If you compare it to the landscape of the other Orkney islands, the island of Hoy stands alone. The Orkney Mainland has rolling hills and bright green fields bursting with life. Hoy is an ominous shadow looming over it.
The sand on the beaches here is white and glitters, the remnants of sea shells ground to dust. Cliffs are layer on layer of coloured sand stacked up and compressed to rock. Standing on the cliff, I can still recognise the pattern that the last tide left in the sand below.
My Flat is underground and has a small patio which is accessible by climbing through the window. I have started a little photo project called “vor meinem Fenster” (outside my window” where, whenever I do something on my patio, I take a photo.
The steps were slippery and very craggy. Almost at the summit, I slipped on some mud and twisted my ankle ended up sitting on the ground, looking out over sunny Edinburgh, not sure how I was going to get back down. I could feel my ankle swelling in my shoe.
It was February, cold and dark, and the only person I knew was my brother’s flatmate who was away with friends that evening. Not wanting to spend the first night alone in Wulfric’s small, dingy and sparsely furnished room, where the desk was covered in paperwork, and architectural models spilled down from the top of the wardrobe, I pulled on my winter coat and left the flat heading out into the city hoping that I would also find my way back.
My brother also came and together we stayed at my uncle’s, drank tea in the warm living room curled up on the floor with the dog while outside it snowed glittering white flakes from the sky which threatened to delay our departure home.
It snowed overnight. Shrouded in white, the world looks unsaturated. The light that falls through my bedroom window is cold, the room is half shadow. Open boxes and bags filled with a miscellaneous mix of my personal belongings cover the floor of the room. The shelves are filled with books and knickknacks that tell the story of another person’s life. Photo albums, books from art exhibitions, toys, drawings, family portraits.