Our contribution to to the scrap cult, an old Co-op van on the croft. It served as an excellent sheep shelter for years.
Was last night's Off Kilter, with Jonathan Meades wandering around the Isle of Rust, the best television I have ever seen about Lewis - or the worst? I just can't decide.
Architecture critic and iconoclast Meades was brutally anti-religious and patronising at times, but that aside, his main thesis was a homage to the wrecked cars and rusty sheds that litter the Lewis landscape. It amounts to what he called a scrap cult.
Meades is the first since Gus Wylie to recognise the bleak grandeur of all this wreckage in paradise. I'm a little envious because it was the kind of imagery I'd want to infuse any film set on the islands instead of the candied scenery we serve up to ourselves.
For Meades the corrugated iron sheds - a whole sub-category of scrap in themselves - were temples of abstract art, the abandoned cars previews of the future of mankind . It was all very tongue in cheek and when he described some examples of modern architecture as pretentious you had to laugh out loud at his gall.
But when Meades asked how you get a Ford Transit van without wheels into a peat bog metres from the road or why a red Mini Metro should be left upside down in the moor he missed the whole point of the scrap cult.
The real reason wrecked vehicles are left randomly in the landscape was perfectly captured by a deeply ironic Randan sketch some years ago.
The scene is an Anglo-sounding couple surveying the Lewis landscape. She says: "Oh Ralph, I thought this was going to be island for us to move to but there are just so many wrecked cars ruining the landscape. Let's go to Orkney instead."
A boiler-suited crofter is listening and watches the potential incomers depart. "Aye, I knew that old Marina would come in handy one day, " he muses.
Operation Autumn Leaves
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