Once in a Blue Moon

once-in-a-blue-moon I was looking at this image and wondering about a title when my husband wandered in, looked at the digital art and said: “What are you going to call this? Once in a Blue Moon?”

And I thought: “Spot on, mate!”.

Because I created this piece of digital art from a photo I had of a waterfall at Durness in far north Scotland and, as far as I’m concerned, I would only visit this village again once in a blue moon.

Why? Well, my then boyfriend and I toured Scotland prior to travelling to Australia for a working holiday in 1972 (and I stayed 40+ years!), and as we heading from east to west across the top of Scotland, we decided we’d stop off at Durness.  Except it was so small (got no idea if it’s grown since then) that we almost missed the small sign pointing to what was then a tiny settlement.

We hopped out of our car, freezing in the bitterly cold wind whizzing around our heads, and rushed into the pub we’d tracked down looking for a meal and a warm-up. Well, the meal wasn’t bad, standard pub fare of the time, but all the windows were wide open, the place was absolutely freezing, and all the locals were standing around in heavy-duty sweaters (not even coats, they were impervious to the cold) not taking a bit of notice of the cold wind whistling around the interior of the pub.

We stuffed the food down our throats and were out of that pub like greased lightning and hared off down the road with the car heating turned to the highest possible. There are two times I’ve felt as cold as this since: in early 1978 when we went to China and went out onto an oil field where the temperatures were -27C; and in 2002-3 when we lived in Rosehearty on the north-east coast of Scotland up from Aberdeen and near Fraserburgh, where a bitterly old wind from the Arctic seemed to blow incessantly. When the locals started sunbaking in shorts and singlets at 16C, we looked at each other (we’d moved from sub-tropical Queensland, Australia), said: “We’re outta here” and moved down to the north of England to live!

As it happens, I can see the Old Fae of the falls looking out, protecting the landscape and pouring her energy into revitalising the earth, and I honour her. But no, like I said, I’ll go back to Durness once in a blue moon!

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