Along with two other authors I was invited to give a book reading at Lionacleit Library, Benbecula as part of the wonderful Harvest | Toradh Food & Writing Festival on Friday 25 August 2017.
On the morning of Wednesday 23 August I found myself calling 999 to report one of my dearest friends missing and spent the day searching through machair and bog, hill and byre for him.
In the late afternoon his frightened dog came to me and I brought him to my home to lie on his master’s jacket. Soon after as we all began to think of darkness descending my friend’s body was discovered. He had drowned.
So it was that I felt unable to read from The Wild Folk on the Friday evening. It wasn’t just grief, I was also in shock and reeling from running about searching on Wednesday.
I could have put my big girl pants on for an hour or two, drawn on the emergency emotional reserve tank we all carry but also thinking of Lachie found drowned in The Wild Folk I knew for sure I would burst into tears at some inopportune time and spoil it for everyone.
Thank you to the organisers including Marie Campbell and my fellow Hebridean authors, Helen Forbes and Libby Patterson for their understanding and kindness, especially Helen whose beautiful words to me in an email brought me solace.