Storms, Seasons and Social Media

I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers. Anne of Green Gables It’s not the first time I’ve used this quote on the blog (and I’m sure it won’t be the last time). Autumn is finally upon us – that season of colour, crunchy leaves and closing nights. This year feels…

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The Case for Community-Minded Thought

Back at the start of this era of Coronavirus, lockdown and social distancing I remember reading that the health crisis would bring out the best – and the worst – in people. Over the last few months that prediction certainly seems to have been accurate – I’m sure we can all think of examples of…

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Slow Down, Sit Still

Summer wanes, the end of a season in lockdown. It’s been weeks since I wrote on here properly, barring a piece I did on the NC 500, and the Summer of discontent in the far north. I spent the holidays wrapped up in the cocoon of family, not venturing far, taking small steps around Caithness.…

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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.┬áBefore 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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