Spring has begun to fashion herself on the Isle as golden sways of daffodils brave face in the cold. Crisp air, the kind in which washing comes off the line cold and fresh. The wind has broken leaving a welcome breeze in its wake. Washing days. I live for days such as those. I have never been motivated by money. Which is probably a contributing factor as to why I don’t have any. A large one I would say. It does not empower me nor make me feel a sense of security. I don’t find it particularly interesting and I do find that it mostly leads to more expense. Instead I yearn for those quiet periods. The in-betweens. The grey areas in life to which most people pass by without a backwards glance. The kind in which I peg out washing like bunting. Listening to its airy flapping in the wind. Or dwelling my eyes on the inside of a flower, intricate and complex in symmetry. The sliding on of a worn in jumper, the kind from the men’s section that fit over my hands like make shift gloves. Washing thick chocolate like dirt off potatoes and the kitchen sink. And so I, laden with a brimming basket and copious amounts of rainbowed plastic pegs one morning thrust my legs into wellies and into the start of a new season. Spring.
Winters in the Hebrides are not for the inpatient nor faint of heart. If you live for the warmth of the sun on your back I can in my limited experience tell you Harris is not the residence for you. This being said, for all my adaptability, I was longing for the length of a day. I yearned for towering dashes of colour in pots and the task of scrubbing stubborn dirt from under my nails. Cold salads dripping in dressing and bulging fruit, juice running down the length of my arm. However I knew, lingering in the background, that such a time brings with it a great period of solitude. As Chris becomes his busiest and the outside world demands every little bit of him. Until he is no longer mine. And I have to wait, patiently for him to come back me. Hopefully bearing some rich and delicious dish. I am learning to cope in these times. I understand what I need to do in order for the house to continuously tick with order and how to fill the time. Bella any day is due her second litter of kittens in the last 12 months. Checking her every morning in the hope that I shall open the door to her feeding a number of blind babes. I get a little rush of adrenaline at the thought of having something new to love and cherish. I love having things to take care of. It fills my time. Wondering about hoards of children I am yet to conceive and animals to which I am always trying to persuade Chris to let me nurse. Can I care for an orphan Lamb this year Chris? No. Flat and firm came forth. Why not? You don’t have time Lucy. I’ll make time I said and went back to sipping my tea and wondering if I had enough blankets to go round. I am often drawn into a thought process these days as Bea wakes ever more grown than the previous day. The realisation that my children will not need me forever and I will at some point in a distant but nearing future will be labelled somewhat redundant. Followed by a notion to keep the conveyor belt moving, the basket full so I never reach the check out.
I have some favourite ‘things’ in Harris. The unmistakable swoon of an eagle. Even through my unreliable eyesight I can spot its rectangular body swirling the air like a cauldron. The creamy liquor of fresh tablet. That’s a good one. And highland coos, everyone likes those. Something strangely graceful about them. As If overly shy, they like the hidden comfort of a long fringe. Though I wouldn’t want to meet one at last orders. But the sheep, I love the sheep. I love them milling around the house. Mouths ever moving as if nattering only to pass the time of day. I have come to recognise certain facial markings and personalities. I have even come to name one or too. Much to the quiet hilarity of the crofter who probably thought I was just being very English. But Mildred is her name and I am very fond of her. She bleats at the back door most days and stands square faced as if I owe her something. I probably do. Lambing was and is a special time. To experience it up close and so intimately. The sheep one by one would take themselves high up out the way and a few days later return with one or two small unsteady babes. I stood and watched binoculars forever on the ledge. I loved it. Though Chris would frequently bring lamb chops home. I wasn’t sure how I felt about that. And then the rain came, oh how it came. It never ceased. I awoke to an almighty rage at the window. The rain tumbling from the sky and the wind screaming for me by name. Spring had been pushed out. Put in her place. And I, clutching the washing from the line muttered something French running back into the house. Clutching what felt like winter in my arms.
10 thoughts on “I simply remember my favourite things.”
Fabulous post, as always Lucy.
My how Bea has grown. I too love hanging my washing out, love it blowing freely in the breeze.ŵ
I disagree with you saying, ‘I know my Children won’t need me forever’. You are very wrong! Bea & Noah will need you for the rest of their lives BUT they will need you in different ways. To listen when they have a boyfriend problem, should they move job, should they move in with their boyfriend & so it goes on. Will still asks Chris & I lots of things. You always need your Ma & Pa. their love is unconditional & they don’t judge you, so always a good way to earbash any worries.
Love to you all,
Wonderful as always Lucy. Your words make me feel like I am there with you and the photos are lovely too. My how Bea has grown since I saw her last in a photo and Bella has certainly been busy! I love how you describe the changing of the seasons on Harris too, the same seasons as I have here but experienced in totally different ways. I am still hoping to return next year but have just been told I need further spinal surgery so it may not happen – fingers crossed. xxx
Thank you for this. It’s lovely to see Bea too. I never experienced winter in Harris but I know how bleak it can be at times. This has been a long and difficult winter all over and we have only just finished planting some flowers here. Spring is racing to catch up for lost time though and it is a joy to see the new life push forth. Hope you are all doing well 😊
I love reading all about your life on Harris. You make me feel like I want to go there to experience it myself. Your photos are stunning and really help to show us what your life is like. Thank you for sharing this with us all. Lots of love to you and your lovely family xxx
I loved your musings as always, Lucy! I think I always feel like Spring renews my Spirit! To see the tender green leaves dressing the trees, nature is waking us all up slowly. I loved your description of the wind screaming your name, and the raging rain! I live in a very windy place that also gets a lot of rain, so I can soooo relate to your descriptions.
So happy to see the new birth of the Kitts! We got 2 new Kittens last November, and they have been a constant source of joy and chaos! They are named for Jimmy Page, so the brother is Jimmy and the sister is Page! (From my husbands favourite band, Led Zepplin)
My Mom’s name was Mildred and it would have been her 94th birthday today!! So I couldn’t believe how you named one of your darling sheep my Mom’s name! I celebrate my Mom today and to know that you have a wee friend named Mildred makes me happy.
Your little Bea looks more like you more than ever, and has an inner joy, just like You! She will need you always and forever.
Thank you once again dear Lucy, I feel like I am almost with you as you are pinning the clothes to the line and bringing the fresh air in with them. I just ordered a book of the Hebrides by Peter May and I can’t wait for it to come. My dream is to come across the Ocean to visit the Hebrides one day!
Ta rah or Guid efternuin for now! 🌷 Susan ( Harrison Hot Springs, B.C., Canada)
Gorgeous and stilling to read as always Lucy ❤️ I sort of ‘met’ you recently at the Tarbert burger van as you gave flowers to the owner. It was a lovely moment that I did not want to interrupt. You are beautiful and so dainty. I’m so tall in comparison. You have a wonderful loving presence, hold onto that ❤️ I’m back mid July and maybe we will meet properly 🌈🌈 xx
So lovely to read your latest thoughts and a wonderful post hinting at the arrival of warmer days.
So happy to hear from you via the Blog! Had been searching for you on social media the other week to find you gone 😔 I understand why though! Anyway, just wanted to say hi and wish you well. I’ve just had my twins 9 weeks early so in that newborn haze of tiredness and worry, but otherwise all good. We’ll miss you and your family on Instagram, but hoping life is going at a more peaceful pace without it xx
Get Outlook for Android
I’m so glad I found your blog again, we went to Harris for a day trip yesterday, I wasn’t sure if you were still around on the island, but I managed to find an old post of Chris’s, I wished I’d looked before we went on the trip. Your love of the simple things in life is very close to my heart, from the washing on the line to looking after injured animals. We’ve had our house near Uig on Skye for nearly 2 years, time is flying, I can’t wait till we live here permanently, I just want to make sure my girls are more settled before we go. You talk about your children and how they might not need you as much, my girls are 26 & 23 and we talk a lot about all sorts of things, sometimes you find the tables have turned and they are the support you need, it creeps up on you unexpectedly. I’m so glad your life is beautiful, now I’ve found your blog I’ll be able to see how your year unfolds. I often think of your family, keep well xxx
You have such a way with words, Lucy. I don’t know how you do it, but somehow, through your words, I find myself transported to Harris, as if they reflect both the starkness and wildness and also the lushness and richness of the place (that might seem contradictory, but anyone who has ever set foot on a Hebridean island can tell you that it isn’t). I can almost feel the rain on my face and the wind in my hair! It is clear that you are right where you belong. Maybe only somebody so in tune with their surroundings could achieve such a feat. All the best to you and your family.