Social Media, The Solstice and The Sea

These weeks in lockdown have seemed to slip away so quickly, each day passing to the next with a speed strangely at odds with the stretching hours of sunlight. Before we knew it, the summer solstice was upon us, a tipping point in the balance of light and dark, where the world gives the night a…

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Mallaig, Memories and My Nana

Growing up, two places dominated my experience of childhood. Caithness, because it was where we lived, and Mallaig, because it was where we took all our holidays. The latter also had a special attraction: it was where Nana and Iain lived (Nana being my paternal Grandmother and Iain my uncle, who lived with Nana due…

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We’re Not Aloof, We’re Introverts

Years ago, when I had a ‘proper’ job, I was a participant in a set of development centre activities for graduates. It was standard development centre stuff, including participation in group activities and receiving feedback on performance by an assigned observer who monitored the tasks. In one such exercise, I was observed in a team…

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Hibernation Diaries – Small Steps Back Into The World

In a crisis, we find out who we are. I heard these words on TV the other day as we completed our tenth week of ‘hibernation,’ a milestone that saw Scotland ease lockdown rules to enable people to meet with others outside their household. The new rules have a distinctly outdoor focus, enabling family reunions…

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Hibernation Diaries – Storms and Sunshine, Projects and Plans

Leo Tolstoy once wrote ‘Spring is the time of plans and projects.’ Yet here at home in Caithness, the ninth week of lockdown meant plans and projects put on hold. Keeping up with the daily cycles of homeschool, home work and domesticity leaves us feeling that boredom might be a luxury. Half-weeded patches of garden…

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Hibernation Diaries – Big Emotions, Doorstep Gifts and Lost Teddies

Week eight of lockdown was a challenging one in our household. With my husband working long hours from the spare bedroom, it fell to me to become chief teacher, cook, cleaner, dog walker and all-round operative of essential domestic tasks. On the school front, we had a day of big emotions as I tried to…

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Hibernation Diaries – Learning New Skills in Lockdown, Quiet and Cianalas

And so another week passes in lockdown. Seven weeks of homeschool, thirty-five sessions of P.E. with Joe Wicks. Our children at home for the longest period of time since starting nursery. Homeworking, Facetime calls, daily exercise, a seemingly insatiable familial hunger. Dirty dishes piling up like small, obstinate mountains where they lie. A new dishwasher…

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Hibernation Diaries – Homeschool, Helping, Lost Shoes and Hopeful Sunsets

We are now entering week five of lockdown here in the UK (at least I think it’s week five – it could actually be week four, or six, and I’d currently be none the wiser). The days and weeks are melting into one somewhat, and a sense of routine is becoming ever more important –…

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Hibernation Diaries: Geese, Orca and April’s Evening Diamond

My blog has become something of a journal during these past weeks of lockdown, and thus it continues. It’s difficult, right now I think, to view the world without the spectre of Coronavirus, the effect it has on our daily lives, our families, our collective consciousness, our dreams. For the first time in living memory…

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When This is Over….Seven Dreams for a Hopeful Future

One of the things I keep hearing in this era of Covid-19 and social distancing is that when this is all over, things will be different. As I mentioned here recently, it’s left me wondering what will be different, and what will be the same. Do my dreams differ from those of other people, or…

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