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Archive for August, 2012

It has been another busy week which has taken me all round Lewis and Harris.

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Beach at Uig

So aiming for a lazy weekend I went down to the Saturday market in Stornoway and picked up some Langoustines from the the fishermen’s cooperative stall with a view to a late lunch on the beach.

To work up a bit of an appetite I took the surfboard and snorkelling gear so that I could have some fun in the sea regardless of the conditions.

On my last swim I was put off a little by the presence of a massive Jellyfish but fortunately the waves were far too big that would allow me to make out any impending danger!

Like last time I was struck by the ferocity of the Gannets diving at fish just a few meters from me. This time I was also joined by seals who seemed delighted to show me how surfing should be done! I tried to get it on video…

…but the best I could manage was a long distance shot of them playing just in front of me.

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Needless to say after the pounding I received in the waves I was ready for some grub. The ‘recipe’ itself is really straightforward; the deliciousness comes from fresh ingredients (langoustines, lemon, garlic and parsley) and a good baton of crusty bread.

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Langoustines on the beach

Ingredients:

10 langoustines tails per person
Enough olive oil to cover the base of a frying pan
The juice from half a lemon
A bunch of flat-leaf parsley
30g Butter
2 cloves of garlic (thinly sliced)
Your favourite crusty baguette

1 Uninterrupted sea view (diving Gannets optional)

The procedure is summarised in the video below but with the following change- let the oil heat up for a bit longer before adding langoustines…I had to rush things a little as my camera was threatening to run out of battery.

It was delicious! The langoustines were melt in your mouth and the lemon and parsley freshened up what could have been an overly rich sauce.

Being up here now you are constantly confronted with aspects of Scottish heritage and tradition and as such I have been reflecting on my own. I remember a Scouts’ trip to Lochgoilhead where amoung the usual rubbish I tended to pick up at the souvenir shop I brought back an Urquhart clan bookmark, which had the following Coat of Arms:

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Urquhart Coat of Arms

The clan motto is “Meane weil, speak weil and do weil” or more contemporaneously “Mean well, speak well and do well” and I think it captures quite succinctly how I would aspire to live. But, as I munched down on the buttery langoustines, I thought how traditions move on and how successive generations influence and alter heritage somewhat. Given my own family upbringing and traditions I think it is time a fourth strand was added to our motto…

“eet weil”

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Arrival!

With the Internet finally up and running (wish I had my own Dan S!) I thought I put up the first of many posts on my new life in the Hebrides. It was an epic journey up from Cambridgeshire made a lot easier by stop-offs at Darwen and Maybole but made considerably more difficult by over-indulging at Jenna and Dom’s wedding.

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Last day in Chatteris

Once past Glasgow the scenery was fantastic. On the way up to Skye to get the ferry there were plenty of stops for photos…

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The new car waiting to enter Glencoe

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About an hour from Skye

Arriving late on Sunday meant everything was closed…except the Chinese takeaway! Not the ideal start to healthy and wholesome living. Thankfully the Monday was a bank holiday here and so I could get out and explore a little.

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The next few days was spent working and exploring Stornoway.

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Stornoway Harbour from Lews Castle grounds/em>;;;;

I was delighted to find that a great Salmon and Sea Trout river was five minutes from my door!

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Salmon pool on the Creed

What was also amazing was the newfound ability to throw some bits and bobs in the car and after a short drive be dining in style.

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The beach at Gress

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Still getting round to eating healthily, overlooking the Minch

I found myself getting to the end of the working day feeling a bit like a boy in a sweet shop with everything I love doing on my doorstep. Last week was my first trip down to the Uists, Benbecula and Barra.

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The flight from Stornoway to Benbecula only took 30 minutes and I was greeted with some of the most beautiful views I have ever seen…

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Horses in the Machair

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Beach on the East coast of South Uist

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One of the 400 photos I took on the first evening in the Uists

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South Uist Sunset

I also managed to get some fishing in while I was down. At certain times the Lochs get an influx of sea life (shrimp, little crabs) which bring out Slob Trout. Unfortunately they didn’t take me fly but the views more than compensated!

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straight from work…shirt still on!

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Stunning

The drive back to the hotel (empty handed) was perhaps the slowest I have ever driven…must keep eyes on the road!

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Benbecula Sunset

After getting back on Thursday I managed to fish each night and took in a brisk walk this morning.

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