|Still out in all weathers.|
Apologies for the radio silence. I've been struggling to find my voice. Well my written voice anyway. My own fine tones are used frequently, as himself's ears will wearily tell you. A lady of many words is the safest way to describe me. Peedie agrees. He tells me frequently that I make him deaf, even though I've suggested it might just be the wind.......he's selectively deaf. Whisper the word bonio and he can hear it three miles away.
|Peedie not listening, as per usual.|
I've been struggling to write, I guess when your life up and moves itself (even only) 300 miles south off its general location, a period of adjustment is required. Even when the move is for all the good and right reasons, and you're also delighted that you've made it. Its just different, same you, different location. Its only geography right? OK so the job changes completely, the faces are new, but its not a huge move on the scale of things some people move thousands of miles. However, even for me, in some ways, any change can be colossal and yet small all at the same time. Travelling now involves less boats. Unless of course you're attempting to travel across to Edinburgh at the moment the Forth Road bridge is a bitty broken. Although this boat needs some TLC.
Instead of boats and ferries, now we often get the train, such luxury! We can be in the city within a couple of hours, a big change from life up north, unless we dusted off our wings and fly in. Close enough to be near to the kids, close enough to see friends. Rural enough to still feel at peace with the world.
|I bet you didn't know Peedie is a famous model.|
I think for me, the change of location has lead to leaving some very close friends behind. Leaving work that I utterly adore. When I say friends, most of them were colleagues, but we all know that the right colleagues, when you do a job you love, become special friends too. And those friendships develop beautifully if we are lucky. I do miss those folk. Not to say is not lovely to be nearer to my 'mainland' chums and my family, of course it is. In life it seems there is always some give and some take. Some new adventures, whilst the old ones come to a close. Its also lead to a change in our way of life. The vast expanse of skies in Orkney have though been replaced by the Fife skyline. Equally beautiful, almost as remote. Often, almost as windy. The location here suits me, very much. And, I'm so grateful to be here. And, I'm meeting new chums, slowly but surely. I even had a 'cup of tea' with a new friend this week. A first for me, whilst I'm wordy, I am the shy retiring type. Honest injun. And, anyway good chums are hard to find, Haggis assures me.
|Haggis looking for chums.|
One of my biggest worries, I think, moving away from island life were the small things. Beach visits, wild walks along cliffs, delicious grub, coffee catch ups with friends, daily hat head, long calls with friends from 'sooth' and wandering about in my wellies. Would I still have those? When you think of it really, its the small things that make up our experience in places. I'm an island girl at heart. Perhaps I'm just needing to adjust to being on a 'bigger' island, still coastal, where my heart it. Always.
I mean, I worried. I worried a LOT. On the 'mainland' do people go shopping in their wellies? We all know I own more wellies than real shoes. Would I stick out like a sore thumb in my 'winter gear' (in August) and people gawp if I'm looking at the fish counter dressed up like I'm heading out to sea in a force 9? Would there be fishboxes in my life still? Thankfully the answer to all of these questions were yes! Seeing them being used first day at my new job, made my heart sing. Yes there are still fishboxes used in daily life round these parts. Which is good, because let me tell you that MIGHT have been a deal breaker.
|A girl can never have too many wellingtons.|
|A girl can not have too many fishboxes either.|
Needless to say, life is pretty similar to living up in Orkney. And, whilst I'm not on a small island any more, I am living in a very rural coastal peninsula with several beaches to the north, south and east of us. The East Neuk is also windy enough to feel like home, although by no imagination is it as frequently or as wildly stormy as Orkney, Colonsay or Islay. The grub is very decent, the lifestyle not 24/7 and the nearest fast food a goodly drive away. Where we like it to be. The beaches are empty and the night skies are unpolluted (in the main) and, the beautiful day skies, are big and open. With a smattering of more trees and different birds to be in awe of. And, very good cake shops, if you like THAT kind of thing.
|Probably the best cake shop in the world. Sorry Argo's|
So, perhaps its not a real change of voice that I needed, just a recognition that welly wearing in the local supermarket, bundled under a huge layer of waterproof clothing is perfectly acceptable. At least here it is. This life is a little different to the island life we had previously, better in many ways being so much closer to folks we love. But, also removed from the aspects of society we wanted to avoid, its plenty rural that's for sure. Work is still interesting. I now do some remote working from home for Orkney and some 'real life' working in a garden where I'm putting some of those rather expensive skills to use. And, I'm still teaching, albeit informally now. Life is interesting and is good. And, I'm learning new horticultural skills every single day. I'm part of a small team and I feel valued, in both jobs. I feel close to those I've left and close to those I've joined. I'm truly lucky.
|Square logs from recycled pallets.|
And, OK whilst my neighbours do not really see the fascination of 'square logs' and reclaimed wood. Foraging for treasures on the beach or a need for 'so much' weather gear wearing on my part. I'm OK with that. And, when they try to amble outside, on the windiest of East Neuk days with a brolly (umbrella) complaining of its lack of robustness against the weather. All I can do is smile and think, who uses a brolly in this kind of coastal climate? All real islanders know that above a 'breeze' umbrellas are as much use as a chocolate teapot. And I pull my 'wild weather gear' a little tighter to me and walk the dogs in the face of sideways squall. Cosy. Nine layers of clothes assures cosiness.
Maybe life here isn't so different after all. Still no use for a brolly. Perhaps that should have been the title. I'm away off for a blustery walk, thanks for reading!
As always you'll find me on the beach. Have a great day.