It was Sunday when we stepped off the ferry in Tarbert on the Isle of Lewis.
That meant, the ferryman said, there was no food to be had. I’d thought we’d be able to pick up some snacks, at even a petrol station, but the station was unmanned, pay at the pump only.
The teenager, who had already eaten for most of the long drive, was ravenous, wanted a restaurant, he said, forehead pressed to passenger window.
As we drove, the landscape looked barren, rocky, like another planet, showed barely a house never mind a restaurant.
We arrived at our pod. I went down to the shore armed with a disposable BBQ and some left over grilled chicken from lunch. I hadn’t bargained for the high winds blowing my hair up and around my face. No lighter seemed a match for it. I hobbled across rocks, until I found a more sheltered spot, crouched low, placed rocks around the grill, and finally got a corner of the BBQ paper to catch alight. A large bumble bee flew close to the flame, then up and away, and then back again.
As the coals turned grey, I sat on a rock with pungent stringy seaweed surrounding me. I looked at the farmhouse across the shore, white exterior, glowy lights inside. I imaged the Sunday roasts they’d be cooking, red cheeks in the kitchen.
I peeled the chicken off the hot grill and took it on a plastic plate back to the pod. I flipped the kettle on and brewed up two pot noodles, packed as a teenage emergency. We sat, the light rain resting on our faces, looking out at the sea below the Callanish stones. Later, we heard a splash then the arched fin of a dolphin.