Such stuff as dreams are made on ...

This is a recently dashed off painting depicting the  view over Loch Ewe from Kirkhill House's front porch - aka my studio. It's the smallest picture I've painted in oils to date - canvas about 20 x 16 cm.

What's missing is the NATO pier, jutting out into the Loch behind the nearside headland. I feel no compulsion to paint that which is ugly. The hillside immediaterly above that pier was hollowed out decades ago to hold a huge reservoir of oil, sufficient to fuel the fleet presumably. Why, who knows? Very seldom indeed are we entertained to a view of any warship drinking its fill. Ours not to reason etc ... last I heard the only enemy liable to fancy invading the UK is going to be armed with Stanley knives and the Koran rather than any ships of the line.

When Dee was well - last summer, 'though it seems a lifetime ago - we walked along this lochside to the Nato pier practically every lunchtime, rain or shine. There we sat on the remains of an old WW2 gun emplacement, partaking of our sandwiches, flasks of coffee or soup, perhaps do the Independent crossword, perhaps just watch the panoply of nature mostly in a contented silence.

And so we shall once more when she is better. It's been a long and rocky road since that day in September last when Dee's persistent pain in the back was finally identified as being a grade four lymphomy of the spinal bone marrow. Long? No, not really. You look out over the water to the distant Torridon mountains, reduced and re-shaped by the latest ice age. You see the tides creeping up and down that beach twice daily. We? We are, as Prospero has it, such stuff as dreams are made of ...

Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits, and
Are melted into air, into thin air ...

...We are such stuff
As dreams are made on; and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.

The Tempest Act 4, scene 1, 148–158


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