We are returned home now after our two weeks, which were different from each other in several ways, not least of course the change of self-catering dwelling. The landscapes of the first week were fertile, productive, a land occupied from pre-history, a land which had collaborated with the folks on it. A land full of interest at every bend.
Of course Sutherland is also interesting - and in places full of many bends - but it is a land not interested in collaborating with anyone. I first encountered this landscape in my early 20s and was much attracted. It has taken over 40 years for us to return, and I don't really know why it has been so long. I found on return that the draw is just as strong, and the more intense viewing this time most rewarding despite the inevitable changes.
Years ago I learned about the ceramic artist Lotte Glob and her architect designed home and studio on the shore of Loch Eriboll. Such solitude must be magnificent, I thought - and there was much from which I too would have liked to be removed at the time. Nowadays, however, she shares the loch side with several other dwellings, new and sparkling, holiday homes and luxury rentals amid them all. The land is far less empty these days, and of course delivery vans reach everywhere.
But it is still possible to get away from everyone - for some of the time anyway: believe it or not there is a sports car do on up there at present, and we at one point paused in a passing place to let a string of 20 or so sports cars past! - and these few snaps will give you an idea of the colours of and changing light on the landscape while we were there.
The county is a large one and the landscape varies from west to east, and the north west coast can astonish with its pristine white beaches.
We were lucky enough on our penultimate day to stop for lunch in the Timespan Museum in Helmsdale where we saw a group of Suzie MacKenzie's prints on display. One in particular - Mountain and Rock - captured some of what we feel for the landscape we had seen, and so we bought it.
So now we are getting used to being back home, thinking about routines, checking how various plants have done in our absence, washing all those clothes, and for me still recovering from a bout of digestive unwellness - while still savouring that wondrous solitude.