Stories and Solastalgia – The Aftermath of Writing About The North Coast 500, Park-Ups, Potholes and Poo

This summer, I wrote a piece about living on the popular ‘North Coast 500’ route through the lens of my own experience as a resident of Caithness. Entitled ‘Poo, Potholes and Park-Ups – Why Highlanders are Tired of Scotland’s North Coast 500 Route,’ the article was probably more even-handed than the alliterated headline might suggest.…

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Of Snow and Stories

Last weekend brought snow to Caithness, two days of respite from the unchanging nature of lockdown. As it fell that first evening, my 11-year-old ran into the street without a jacket while I watched him from the door. There was a simple kind of magic to seeing him spin under heavy, lamp-lit flakes, like parts…

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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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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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Snow, Spring and Promising to Remember

The last week has brought a myriad of feelings – anxiety, contentment, fear, comfort, positivity, helplessness, happiness. Stories that are not mine to tell mean that there has also been shock – and sadness – too. The devastation wreaked by Covid-19 seems to creep a little closer, reminding us that statistics are not statistics –…

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Caithness and Coorie – Embracing the Seasons in The UK’s Most Northerly Mainland County

Over the years, I’ve embraced just about every geographical lifestyle trend imaginable. Hygge – the Danish art of cosiness and contentment: on it. Lagom – the Swedish philosophy of ‘not too little, not too much, just right’: yep, count me in. Ikigai – the Japanese secret to a long and happy life: been there, done…

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2020 – The Stories Hearts Tell

Hello, and happy 2020……! The sun has risen on a new decade, and as usual January brings with it a sense of expectation. Resolutions, plans for diet and lifestyle, pressure to overhaul just about everything in our lives. I don’t really go in for New Year resolutions, preferring instead to set goals throughout the year…

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2019: My Year in Numbers

At this point in December I like to emerge from my turkey-induced fog and write a few words to usher out the year that’s leaving us. Of course, this year, we’re ushering out a whole decade, and I’m excited about what’s to come in the ‘twenties’ (not least because we’ll finally have a decade we…

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October on the Cote D’Azur – Part One

We generally enjoy our ‘big’ holiday for the year in October, when tourist destinations tend to be a bit quieter, and temperatures are more suited to our far north constitutions. Last year, we went on a mammoth French/Belgian roadtip, visiting Paris, Disneyland and Bruges (amongst other places) and this year, we continued in the French…

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