Firstly, just a little note to say that I’m incredibly grateful to anyone who reads my posts (both regular readers and those who’ve stumbled upon this blog by accident!)
I’m very lucky to have some of your time.
Thank you x
Hmm, the ‘about’ bit (in italics below) is looking a little dated!
Here’s a brief update…
It’s nearing December now and this will be my fourth winter up here in the Hebrides. I’m no longer ‘the new girl’.
My original 6-month sojourn has turned into a whole new life.
Every day is different; the colours of the hills and sea are kaleidoscopic in the ever-changing light. I’m constantly meeting new friends, trying new foods and exploring new places. Even my Mum has fallen in love with Skye.
So much has changed since I wrote the ‘about’ section below…
-My work has changed from stiff portraits to varied but intuitive artwork inspired by the seascape or materials found here. Whereas work used to be a chore it now feels fun again.
-I’m now living with a lovely vet, Rob, who I met on a telly production. After dipping a toe in the unsurprisingly-limited Skye dating scene, it’s nice to have someone special to share those cosy log fires and autumn sunsets with.
-I’ve become a Marine Mammal Medic, taken part in whale rescues and beach cleans and become more connected with the ocean and how to protect it.
-I’m far less cautious, especially in terms of spending time outdoors. Perhaps a lot of this comes from a year spent living in the woods on the Ardnamurchan Peninsula (where I met Rob as mentioned above!) It was the most surreal, awful and brilliant experience I’ve ever had and the tough conditions have only made me stronger.
I could go on and on with a whole list but I waffle enough in the blog itself, I probably shouldn’t do it here too..!
But it’s pretty obvious that the move to Skye was a life-changing experience. It’s probably the best decision I’ve ever made.
The Old Bit:
‘For now I’ll just give a few details…
I’m Katie Tunn, a 30-year old artist who has just moved from near London to a beautiful but rather windy place in the Isle of Skye.
My bread-and-butter job is as a portrait painter (specialising in military and polo subjects) although I now spend just as much time involved in marine conservation (campaigning, organising beach cleans, whale rescue, dolphin hugging etc…)
Some of my favourite things include the ocean, anything sparkly, wildlife, whisky, fossils/geology and dressing up.
That’s it for the moment, I’ll try and write something a bit better in the near future…’
YouTube: Katie T (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaqveo7SF2LRm7Xlixjy9bQ/videos)
Instagram (personal): @katietunn
Instagram (artist): @katietunnart
Facebook (artist): Katie Tunn Artist, http://www.facebook.com/katietunnfineart
Hello, i edit scotlandnow.com and one of our readers has alerted me to your blog, which is fantastic! We sometimes feature posts from guest bloggers on the site, which is mostly read overseas (USA, Canada etc) and I wondered if we could include you?
What an exciting idea! I’d love to be included (and as always, it’s amazing to hear that anyone actually reads my posts!)
Perhaps if you send me a contact email we can discuss what you might need from me?
Seen your post in the logbook at the Lookout Bothy on Rubana Hunish so looked it up once I got back to cizilisation. Some great photos!
Thanks Miles! Hope you enjoyed your trip… I’ll keep an eye out for you in the logbook next time I’m up there! x
Hi there, dropping you a line all the way from New Zealand. Just watched the Grand Design episode on Indi and Rebecca’s place and then came across your blog. Very cool. What a real life adjustment for you given your previous home near London. My wife and I drove around the Island with my folks back in around 2000 and fell in love with the place. Being a Nicholson it was special to visit the headland of Clan MacNicol in Portree and get to understand some of my dad’s heritage. If I didn’t live in NZ I would surely live on Skye! Keep living the dream ‘New Girl’.
Thanks for your message, it’s amazing how our little neighbourhood has reached all the way to the other side of the world. It’s interesting that you say you’re from New Zealand since lots of people say that Skye is like a mini version.
I spend a lot of time up at Indi’s gallery and cafe (the smaller of the two Grand Designs buildings) -it’s one of my favourite places; the brownies made by Lorraine there are to die for! You must visit it if you decide to come back and retrace a bit more of the Nicholson heritage!
and to continue the trip around the world – reading your lovely blogs here in southern california. i am originally a scottish gal myself and had my first visit to skye earlier this year. enjoying your blog very much.
Excellent blog. Found it while exploring places to eat on Skye when I visit in October. I even got round to signing up a WordPress account just so as I could comment 😉
Well I’m honoured! Thanks so much. If you need any other food tips before you get here let me know (I’m always hungry so food I can do!) x
Hi Kat – from Melbourne, AUS
I so love seeing The New Girl updates when they appear in my inbox. I too stumbled on your blog while looking up the Grand Designs Skye ep and have followed you ever since. Do keep blogging – it’s a wonderful glimpse into your life, and a place that sounds like heaven on earth. Thanks for sharing!
Thanks Sally! It’s amazing to think that someone on the other side of the world is happy to read my stuff!
