A few months ago I started doing sketches of mountains. I started off with one of the Snowdon Horseshoe and then moved onto mountains of the Scottish Highlands.
Sketching these mountains brought back memories of climbing up and around them, I found myself writing about them too. They are turning into my stories of mountains. Every hill‐goer or hill‐looker will have their own. I used to think to love them you had to climb them but now I think that was wrong. You don’t need to climb a mountain or even look at a mountain to love it. Just to know it’s there can be enough.
I have chosen the hills of the Scottish Highlands and Islands for these stories because I miss them. This will be the first year in over two decades I have not spent time amongst them, exploring them, looking at them, feeling their grandeur and beauty. In drawing and writing of them I am using memories to return to them. Not the same as being there but reassuring nonetheless.
I started writing thinking I would maybe turn some of these stories into blogs. I have been rubbish about writing these this year. Then I started playing around a bit with digitizing my sketches and using different font types and suddenly I have a page of images and words that I think I will keep adding to in the coming months.
So far 2020 has been a strange and hard year. I think we’re in for more harsh times as far as the pandemic is concerned, a tough winter. It is a small issue in the grand scheme of things that I haven’t been able to get to the Highlands this year but I do miss those mountains and the landscape around them. Instead I’m going to sketch, write and blog about them, and grow this new Mountain Stories webpage into my own, personal and distanced collection of memories and dreams of the Highlands and Islands. Please feel welcome to read them, I’m starting with one of the most far‐away hills ‐ Ben Hope.