As we were driving around the northern tip of Skye I noticed a sign to a cottage that sold art. I had meant to try and stop the day before but I think we were too tired. Sherry and I had time this day since the trip was winding down so we stopped. The cottage we stepped into was 100 years old. You wouldn’t know it from looking at it with its thatched room and pristine white paint. The front of the cottage had a garden with many kinds of plants. Apparently the walls are about 4 feet thick and have smaller rock in the center of the rock walls. We step into the front room of the cottage and find a small studio. An older man is quickly dusting off the shelves. He carries a cloth in his hand and tidies up his display of art work. He is slightly stooped over in the shoulders and doesn’t hold quite steady. I would say he was in his late sixties.
In the corner of the room stood his desk and colored pencils. All ranges of color sitting within reach of the artists hand. A light glowed down on the desk giving the feel that we had just interrupted him sketching.
We start the small talk of where we are from and so forth. What I love about Scotland most was the warmth of the people. They were friendly and kind and willing to talk. Bill Lawrence was the mans name and he did pencil drawings. The shelves were lined with sketches of traditional fishing scenes and cottages of Scotland. I bought a drawing of a thatched cottage to take home, plus a picture of a woolly cow. Bill and his wife moved up here 20 years ago. He talked about now since he reached a retirement age he get to ride the bus anywhere for free. I don’t think we appreciate that as much here but in Scotland the buses were constantly running.
Sherry found some pictures of Scotland scenes to take home. We both spent some time looking at the art and speaking with Bill. Bill went about wrapping up our purchases which involved cardboard and bubble wrap. I wanted to help so bad and finally did. Bill had Parkinson’s which made the project painful to watch. The packages firmly wrapped for airplane travel Bill was ready to relax. “I think I need a cup of tea after all that.” Bill says. Sherry and I agreed.
I think what I remember most were the moments. The brief glimpses into the lives of people and how they lived. I have to admit I was jealous of Bill and his wife for getting to live on this beautiful island. Mainly I think it is important to get to live the life you want.