Friday, 5 March 2010


If you, like me, thought that writing an internationally acclaimed bestseller was a pretty straightforward business (and let's be honest, when you see some of the toot that flies off the shelves it's not an entirely unreasonable assumption) then I'd have to advise you to think again. I've been hard at it since about Tuesday and frankly I think I've entirely exhausted my creative resources. Yesterday I got so frustrated that I gave up around mid-afternoon, started reading a book about Vikings, and then got fed up with that and watched the entire first series of The Thick of It instead.
This afternoon I'm off to Scotland to go walking - a change is as good as a rest.
I'll be seeking to relight my fire on Islay, the island they call the 'Queen of the Hebrides'.
Here are some interesting things you might not know about Islay (ripped from wikipedia, of course):
1 Islay is the fifth largest Scottish island.
2 Islay is full of nature.
3 I'm looking forward to seeing sea eagles, golden eagles, puffins, hen harriers and oystercatchers.
4 I'm also looking forward to seeing seals and sea otters, but hoping I don't see any adders or wildcats because some kinds of nature I don't respond well to.
5 Scotland's first wave power station is based on Islay. It is pioneering.
6 Glenn Campbell grew up on Islay - but not the Glenn Campbell you and I were thinking of.
7 There are, so I'm told, eight distilleries on the island; that's roughly one distillery for every 375 inhabitants.
8 Apparently one of the distilleries produces a whisky by the name of Laphroaig.
More tomorrow, probably.


  1. Another distillery produces a whisky called Lagavulin. It costs a fortune though: Anything from £40 to £868 a bottle!

  2. DOes this mean we can expect better quality communion wine at All Saints? :-)


  3. Enjoy the Belhaven and get writing!

    The Archdeacon

  4. Hi Stewart,

    Oh you are off again. Remember the Sarah and Abraham story? Watch out for the God of surprises who might show up in one way, shape or form at every moment. I once used that idea while on a driving trip across America and kept a journal that could still be turned in to a book.

    I was going to invite you to lunch today to meet an Episcopal priest friend who is visiting from LA and who is preaching at St. Andrew's, Romford tomorrow, but you'd need the Concorde to get here.

    All the best with the God of surprises.


  5. Michael.
    Stuart would need a miracle, not Concorde. Concorde no longer flies! Pity . . .