Category Archives: favourite places

another day in the bank

Today, we woke early, and drove fast and far into the west.


Today, we walked for hours by the sea of silverblue reflected light.


Today, we felt the sand between our toes, and heard the oystercatcher’s cry.


Today, we filled our pockets with shells, and our minds with pictures.


The tragic saga of the foot has reminded me how vital it is to get out and make the most of every today.


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small summits

Yesterday I had a bit of a breakthrough on the foot front. After whinging for the entire week since the cast came off that walking was agonising and impossible even with the special orthotic insoles the doctor dude had given me… yeah, it finally occurred to me that I was walking reasonably painlessly barefoot, so maybe the orthotics were a part of the problem, not the solution. Yeah, it turned out I had been suffering a medically induced limp. I won’t dwell on how annoyed this makes me, but instead celebrate how wonderful it felt to be out walking, rather than hobbling along like Jake-the-fecking-peg.

Finally, after 11 weeks, I made it up a hill again. I was slow, and wobbly, and afterwards everything ached, but at least now I have some hope I might walk properly again one day.


Top of the world selfie!


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fast forward

Ooops, so I didn’t really write anything for six months.

Let me tell you how the first six months of being 40 has gone. I don’t think it was at all how I thought my life would be as a grown-up. Remember that Friends theme..? So no-one told you life was gonna be this way… that’d be me.

Things I have done since being 40 that I never got around to blogging about, and probably never will:

1) Knitted a puffin.

2) Closed down the preschool that’s been a huge part of my life for the last 8 years.

3) Been very unhappy and incredibly angry about the unfairness of item 2.

4) Applied for far too many jobs I didn’t want (dull, boo.)

5) Finally got a job I do want (huzzah!)

6) Sold off the contents of said business in order to pay my own redundancy (miserable, tedious, and undignified.)

7) In the middle of all the ghastlyness of numbers 2-6 inclusive, had a fabulous restorative holiday on Tiree with the most generous friends.


8) Desperately, determinedly, made it the Best Term Ever, because if you have to go out, you may as well do it on a high (whilst humming songs from Fr*zen.)

9) Ran away to Shetland All By Myself the minute term was over to recover.


10) planned and executed The Best Camp Ever. No false modesty here. Officially, best ever.


And then I managed this:


Short version: fell over my own feet, sesamoid fracture, four weeks of not being able to walk. Which is frankly doing my head in, because walking is how I cope with everything else. So what else is there to do but blog about it instead?


Filed under favourite places, preschool

sea shore shawl

This is more landscape-as-knitwear.


I modified Kate Davies’ Northmavine Hap pattern to relocate it to the Western Isles.


I used four sea colours of Jamieson’s/ Jamieson & Smith,


a skein of grey North Ronaldsay from the beer, wool and Body Shop in Kirkwall,


and the edging is a teeny tiny skein of hand-dyed North Ronaldsay.


And it’s all about the waves over white sand.


I need to book my ferry tickets so I can prance on the beach in my shawl.


Filed under favourite places, knitting

spring break

Oh look- six weeks have gone by without any blog!

I don’t know why I stopped posting. I think I’ve been busy. I know I’ve been angry about circumstances-beyond-my-control. And once you stop talking, it gets more and more difficult to start.

I’ve been to Orkney, celebrated my 40th birthday joyously in several phases, enjoyed spending time outside in the spring weather (yes, it finally stopped raining!) and done a little bit of knitting…

My obsession with landscape as fabric continues. I still intend to knit myself a stranded Scottish archipelago in fifty shades of sea green… one day, when I have time…

This is my Orkney souvenir cushion. I spun the graduated colours for the spots from a bag of North Ronaldsay fibre, and the neutral background yarn is also North Ronaldsay.



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life begins

In three months time, I’m going to be forty. I can’t wait- finally, I get to wear purple, and behave badly, with impunity. It looks like being full of interesting times. My job will almost certainly not exist this time next year. I’m choosing to think of this as an exciting and life changing opportunity, but frankly, it’s also a little bit terrifying.

I’ve been pondering ways to celebrate. I have friends who have made lists, run marathons, and danced all night. They are all good things to do, but they are not my thing (although I’m not absolutely ruling out a little list- I do love the lure of ticking things off…) Actually, there’s only one place I want to be to kick off my fifth decade, and that’s a Scottish island. I haven’t decided which one yet, but if anyone feels like sending a gift, I’d be really really happy about an appearance of the northern lights…


There are no specific plans yet (because I only just got around to thinking this evening). If anyone is daft enough to join me, I’d be thrilled.


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lazy hazy

Today was a quietly domestic sort of day. I stayed in bed reading a gentle sort of book (D E Stevenson); baked the second Christmas cake; finished the first sleeve of my jumper and started the second; went for a walk up the Pike.

I was particularly gratified that the hazy layered colours of low winter sun on hills echo my new stripey knitting. The light diffracting through mist gives a halo just like the alpaca. Or is that just me…?


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