Like a TARDIS, author Morag Henriksen's home feels bigger on the inside. Or maybe she just uses the space well. Every shelf is filled with books, every wall is cramming with paintings.
It's a million miles away from the place where she spent her adolescence - a hostel where she stayed when she attended Dingwall Academy. "There were 75 girls all shut in at half-past five at night," Morag reveals. "It was very Spartan. I slept on an army camp bed with grey blankets, and when we finally got a red blanket, that felt like luxury."
That experience seemed to set the tone for much of Morag's early life. "The creative side of me has always been stifled and I've spent the rest of my life making up for it," she explains. Morag was forbidden by her father to go to art college, as it was viewed as a "waste of her academic brain."
So, it's no surprise that Morag makes sure her current surroundings, where she unleashes her creativity through writing and painting, are a warm, welcoming reflection of her personality.
The atmosphere must be working for Morag. In 2014, she launched her first book, Scenery of Dreams, at The Skye Book Festival. Morag never lets a day go by without writing in her many journals and Scenery of Dreams is a collection of her stories, memoirs, poetry and artwork.
Two years on, Morag will be releasing a similar book, entitled Tapestry Of Scenes. She explains that, while Scenery of Dreams was focussed on island life, this book is about exploring the world. “Before writing the book, I had been diagnosed with M.E. My career as a teacher was in ruins. I was alone, ill and exhausted. Then I heard on the radio that people with M.E. could get a wheelchair at airports and it was like a door had opened for me. I could travel. So, I went round the world three times by 'plane and wheelchair, always to friends in the stopovers who had received hospitality previously from me in Skye! So, the book contains a lot of stories from my travels.”
Also included will be a selection of Morag's experiences on Skye, including when she visited the island on a tour given by the Edinburgh University Highland Society. She explains: “I remember so little of it because we had danced the night before and I was completely wasted. I just slept in the sun on the pier at Portree Harbour and saw nothing of the town!”
Could it be that the suppression of the young Morag's creativity has allowed her to blossom today? As an artist, poet, singer and author, Morag is expressing herself in a way that delights her audience.
Morag will be appearing at the Aros Centre on Friday 2 September at 2:00pm to launch Tapestry Of Scenes. The event will be chaired by Cailean Maclean and promises to be an exciting celebration of the adventures of a dynamic local lady.