We are beginning to feel a little less transitory now. A lot of boxes have been unpacked (though there are many more to go) and we have had a chance to think about what we own and how we use it, so our living spaces are becoming more welcoming, and our working spaces more organised and accessible. This is my herb and craft cupboard, which holds a lot of random stuff – materials and equipment, including my camera, which now has its own proper place – that used to be scattered across a lot of nooks and crannies, so that every job was harder to get started, to organise or to clear away afterwards. There is a big bookcase in this room too, so all my reference books and files will be where I need them.
There are small forays outside now, too. A month before we moved I had a nasty flare-up of my rheumatoid arthritis, and for a long time walking was very difficult. But if RA is sneaky and excruciatingly disabling, it is also variable, which means that it can abate as fast as it came. This week has been suddenly a lot better, and we have been walking up the field track, meeting cows, still outside, and some horses – and also a raven, which we didn’t expect – and into the town a couple of times, which has meant the opportunity to see a whole new range of plants growing on what looks like a subsoil of heavy clay. There are even bulrushes in some of the open spaces between the streets, which implies some very wet ground beneath.
I am enjoying the feeling of looking out from this high point. It’s not that high as Scotland goes, but we do have an open aspect over miles of counntry. A lot of it is the glittering urban sprawl of Glasgow – a high rise or two, a lot of pylons and a couple of television masts, but there are belts of woodland, open green country and some very distant hills. After being right at the bottom of the Forth Valley, this feels exhilarating and welcoming.
We are getting to know our neighbours, and their animals – almost every house has a dog or a cat, and next door has rabbits, too. The birds I thought were quite scarce seem to be here too, but shy. We put up a feeder, and they came – blue tits, wrens, robin, starlings and sparrows. Clearly, I just have to make an effort to stop and look, be quiet and let them show themselves when they are ready. But sometimes, you get something really unexpected – last night, I looked out of my window and saw a fox crossing the street. It is clear that there are going to be many different kinds of connections to be made to this territory.