I have some practical recollections to catch up after this long pause in writing.
It was back then. I was there. I visited Scotland in June in 2008. My fellow traveler was Mr. Seiichi Koshimizu, the venerable chief blender of Suntory. It was a trip focused on whiskey. From Glasgow I flew to the island of Islay. There, after observing the process of whisky producing in the Bowmore and Laphroaig distilleries, one day I was driven to a beautiful small bay.
There I was to meet with Fiona Middleton. Fiona was quite an interesting person. She plays the violin to the seals in the sea. She played on that day, too, while the seals lay relaxed in the ocean water. The music was beautiful. For seals, humans, or otherwise, it was a very enjoyable experience.
Fiona was a person full of exquisite charms. She also had a vivid sense of humour.
"So this is in a sense a music therapy?" I asked.
"No", Fiona said. "I apply conventional medicine if I wanted to cure the seals".
"What do you do?" Fiona asked.
"I am a brain scientist", I answered.
Fiona then said in a half serious, half laughing voice.
"Do you think I am a bit strange?"
"Oh no! Not at all. Why do you ask?"
"Because sometimes people do think I am a bit weird."
The way Fiona said it, in a calm, soothing voice, still lingers in my memory. It was an unforgettable afternoon, with the seals, the violin, Fiona Middleton, Seiichi Koshimizu, and myself, embraced by the sunshine, the wind, and something quite indescribable.
Fiona playing the violin to the seals.
Seiichi Koshimizu (left), Fiona Middleton, and me (right)