The office. Somewhere on the west coast of Lewis. A week or so after the Solstice. Hands smelling of the rotted sheep sinew I wrested from between Murphy’s teeth.
In the wilds at last! Friends thought my old moorland home was wild and that my life there was fairly free, but not wild enough, nor free enough. I held (almost) all the stuff of my dreams in my hands but it was too heavy to walk with. Packing up two and a half bedrooms, three sheds, a barn and an acre or two and making arrangements for chickens, Horse, piano, tenor guitar, treadle Singer and old Merc was something of a feat in two months. I even did a little weaving along the way – although not much. Somehow Catholic guilt passed all the way to me (contrary to my mother’s belief, and Zen persuasion), and although some don’t see my Protestant work ethic, I certainly feel bad when I don’t work. God knows I cannot afford to be a lady of leisure, any more than I could afford to live like a married and moneyed woman smallholding without the husband or the money. I hope I can afford to live in an old motorhome. So tomorrow is at last, I hope, the first day of my new normal: weaving quietly all day in a bleak Celtic spot – or possibly weaving singing in a bleak Celtic spot, since I have a book of Scottish songs, a book of Irish tunes, and, as of today’s inspiring speed-delve into Stornoway, a book of weaving songs too.
As I type I’m watching a gannet colony speed-delving into the sea. There is ground elder, and I’m going to see what my hedgerow cookbook says of it. There are three types of orchid, scattered gentian(?), sea pink, white campion, violets – ach no, I discover that they are nae violets but something far more exotic – prolific clover, buttercup and daisy, cinquefoil, sorrel, sunshine trefoil in abundance, sea-rocket and various others I don’t know. And all that just at an ill-informed glance.