37mm x 22.5mm

36.5mm x 22mm

There are whorls in my hair and at the tip of every indefatigable finger. There are whorls hidden in my head, and whorls in the orchid throats of both my ears.  

 

I cannot pretend to know the Ross of Mull intimately, and as of writing I have only been there on four occasions.

 

I have not yet been during a storm, but I would go.  

 

The area from Carsaig Arches to Port Nan Droighan is magical in the true sense of the word, although I have gushed about my feelings for the place and others have not reciprocated, and indeed laughed at my suggestion of it as "otherworldly". 

 

 

It is.  

 

Skittish goats sleep perched on rocks. The cliffs tower in orange. The pearl white beaches and dark lava outcrops. The black stones in the lapping blue water. The epic scale and largely inaccessible nature of these few miles of coast.

 

That said, the span of landfall from Gribun to Burg is perhaps even wilder.

 

       Fern beds (ferns uncoil their own secretive whorls) writhe with basking vipers. Ruins echo with the voices of distant days. The Carsaig Arches themselves, perch precariously. One a great portal that leads one to a lost road into the hungry sea. The other more of a Fingal's keyhole. A slender shelf acting as the approach is grooved with a well worn goat trail. Of course, falling from here will, depending on the moon cycles, either break you in boulders or thrash you in dark waves into a raw assortment of skeletal kindling. Align your horoscope accordingly.  

 

This agate is my favourite Mull stone, the markings are exquisite. More finely banded than the majority of Carsaig stones, and exhibiting a high contrast of colour between the white and dark grey brown whorls.  

 

Witness the white halo of nebulae. Indicative of Mull's mercurial weather. Also, a well worn hemp sea rope. The black nimbus cloud towers twenty miles, glowering over us from behind. 

 

Found during the May of 2015, on a beach east of the aforementioned Arches. In glorious sunshine, and before 10am. I was up before the goats that day, and so rabid with excitement I forgot to drink any water until after lunch. 

 

Mull can enable one to truly travel in time.  Its primordial heart. Its macabre prehistoric habitat. Its dramatically wrought geology. All resplendent. Forceful.  It is of itself, nothing else. Untainted by scurrying men.  I hope, with all my heart and soul that the wild areas in Ardmeanach and the Ross of Mull, and other such places remain this way. Mysterious and difficult. God forbid any notion of "development" or as I would consider it, "sacrilegious mutilation and monumental travesty" 

 

I guess we'll just have to ignore the clattering drifts of plastic bottles that grace the precipitous beaches at Carsaig, and the associated multi-coloured refuse, some of which seems to be rubbish thrown from yachts that frequent the area (hollowed-out Honeydew Melon anyone?) Well, at least that's biodegradable.

 

I tore my trousers right along their middle seam last time I was there. Which created a very revealing, albeit refreshing "arse flap". I think it was all the repeated hunching over prospecting pebbles and leaping over boulders. I had to cover -up on our long retreat, lest I worry the cows......occupational hazard dear reader....