My side of the mountain

Good morning Mum 🙂

Ady has been working today, he’s been bartering his time for other things with fellow islanders and has been busy helping deliver firewood in exchange for a fix on one of our laptops, clearing some garden space for water pipe and later this week will be doing some runs to the skip and general tidying in return for a car which a fellow islander has no further use for but will be perfect for us with a little attention. Funny how we were only talking last week about how our car was not right for us here and now a new one arrives. Thanks cosmic supply company!

This left Dragon, Star and I in the luxurious position of a cosy warm static midway through a book we’ve been enjoying. A friend recommended My Side of the Mountain to me years ago as something she thought Dragon and Star would enjoy I filed the recommendation away but never managed to get hold of a copy. My lovely sister in law sent Star a copy of the trilogy for her birthday though and we started reading it a few days ago and have been grabbing it for another ten minutes whenever we can as we are all so hooked.

So, we breakfasted, dressed and got the logburner banked up then sat and read for another hour or so this morning. It’s a story that feels so very relevant to us just now and the following few sentences just leapt out at me to the extent I marked the page to look back at them again when I read them earlier today. It’s about the changing of the season from winter to spring after a hard, snow filled few months:

This is important when the weather is as near to you as your skin and as much a part of your life as eating.

As much as we are desperate for a proper home, one that keeps the outside at bay I suspect there will be years to come when we look back on this winter. The nights we have laid awake whispering to each other as the wind howls around us and shakes the static – everything taken down from the walls as they flex and bend and our packed bag of space clothes ready at the end of the bed to grab and run should we need to evacuate. The days we have compared mud marks around our wellies to see who managed to put a foot in the deepest bit of boggy ground. The way we all walk down the croft hill six feet apart so we don’t splash each other with our footsteps yet every one of us has a band around our jeans where our wellies end of little stained splash marks of mud. We can taste the bleach in chlorinated treated drinking water these days after nearly a year of drinking water from the burn and we are all masters at watching the skies to judge how long a window we have between rain showers to nip out and get animals fed or gather supplies from the village.

We are noticing the incremental daily increase in daylight hours and while it remains bitterly cold and fairly bleak when I went out with Bonnie to collect firewood this morning there was that indefinable air of a new year in the air; promise, hope and anticipation. We’re still in the middle of winter and it’s all too easy to be wishing it away and looking hard for signs of spring but winter brings much to celebrate and admire and while the rest of the UK has disruption and posts pictures of snowmen and closed roads to facebook we have been enjoying crisp clear sunshine and contrasting snowy peaks against beautiful blue skies. The clock will tick, the calendar will change and we’ll be bemoaning midges again before we know it. Even in the midst of challenging times little bubbles of perfect moments can still be grasped before they pop.

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