Sturmfrei: August blog circle

Our word-of-the-month, sturmfrei is German – literally ‘storm-free’; being able to do as you please. Think Home Alone; having the run of the place, completely by yourself; not having to answer to anyone (especially your elders), or to suffer their disapproval! So, we thought as a blog circle, sturmfrei is a great one for holiday-time in August when you have the freedom to do what you like with your time! Except that it’s not quite that simple when you have others at home or on holiday with you, so we have all (I think) ended up struggling a bit to adequately illustrate this word…

My first feelings of having the run of a place were earlier in the month when the weather would just not behave, and I knew I needed to get some photographs of Guildford for a friend. Having woken up at 5-something in the morning one day and seeing that, for a short while, the sky was clear, I decided to just dash out with my camera and get on with it. It was well worth it, just to have Guildford High Street to myself as the sun came up!

guildford high street the surrey scholar statue at sunrise surrey landscape photographer

guildford high street on an august day at sunrise empty

As we travelled around the very north of Scotland on the first leg of our holidays, we found several places where we really felt we had it all to ourselves. These dunes are approaching the wonderful Big Sand by Gairloch – so much space, and emptiness; but, not quite sturmfrei.

big sand dunes at gairloch wester ross along north coast 500 route scotland

My own attempts to find sturmfrei time were most often at dawn and dusk, while other people were occupied with getting up in the morning, or showering, or eating. I just like to go on a bimble about with my camera. This is a drizzly morning in Torridon, West Highlands – no-one about. I’ve always tried to get how I feel about a place into my pictures, and this still and simple beauty – shrouded in drizzle and mist – makes me really long to go back.

village of torridon under cloud with rowan berries in wester ross scotland

Sometimes we found we had a whole, wonderful Youth Hostel room-with-a-view to ourselves.

gairloch sands scottish youth hostel wester ross boy on windowsill looking at view out to sea

And sometimes – oh, it’s such a luxury! – I even had a moment to sit outdoors and sketch the view. I never have time to do this. Add a cup of tea, and it was perfect. Not exactly sturmfrei because, well, my mother would approve…

gairloch sands scottish youth hostel accommodation sketching the torridon mountainsview towards the pennines near dufton in the eden valley cumbria at sunsetsketching in the art room at allan bank national trust house grasmere using derwent pencils from keswick museum

Allan Bank National Trust house is one of my favourite places in the world, not least because (as a friendly introvert) I quite enjoy the fact that it’s never that people-y. You can almost always find a room to yourself. It does feel like having your own space, but anyway – not quite hitting the sturmfrei meaning of your parents’ disapproval!

allan bank national trust house grasmere view from a window

Here are a couple of moments when they had time & space to themselves… Still not quite there with the right meaning though.

boy reading percy jackson on windowsill bookworm book weekyoung girl walking along country lane at sunset with sun flare golden hour brora scotlandnorth sea at brora scotland along north coast 500 route deserted beach

Aha, now we’re getting closer to the meaning of sturmfrei – doing as you please, no matter what your parents think! The Golden Eagle zip wire in Durness was on my to-do list, but I saw the height of the cliffs (it’s worse in real life, honest) and it was a big fat No Way, Nope, Not Ever (not an adrenaline junkie in any way, shape or form). The kids, however, had other plans!

golden eagle zip wire zipline at durness north coast 500 scotland

I’ll finish up with this that my daughter snapped of me, in the sea at Mellon Udrigle – deserted beach, wilderness mountains of Scotland in the not-too-far distance. I wonder if you can tell whether the sea was tropical, or freezing?! My mum wouldn’t approve. Sturmfrei!!!

swimming in sea at mellon udrigle wester ross north coast 500 scotland

We’re a small circle this month but you can see Rachel’s interpretation here, hooray!

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