I spend a lot of time at the Grand Designs place, the little gallery/cafe that they’ve opened next to the house does the best hot chocolates, brownies, sandwiches (and company) on Skye. I’ve met most of my neighbours in there, it’s a great place -though I still haven’t seen the programme yet!
Lots of love from chilly, rainy Skye! K x
Just ‘discovered’ your blog. Already loving it.
Also – that knitted hat with the sheep? Want it. Need it. Where can buy it?
Haha, I had the same reaction with the hat; now I’ve got one I wear it to death! They’re knitted by a colleague’s Mum. We sometimes sell them at the Skyeworks Gallery in Portree (sometimes because they’re quite limited) but if you want to order one then your best bet is contacting Marion Boddy Evans via her Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/aboutpainting?fref=ts
Wooohooo, thank you for responding! I will indeed contact her – it would be so great to be able to pick that up next time I’m there. Also, thank you for pointing out the Skyeworks Gallery in general – I’m keen on adding a few non-touristy artsy dots to my next-visit-to-Skye-dotted-map (which is a print of the wonderful ‘Every road on the Isle of Skye’ drawn map, on which I have put tiny round stickers) and this is, with or without a knitted hat, a great addition. Thanks!
Hi! I just tried sending you an e-mail, but it was returned. I half expected that, since your main website is down as well. I’ll patiently await its return and then try resending the e-mail. But I thought I’d mention it just in case you weren’t aware (in which case you might not even get WordPress-notifications… but well, I had to try something).
Hi Chantal. Yes, you are right, my artist’s website is down for redesign. Can I ask what you were emailing about? Are you looking for the hat (as per your previous comment)?
I’m a freelance journalist and fellow blogger and am reaching out for a bit of help if that’s okay? My husband and I were living in Dalston but felt city life was making us a little dead inside so quit our media jobs, sold our flat and took off in a campervan around Europe to write and take amazing pictures.
The best place we visited on our trip by far was Skye and we fell in love with the island. Which is why we’re heading back next week. Matt (the afore mentioned husband) has interviews for potential jobs. So, (and here’s where the favour finally comes in!) I wondered if you might have the time to meet with me for a coffee? Being a fellow ex-Londoner and having done it all yourself, I’d be extremely grateful of your advice and guidance of how to make the move. You seem to have mastered it wonderfully and I adore reading your blog so would be more than willing to stretch to cake too! I wouldn’t take up too much of your time, promise. We’ll be arriving Thursday 17th Dec for five days. Might you be able to squeeze me in? Really hope so.
P.S. So that you feel reassured I’m not a total weirdo / wanted criminal, please do check out http://www.motherkin.net and my Instagram @jessmlacey.
Thanks for your message. I’m so pleased (though not surprised) that you enjoyed Skye so much.
I’m pleased to hear that you’re thinking of making the leap too. It’s not an easy place to live, especially in winter and weather like we’re having now, but it’s worth it to see the mountains and oceans every day.
The offer of a coffee sounds wonderful (and who can resist cake?!) but I’m afraid I won’t be around next Thursday as I’m heading South to spend Christmas with my family.
But feel free to ask any questions on here. I’m afraid with a lot of Christmas commissions to finish and holidays coming up I probably won’t be online a lot but I’ll try to catch things here and there.
Maybe we’ll catch each other when you’re up here next!
Hi Katie, loving your blog! How do I email you please?
Thanks for cheering up what has been a really dreary, foggy day here. I came across your blog having quite enjoyed a nata from my local Co-op and wondering if the pastry was made from butter. I discovered these custard tarts years ago in Portgual so was delighted to re-find them in a local deli and thought back to where and when I had first enjoyed them. I have visited stunning Skype a couple of times so started to read some of your other entries and found myself, with the odd break to get a hot drink and make lunch, sitting here hours later having been thoroughly entertained, “not wasting time”. I burnt my lunch as I got so engrossed! Like you I made a move, a couple of years ago, to a beautiful part of the UK, tranquil Shropshire, plenty of sheep around here too. Like you people questioned the reasons which they begin to understand when they visit. One completely unexpected bonus is the friendliness of folks in the area, both those who have lived here all their lives and those more recent immigrants like myself. It is without doubt the friendliest community I have lived in and I have lived in many places in my sixty odd years. People have time to smile at complete strangers here. I completely agree with your sentiments about living alone, enjoying my chosen solitude, curling up by a log fire with a book for company which I am now going to do. Like my 36 year niece, married with 2 children, you refer to home as the place where your mother lives and yet you wax lyrically about the joys of living in Skye. I nearly fell off my chair when you talked about Chiddingfold as ten years of my childhood was spent in Witley and there was a time when we had a cottage in Fisher Lane in Chiddingfold. It quite took me back. The most recent post I could find was the one about the whale rescue so hopefully there are others I can enjoy another day.
kind regards and please keep writing your blog
Thank you for your lovely message, I’ve been in a bit of a blogging lull recently and your kind words have encouraged me to pull my socks up and start writing again!
