time in my next blog post, so here we are!




There was a photographer on the island who was working on a documentary film. He took some amazing shots.













Rather than write about it too much, I will share some photographic impressions…




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The first stop was Inch Kenneth, a special island owned by friends. While the journey across from Mull was pretty wet and rough in the little boat, the weather turned the following morning and we enjoyed some uniquely sunny days on the historic island, along with lovely walks and talks.


I stayed in a room on the top level, which was apparently Lady Redesdale's room at the time when the Mitford family owned Inch Kenneth.



The surroundings are stunning.




Photo by Tze Seeto








Photo by Tze Seeto



And the hospitality was amazing. We enjoyed a lovely birthday celebration one evening for our friend, Martin, in an upstairs room of the house. Friends from across the Sound came over on the boat to join us.


Photo by Tze Seeto



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At one point they needed to get some of the cows off of the island. That is a feat in itself!

But with smooth seas came smooth sailing.






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On a clear day you can see Iona from the island. It's the long island on the left in this photo.

That was to be our next stop after Inch Kenneth.



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The final evening we made a last minute decision to walk up to one end of the island to see the sunset.




Photo by Tze Seeto

It was so worth it, despite our tiredness. Afterwards we rushed back to clean and pack before our early morning departure.



The beauty I met on that early morning was breathtaking. I got up before the others and went out to drink in the light and stillness.







Soon it was time to leave. In contrast to the first journey over to the small island, the morning we departed was smooth and dry.







We said our goodbyes to that special place.




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Our next stop was Iona, which was equally enchanting and yet so different from Inch Kenneth.






It was special to spend a couple of days in this place - a week after the feast day of St. Columba and exactly 1500 years since his birth!


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An I mo chridhe, I mo ghraidh.

In Iona that is my heart's desire, Iona that is my love.


- St. Columba of Iona -


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Thanks for taking the time to read and look!

If you would like to receive my newsletter which I send every fortnight, please subscribe or respond to this post with your email address.

Monique x












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