Lives gradually disentwine, and special places once shared must be surrendered as time moves on. I feel sad today. I understood that perhaps I might never return to this place in the Highlands; it has assumed a form of sacredness, a shrine to family holidays, to a time of lazy heat and innocence. There was a ritual of leaving my parents’ home in Edinburgh, first with my father driving, and later, tinged with sadness, with me as the driver. We headed north, idling in tartan bedecked tea shops, unusually relaxed as a unit, treated to scented soaps and bowls of thick soup before driving along winding roads. As a little boy, my father read to me ‘Kidnapped’ by R.L. Stevenson. I recalled the landscapes, the romance of having Scottish roots. The hills were bare, beautiful, stark. We usually stayed in Oban, and here I took walks alone or with dad, hearing gulls and anticipating posh hotel diners. But times change, and places remain. My artwork is available for sale at www.artfinder.com/product/eilean-donan-castle-45d1/?preview=1 and I undertake commissions with pleasure.