It’s wonderful to hear that my story distracted you and I’m thrilled you took the time to read so much (although I’m sorry about your lunch, I forget about things on the hob all the time so I understand the “Ah crap!” moment!)
It’s interesting that you notice how I mention ‘home’… At the moment I’m struggling with the fact that my heart is in two places; the people I love are there but the place I love is here. Both places are home but both places have only half of what I love. There’s no solution, I suppose it’s just about seeing where life takes me next.
I love that you lived in Chiddingfold too! I won’t say here because it’s public but I will just say that that’s very very close to our home! How strange! There’s a new pub opening in Uig soon, about 15-20 mins South of me, and I recently found out the owners are from Chiddingfold too. I’ve often wondered if there’s some kind of unseen link between there places that I haven’t realised yet…
How lovely that a funny little blog post about a custard tart can lead to these kinds of connections 🙂
Just came across you via a link on my Instagram (@al_humphreys) – I’m so impressed with your art and your choice to go live up on Skye. Awesome all round. Well done!
Sorry for the delayed reply, I’ve just returned from a absurdly surreal year taking part in the Channel 4 Eden programme so haven’t seen a keyboard since last March! It was a challenging experience but I was thrilled to come home to find your message as I’m a huge fan of yours. I’ve been following your travels since becoming involved with the Next Challenge and I’m a bit of a broken record when it comes to telling friends about 5-9 adventures. I owe you a thanks for inspiring me to get off my arse when it’s blowing a hoolie and the sofa is looking too inviting!
If you’re ever in need of a pitstop in Skye give me a shout 🙂
What, what, WHAT? Well wow. I’d say that’s enough to write a dozen new blog posts about. If you say you’ve just returned, I assume you stayed until the end. I hadn’t heard of the show and I can’t watch episodes online, but I see online that it created a bit of a controversy, about contestants leaving and animals being less than taken care of. I have so many questions – especially of course about your own experiences, how you are feeling now, how much of the happenings in the world you were made aware of, what your next move is… etc.
For some reason, I had concluded, after your last message, that you would be leaving Skye, but apparently, you haven’t.
I have decided I want to spend about a month on Skye by myself next year. I have a location in mind, a little house in Staffin we spent a few nights in last year, but the house doesn’t have wifi. I know that you will have probably made a loud ‘Tsk’ or ‘Ha!’ noise at that, given the fact that you’ve been without for a year. But my trip won’t be about going back to basics, so internet would be lovely. Not only for some writing and photos, but also to look up tides, weather, events, routes, etc. And of course, most importantly, being able to keep in touch with my husband. Maybe I can do without if there’s a cafe nearby with internet, but there isn’t. There are mobile devices that turn 3G into wifi, but there’s not 3G in Staffin, as you probably know. 🙂 Oh well. Maybe I’ll look for a different place. Or maybe I’ll just think ‘f*ck it, no internet is it’. To be continued.
Looking forward to new posts!
Katie, what is it really like living on Skype in a few words please? I should have read your blogathon, its interesting, inspiring and creative but I have problems sitting still to read it thru. I am seeking a new location to try and find myself. The Lake District is beautiful for sure, but its infested not with midges in summer but worse noisy people. Where is tranquility and peace to be found? And what are the pesky midges really like and how long are they out causing irritable scratch syndrome. I have worn tights over my head last time climbing the Cuiilin Ridge, but that is pretty weird to say the least and I do not fancy looking like a bank robber for 3-4 months in Summer if I end up in Skye. Well done for surviving so far on your escape, retreat or gap yrs x 3 or whatever you are doing. Nan Shepherd and all of that is the real deal for sure. Things are def not important as the search for our soul and inner self being. Mind you, I may be wong on this….
My name is Will, a writer from Bristol but travelling the world (10 years now!) and currently in Thailand.
I just watched Eden and loved it but want to say something in regard to your post-show pieces to camera about losing some respect for yourself… I think you’re amazing. Kinda my hero, in fact.
Those boys were total asshats and you should hold your head up and be proud of how you handled yourself in the face of adversity. The world needs more people like you (and Rob and the rest of the progressives… and me!) and fewer liars, thieves and haters (or as I call them “republicans”) Those guys are not “alpha males”, they are children.
I understand you feeling more cynical, but not all of us men are like that. I kinda think women should run the world, but in fact, together, we progressives will make the world a better place.
In summary, just keep on being you.
Thanks for listening,
Thanks Will 🙂
It means a lot to know that there are people out there with similar views (who are also kind enough to take the time to send such lovely messages)
It was quite incredible to realise that the ‘Republican’ vs ‘Snowflake’ divide could happen quite naturally, that these alliances must come from somewhere quite deep in our behaviours. (We only learned the term snowflake when we came out of the project in March but I’ve got to say I’m quite enjoying owning it and feeling like, after all that crap, this snowflake could last 100% longer in a survival situation than the nearest posturing tough guy!)
I’m still a bit more cynical but messages like yours give me a lot of hope so cheers for that. Have an amazing time in Thailand and enjoy the travels to come.. x