Can’t look past it!

As I take my Christmas Day lunch out of the freezer, with rather more excitement than you might imagine, I do wonder if I’ve become just a little obsessed. It’s a large takeaway curry that I bought from our closest Indian restaurant, which is in Ullapool, thirty-six miles away. There’s enough to feed several people, but I shall manage it all myself: there’s only me this year (I don’t really celebrate the 25th, I’m a solstice worshipper, so it’s no hardship) and I honestly can eat a limitless amount of curry. It’s just as well, of course, as in a couple of days I’ll be off on a winter escape which will eventually lead me to Sri Lanka, where I aim to spend the month eating my own bodyweight in dhal and stringhoppers.

Cactus and surf

I am so excited to be welcoming back some old faces for this trip: Joan and Ted from Canada; Aya from London (Kazakhstan originally) and Jane from Scotland were all with me in Morocco this year; Federica from Italy joined one of my first ever trips, also to Morocco, and has stayed in touch ever since; and Caroline, who joins as a Vistas newbie, but has already been corresponding with the others to I just know it’s going to be an amazing, well-gelled group once again.

It makes my heart sing when clients return again and again, and this seems to be the pattern just at the moment. There are always new faces too, though, who become the old faces of tomorrow. Sometimes I have to pinch myself when I think about what a wonderful ‘job’ I have.

Before meeting the group, I’m going to have a week of utter collapse, on a quiet beach towards the north of the island. It’s one of my special places, though there’s not much there; actually, that’s why it’s so special. I don’t want to do anything except walk barefoot at the water’s edge and read. Life has been a bit stressful these last few months so I’m looking forward to the rejuvenation this time will bring, followed by the excitement of our 12 day sketching tour.

Wifi can be a bit sketchy in some of the areas we visit so if I’m a bit slower than usual answering messages and enquiries, please bear with me. And if you’re kicking yourself for not having booked this trip, fear not; I’ve added an extra departure in November 2024 for those who have missed out.

Wishing everyone a wonderful festive season and may your Christmas lunch be as delicious as my curry.