I haven’t been writing here much, over the past few months. The stress of selling our old home and finding ourselves temporarily homeless, relying once again on self-catering holiday accommodation to put a roof over our heads, has made it difficult to settle to writing.
Although we are still living in temporary accommodation, the peace of mind that has come from finally buying our new home, has been instant.
Finding our way forward, has meant a change of island. We are now connected to Orkney mainland by the Churchill barriers, but are still very much living on a small, peaceful island. Those wide open spaces, that have meant so much to me over the past couple of years, are here in abundance and I can’t help standing out in the garden and just breathing it all in.
For a while, it looked like we might have to leave the islands. Covid has seen such a huge surge in interest, in a life up here, that there simply wasn’t any property available, that suited our slightly unusual needs.
Then, against the odds, a house that we had wanted to buy since we first saw it in early summer, became ours – four days before Christmas.
I am so pleased to still be living in these beautiful islands, where I learned to make baskets and our children have spent such happy days, out and about in this huge landscape.
I also feel contentment, to find myself still living where I can always see the sea and hear the birds. These things bring me such peace and make me feel more like myself.
It’s just as well that these simple pleasures bring me such comfort, because there is a huge amount of work to be done, to make our new home into our dream.
We’re not wasting any time. Work began the day after we picked up the keys and after taking two days off with our kids for Christmas, we were straight back to work on Boxing Day.
It feels good to get started, after months of waiting and putting our lives on hold.
There are lots of little surprises for us, as we work. Discoveries and glimpses of the past, like a calendar from 1899, with compliments from J. Spence & Son, St Margarets Hope.
That is the joy of old houses. They have their many challenges, but they also have a deep connection to lives lived, which is so grounding and it feels like such a privilege to be part of.
There is so much that we are looking forward to doing here. Obviously sorting out our living space is top of the list, but as we work on that, we will also be starting to create working spaces, a flower and craft garden, a polytunnel and outside veg beds to grow our food, developing outbuildings for our animals and of course, developing our businesses.
It is a sustainable life that we are hoping to build here, simple in some ways, complicated in others, but always moving forward, learning together and doing the things that we have talked about for years.
So if I disappear from here from time to time, you know where I will be – busy living and working! But I will do my best to post here regularly again, as we move through 2022. It will be great to look back next December and see what we have achieved.
I wish you all a wonderful start to the new year and thank you for following along with me over the past twelve months. xx