The above photograph was taken in the summer of 2010 on a family holiday to Shetland. In this photograph I am with my son Andrew and behind us is Muckle Flugga where Sian’s great-great grandfather was a Lightkeeper.
Ten minutes before this photograph was taken, I had said to Andrew, let’s swear at the top of our voices! We were standing at the most northerly point of the British Isles and there was nobody else about [or so we thought].
I do not generally swear aloud, so this was cathartic. Andrew had been recently diagnosed with Type I diabetes and was learning to live with this horrid condition.
We swore with abandon, screaming at the top of our voices!
When out of breath, to our surprise, two men approached us from the west. We asked if they had heard our screams? They had not. We then chatted. The two men told us that they were from Raploch, in Stirling. They swore liberally and affectionately.
In this chance meeting – as far as you can get on the British Isles – we shared hame!
This memory came back to me in reading a passage from ‘Things I do not want to know’ by Deborah Levy: