Her and there and now and then

Seven years ago in September we closed our cottage door behind us in Headbourne Worthy, which is near Winchester in Hampshire. In our Jeep, with our pair of Hungarian Vizslas in the back, we followed the removal vehicle containing all our other worldly goods for the next six hundred and seventy miles. I was sixty seven years of age, Dee ten years younger.

We already knew much about our new homeland, having for years and years holidayed up here in the far north of Scotland, but right from the beginning it is quite true to say that we felt as if we had come home. Perhaps Dee felt a certain occasional pull from the south. If so, she's never let on, but I had moved around geographically all my life; she had not. She was a Hampshire lass married to a wanderer in body and in spirit. But Dee adapted if anything more quickly than I to the differences in our life style, became a part of our new community more completely and more quickly as well. Of course we missed the proximity of our family but, face it, love is not distance dependent, and all six of our 'children' and all of their children had their own lives to live. Anyway it was easy to keep in touch and there were plenty of trains and planes for quick trips south whenever necessary.

Yes, we had come home - all four of us.

And finally I could write and I could paint and that's how An Incomer's Views ON WESTER-ROSS in 24 Paintings, Poems and Narratives came about. Three thousand copies sold, and plenty more copies stowed under the bed.

What inspired this bit of a post? We had an e-mail yesterday from an old friend on the south coast. She has, she told us, cut her lawn twice already. Here, it will probably be another month at least before we get out the machine and prepare to do battle with the grass. And this morning another contact from a beloved daughter who says she has my last blog (Strathpeffer picture) hanging on her kitchen wall.

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