Where I Live

Lovely Michelle at The American Resident has just started a new linky called Where You Live, and this week’s prompt was ‘If I visited you for a day, where would you take me? One place. And why.’

How could I not take part in that?

In most of the places I’ve lived before, I would have been spoiled for choice with this question.

Tarbert, Isle of Harris

In Harris I would have wondered whether we should go to the beach, roll our trousers up and shriek as we splashed in the clear, cold waters of the North Atlantic. Or whether we should get fish and chips in the village, which we’d eat sitting on the wall that overlooks the pier – the best spot to watch the ferry come in.

Eventually I would have settled on showing you the big boulder on the hill behind my Dad’s house, right beside the lower loch. With a large flat top like a table, and ledges that stick out like shelves below, that rock was my imaginary childhood teashop. I would put my pretend cakes in to bake in the pretend oven, before serving them up with pretend cups of tea and coffee. There was an indentation in another nearby rock, which would fill with water on rainy days, and that is where I would do my dishes. It made my heart sing when we went to Harris last year and DorkySon ran up the back hill, headed right for the same spot.

A touchstone, both literally and metaphorically. Continue reading

Eating Alone

vintage pepsi glass

How do you feel about going out and eating alone?

I know that a lot of people feel awkward about it. There are so many potential pitfalls. Is it okay to read a book or newspaper at the table in a restaurant? What about writing in a notebook? Is a laptop okay or is that a bit obnoxious? An iPad? Headphones? Continue reading

My Winter Survival Kit

Guess what? I think we did it. I think we survived winter.

DorkyDad is much better at winter than I am. All those years he spent living in the woods of Idaho have paid off, and cold weather seems to put him in touch with his inner cave man. He’ll head outside to shovel snow off the road even though we don’t have a car, and tell stories about the times when he had to cut down trees and chop logs for firewood.

DorkySon and I are not so keen. We hate the hassle of all those layers of clothes; hate getting up in the morning when there is ice on the windows. We prefer to snuggle up together under soft blankets, sipping hot chocolate and dreaming of summer.

Continue reading

Learning to Love Charity Shop Shopping

charity shop books

When I was a kid, I hated charity shops. My Mum was brilliant in them – she had a real instinct for finding hidden treasures in the unlikeliest of places – and would always emerge victorious with a perfect pair of jeans or a cashmere cardi. She and a friend would take whole days to visit other towns nearby and trawl their shops for a change. But I didn’t to inherit her skill, and I wasn’t prepared to work at it. I’d get bored quickly, and could never be bothered rifling through the racks of musty smelling garments on the off chance that I might find something useful.

More recently, I’ve had a change of heart. I still don’t buy clothes in charity shops (mainly because, as you’ll have guessed from my post on fashion earlier in the week, I don’t really buy clothes at all…) but if I’m looking for books or toys, they are the first place I go.

Continue reading