2020: My Year in Numbers

Around this time last year, I wrote a review of my year in numbers (an idea borrowed gratefully from my friend Suzanne at Inside, Outside and Beyond – thankyou again Suzanne). I enjoyed the format of reflecting on the year numerically, and so I have decided to use it again this year. It also avoids…

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Introducing Castles of Steel and Thunder

If you’re a regular reader here, you’ll know I recently shared the news that I’m about to publish my first novel, a Young Adult fantasy inspired by the legends of Caithness. Over the October holidays, I was a very busy bee, proofreading typeset proofs and finalising small details with the wonderful assistance of Jen at…

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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 – 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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On Anxiety, Covid-19 and Kindness

In the week since I last wrote, the world seems to have spun completely on its axis. The Covid-19 virus has the UK in its grip, a pandemic that threatens not just our wellbeing, but the very essence of how we live. All around us, the social structures that anchor us to the world are…

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The March Moon, Cold Comfort and Being Astonished by the World

This week, I have found myself reflecting on the changing seasons as winter slowly turns to spring, and then back again, in the game of back and forth that so often characterises March in Caithness. Here and there, primroses peek out in cheerful colours, while on verges, daffodils open up like yellow, honeyed eyes. In…

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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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