On the John O’Groats Way

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28 Sept – 1 Oct 2021

Dornoch-Golspie The café, Sandstone, bacon buttie, 2 bikers, German, The Sun, Die Bild, cathedral, pretty, unusually pretty, 2 bishops, murdered, the sign, the refugees, a constant reminder, golf, royal, royal Dornoch, machines, to cut it all, dunes, beach, sea, along, the sand, feet, lift, up and down, lift, lift, the beauty, what defines it, photo, video, algae, flowers of the sea, Embo, caravan park, Rachel there, long time ago, village, community shop, tarmac, path, Jay Wilson, chairman, of John o’ Groats, the trail, American, fixed the gorse, fixed the bracken, thanks, thanks Jay, more golf, he says, easy now, with the clutter behind us, highland coo, picnic, bread and cake, the tarmac, the fleet, in spade, cars, cars, cars, the bridge, a ferry in Little ferry, a Little dream, right now, on all this tarmac, the seals, cute, cars, parked, rosehip, red and green, up the Mound, up, the tarmac, now right, through the woods, Nick shouting, grumpy old man, left, through the woods, lost, down, the boulders, no, not right, up, man, in red anorak, men never talk, back, along railway, the Northern line, to Thurso, fields, rainbow, double, wow, only Scotland, woods, Susi texts, from Italy, I text back, love Susi, swap photos, Scots pine, chanterelles, so many, beach, Golspie, football club, B+B lady, beer, Fish, Chips.24k, 7.5 hours

Golspie-Brora Get glasses, chemist, to beach, along, and along, Dunrobin, the castle, the Duke, high up, on the horizon, the sand, so golden, getting a stride now, should write it down, some seals, many seals, they follow us, photo, video, Susi swims, in Rimini, on the other side, of Europe, must swim too, Beatrix platform, on the horizon, Brora, football pitch, B+B, snooze, ice cream, Copoldi, oat+honey, golf course, all those golf courses, beach, golden, want to swim, its cold now, the sea, 8.8C, the net says, too cold, sorry Susi, Marine Hotel, art+craft, beer, wool shop, beautiful, the colours, the orange, need to finish, my wool, first, no Indian, closed, more beer, Sutherland Hotel, chicken, all chicken, African sculptures, on mantle piece, lion painting.10k, 4 hours

Brora-Helmsdale Linda’s Café, painter, forgot name, paintings, of café, women smoking, to beach, windfarms, on the horizon, off-shore, so far, nice option, the beach, so golden, the flora, of the sea, Loth, campground, caravans, ugly, WW2 outlook towers, why?, the stones, becoming bolders, slippery and hard, testing my balance, a man, foraging, the debris, of a ship, a wreck, building a hut, walk on top, of the dune, next to train, coming, waving, hooting, thank you, love trains, make you dream, Helmsdale, in sight, on grass, at last, pick some flowers, of the sea, of the land, into town, homecoming, a bit, with Reggae music, Jean, chili, con carne, chat, chat, wine, wine.20k, 7 hours

Helmsdale-Berriedale Jean, her birthday, no card, make card, make-shift, müsli, rain, town, SPAR, harbour, no golf, today, shore, high up, monument, the Unknown Artist, Clemens, love him, the bracken, so high, cant see the slip, up, and down, up, and down, WW2 contraptions, all this effort, the guilt, its still there, its hard, today, the broch, what’s a broch?, photos, video, formulate, the text, in my head, the abandoned village, the refugees, to America, MacLeod family, 6 our of 11, go to New Zealand, Deborah, glad you are back, with your wee Ruari, all this land, Sutherland, of Mr Sutherland, and his family, sheep, fields, stride now, fields, of highland coos, me, always scared, of coos, see the village, yes, at last, tired, knackered, the cottage, so cute, a dream, come true.18k, 6 hours.

Claudia Zeiske

United Kingdom

Writer in residence Writer in residence 2021/22

Claudia Zeiske is a Scotland based curator and art activist who realises a lot of her projects through walking, bringing people, ideas and politics together.

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