Every Friday I would run from school and straight onto the ferry that would take me to the island of Hoy: my muddy childhood paradise during the summer. My family had a cottage on the island that sat high up on a hill. Heated by peat that my Dad had dug up and dried earlier in the summer and water came from a homemade pump up the hill. The gas stove was just about functional to cook some tins of soup for dinner and the porch was cold enough to function as a fridge so I could have my bowl of coco-pops in the morning. The hill was home to miles of heather which provided my sister with berries for jam and my granddad with the pink flowers he used to make his infamously intoxicating homebrew of heather ale. The cottage provided me with the best playground a child could ask for: there was a beach with a sea to swim in, sand to search for treasure, endless animals to draw and keep as temporary pets, and endless places to explore and conquer.
|The house, the dog and the Lada.|
‘The Hoy Tape’ as it became to be known had songs that at the time I had no idea what they were but later in life I heard them and was instantly transported back. My mum recently found the Hoy Tape and wrote down the eclectic mixture including soul from The Drifters, country in the form of Neil Diamond and Glenn Campbell and even some 70s glam rock from Marc Bolan. However even with modern technology, they will never quite sound the same as they did on the crackling tape player while I wiped sand out from between my toes and seaweed from my hair.