Not so Tranquil today…….

Disc One

This is Scourie Bay when last visited in the summer.  Today it will be far from tranquil.  Whilst storms are lashing the whole of the U.K. the very North West of Scotland seems to be getting battered the worst.  The Met Office tells us that a very deep depression is centred possibly just above Scourie with cyclonic winds of over 90 mph predicted plus of course heavy rains and some snow.

It is always hard to balance in ones mind the calm peaceful ambience of a place with the toil and turmoil of a winters storm…….whilst it is easy to say that they are used to winter storms on the North West coast of Scotland, it makes them no less dramatic or dangerous for those living there.

Location: Scourie Bay, Scourie, North West Sutherland, Highland Region, Scotland.  Whilst  Scourie is now considered just another small West Coast village, all be it one of the most beautiful, it was once the stronghold of Clan Mackay a fighting clan of some historic significance and distinction.

23rd December

© David Oakes 2013


Wood ……….for Trees

A New Year approaches so it is that time of year when the papers, magazines and T.V. are full of diet and exercise advice that they assume we ALL need. There is of course another favourite topic that again we All are supposed to address….that is the matter of making New Year Resolutions.

I have an intense dislike for the so called making of these ‘resolutions’, resolutions, that as far as I can judge, most folk don’t keep to for very long.  But I do admit that I do have a maintain a particular habit at this time of year to tackle three specific tasks.  So lets start…..

We have a saying

‘That you cannot see the wood……..CARRON TORRIDON













                                                                      ……………For the trees’












So the first task is to clear all those small  (and not so small) piles of papers and books that you tend to acquire on and around the desk, papers that were not important enough to action when received but important enough to save for another day…a day, a week, a month then a year…..until you forgot they were there.  For the most part you I tend to find the trash can the most useful piece of equipment.

The second task takes a little longer and is perhaps more vital.  I do try to keep my hard drives and back up drives in order, images, features, letters, invoices all in neat files.  None the less I still have, for want of a better phrase, some loose ends on the hard drives that need proper homes.  So I always spend time between Christmas and New Year doing just that.  Yep, sometimes there is the odd surprise but mostly it helps to start my third task.

At this point I should say that the the third task is not really a task at all but the rather enjoyable task of planning the coming years trip locations and digging through the hard drives jogs the brain cells into overdrive. 

But looking again at these images has ensured that Scotland will be top of the list for at least two trips this year…






































Disc One












Disc One















The Mountains, Sea, Castles and Lochs of the Highlands and their coastline have a magical draw and no doubt we will see a few trees and no doubt some wood! 

In the meantime its back to the clear up….I might be some time.



I Wish I was There……………….…(8)

As one of my Favourite Places I have selected as No.8 a location as much for its ambience as its physical attractions. The ambience is one that I love….there are few things better in life than walking along the tide line as the sea breaks on the shore beside you…..The other attraction is the shear beauty of the broad sweeping bay, backed by dunes and with bookends of headland at either end.  Often busy being popular with tourists but also can be a bay of tranquillity…..


On this particular evening the waves rolled fast, but gently, each a long line that gently folded under itself as it approached the shore.  The smell of seasalt hung in the breeze and gulls called above.  The headland above is knows as Worms Head and juts out into Rhossilii Bay.  It had been a sunny day with occasional cloud and just as I thought we would enjoy a real sunset the clouds came in again, only this time much thicker, so we made the most of what we were blessed with and secured a warm evening shot instead.

Worms Head is a fascinating headland. At low tide you can walk (or rather scramble) out to the end, so I guess some might call it an island. The trick is to head out just as the tide falls so that you can have maximum time to explore before the incoming tides isolates Worms Head once again….


As the tide recedes an inclined rocky out crop is revealed.  The first part of the causeway is hard going underfoot but gives way to a grass topped walk to what you think is the end, crossing on the walk the appropriately named Devils Bridge, an arch through which heavy seas crash. But there is still a surprise as when you think that you are about to reach the end you come across a final obstacle, another scramble, before you can truly say you have been to the tip of the Worms Head.  A scramble but well worth the effort.

Whilst the east side of Worms Head is rocky and rugged the west side gives way to that wide and very long sandy beach, a beach backed by sand dunes and a great place to end the day with some quiet reflections….even though the promised sunset never materialised!

Rhossilii Bay-054 Rhossilii Beach and Bay with Worms Head beyond


The Broad sweep of Rhossilii Bay from the Headland

Worms Head and Rhossilii are at the tip of the Gower Peninsular South Wales. The Gower being an area rich in both modern and ancient history and natural beauty.


Map picture

23 August