2006, a year of change

Daily Prompt: Buffalo Nickel

Dig through your couch cushions, your purse, or the floor of your car and look at the year printed on the first coin you find. What were you doing that year?

Pause for rummage.

I have here a UK 10 pence piece, dated 2006. 10p, small change, 2006, big changes.

Skylight Cottage
Skylight Cottage

That year began in Glenlivet, on Speyside – the heart of Scotland‘s best known whisky region. We moved in during the Autumn of 2005, with our breath held and a one year deal on the mortgage. It was my dream cottage in a dream location, within yards of the banks of the River Livet. Finally, finally we had arrived in the Highlands and were experiencing a Highland winter.

wpid17-winter-2-of-1.jpgKnow what? Dreams don’t keep you warm. That stone-built cottage, with its stone-flagged floor and iron-framed skylights… it struggled to keep us warm in the 20 degree below temperatures. We survived the winter and made the most of our time in that heavenly spot. The Crown Estate offers walking enough to keep the most active persons entertained and we walked… oh, how we walked! We explored and hiked and picnicked and strode up mountains and our dreams had all come true.

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Cairn Daimh

Sadly, dreams don’t  pay the mortgage and it soon became evident that we could not stay. We needed to buy a cheaper property, and there were none of those in this very desirable location. Much of 2006 was spent with spreadsheets, bank balances and, ultimately, with Estate Agents’ property lists – and by the Autumn we were on our way North, to Orkney.

Could anywhere be more different?

There are many similarities – we live now in a small crofting community of similar size to the one that we lived in then. There are roughly the same number of people in a similar number of properties and in an area of comparable size. It’s a lot lower down and our view is of passing seabirds and fishing boats rather than of buzzards and mountains.

It was a big change, but a good one. The scenery we miss, and the freedom to walk and explore, but the climate here suits us better and the community is something else. Not exclusive and guarded as it was back there and then. Here arms are opened in welcome and friends are made readily. Shopping trips are made by ferry rather than by car and the shopping options are less. Life is simple but fun. I am not sad that we made the change, but I do miss striding up those hills! And it is good that the bank sheet now balances, of course.

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Down at Sea Level

Recently, at the: Crooked House

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Bare Naked

We are home again, after a month-long trip away. A trip during which I completely failed to get my laptop out. It was good to come home. We were driving along, close to Le Dorat at the time, when I felt that “aren’t we fortunate to live in such a lovely part of France” feeling washing over me. I had a sudden urge to invite all my friends to come and stay and to shareContinue readingBare Naked

A Month in France: Nothing is Lost

A Month in France: Nothing is Lost

I am lagging on the Month in the Country prompts, and lagging badly at that. I have a list of prompts t be caught up on and I shall be working my way through them here, or at Scattered Thoughts depending on where the post most naturally sits. I have elected to tackle the prompts not in date order necessarily but to seize upon prompts that offer me space in which to write down the things that I am feeling the need to say. Even if I need to crowbar it in. The thing is, I am going to continue to be short of time and space in which to write and so a two-for-one is useful and I hope to do as many of those as I can. Seems like a plan? … Continue readingA Month in France: Nothing is Lost

Recent movements of the: Deux Escargots

October 18, 2020 at 01:22PM

On our way again. Not far to go and no check in until 2pm so a late and lazy start to our day. I have been watching eagles. Not sure what we are going to be doing for the next few days. We want to take Nell to a vet and the outcome of that… Continue reading October 18, 2020 at 01:22PM

October 16, 2020 at 01:23PM

#livereportingfromtheroad #france #autumn2020

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