When we think of our childhoods we think of sunny summers, snowy winters, sandy beaches and laughter at every turn. Was it really like this or does your mind just play tricks us as we get older? This is why it can be really dangerous to relive your memories as the reality is never as good as the warm fuzzy feeling that you get when you look back. We like living dangerously on Ruffian and so it was down the dangerous twists and turns memory lane that we were going, with Fiona, with a visit to Ard Nam Buth in Loch nan Uamh, the sound or Arisaig.
The sun shone as it always seems to for us in Scotland and we had a blistering, in more ways than one, sail around Ardnamurchan point into the sound of Arisaig. At the top of the loch was a holiday home where Fiona spent many a happy summer. As we headed towards its location where a viaduct crowns the loch head there was no stirrings in Fiona's mind. Then like a rising sun in the morning mist into view came her old holiday home and the memories flooded back as if a dam had just been opened.
To the side of the house, under the trees was where Fiona cooked mackerel caught by her and her father John in their Wayfarer (they weren't allowed in the house for fear of making the kitchen smell fishy). The steps to the foreshore, the fairysteps, were still in place and even the old nettie, with it's throne, were all just as she remembered. Memory Lane was proving not to be a dangerous scary place but one full of delight. What would it be like inside and could we even get a glimpse? A tentative knock at the door and we would know the answer.
The door was answered by Willie, the 'new' owner and in a flash he had us inside. Again everything was as Fiona's mind remembered. The meathooks in the porch, where John threatened to hang her and her sisters if they were naughty, ancient cupboards in the dining room, the old keys hanging in the closet, the quaker library and the smell of old books. The torrent of memories came flooding back. This was turning out to be less of a trip down memory lane and more of the entrance to a time machine. The trip to Ard Nan Buth has quite simply been the most worthwhile experience we have had on Ruffian and if you saw the smile on Fiona's face and the glint of a tear in her eye you would agree wholeheartedly.
That evening we sat at anchor by the viaduct, watching the sun set over the sea and after dining outside, chatted into the warm night, about all her fond memories and of how some places change for the better or worse and how some are just perfect as they are.
A blistering sail into the Sound of Arisaig. Surrounded on all sides by mountains and islands.
Sailing in the sun has got to put a big smile on your face.
We were 'bombed' by a tornado. Yes it was that close and that low and that noisy and that awesome.
Fiona at the door of her holiday home. Remaking a picture from 25 years ago.
The house of memories.
A view Fiona remembers so very well.
Sundowners and living the outdoors lifestyle.