... think of the north of Scotland as a single one hundred mile hill with Inverness at sea level to its eastern extremity and Gairloch at sea level to the west. Achnasheen is in the middle, right on the summit, a tiny settlement but one of many memories for those who journey across the Highlands. There used to be a small hotel here, close by the single track railway station. It burned down a long while since and has never been rebuilt, although of course there's still the Ledgowan Lodge Hotel just outside the village - a much finer, grander old establishment.

When we came up to holiday on the west coast and needed something unobtainable locally Dee used to journey across to Inverness and back on the once a day bus service. When the halfway point was reached driver, passengers and all would pile into the hotel bar for a warming cup or a glass of something before resuming the trip, suitably refreshed. I'm not sure there was acrually any community singing on board but there was surely plenty of the craic! ('craic' equals 'conversation' to those uninitiated in that favoured activity of Highlands of Scotland folk.)

For some long while I have wanted to paint a picture of Achnasheen but, in spite of several purposely undertaken tours of the place, could never find the elements of a composition that might hope to say what I wanted it to say. Locals to the rescue again! Thanks Jim and thankyou Laura for your photos. Thankyou, Gill, for your topographical guidance. This is the finished work. Yes, considerable transpositioning of some things and of some perspectives, but for me it is lovely, remote Achnasheen in wintertime. Hope you like it.

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