March is usually such a changeable month, never deciding whether to be winter or spring or, occasionally and brazenly, summer. This March clearly decided to dig its heels in and be winter, with only a day or two of respite during the whole month.
Nevertheless, there has still been an increased feeling of coming out of hibernation. It has been lovely having friends round for dinner, or staying the weekend. Auri has continued her love of all things jigsaw and is enjoying an ever-growing social calendar of her own, and Elfi had her second round of vaccinations (which, oddly, were more brutal than the first, proving yet again that all daughters are so very different). She is so much bigger than Auri was at this age, and it is strange to see her topping out clothes in her age range. Auri was, until recently, always wearing clothes for much younger children, though there is little to no consistency across shops in these types of things.
We enjoyed a lovely Mothers’ Day weekend at Stempster, and also closed out the month in Caithness; a welcome break after a particularly exhausting week or so when Euan had been away attending the Integrated Land Use Conference and then, a few days later, undertaking his induction at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, as part of his Treescapes Fellowship. I will forever be grateful for our friends who help out when I’m on my own with the girls. Last Monday night, I had to participate in a conference call (camera off, due to breast-feeding Elfi at the same time), and some friends picked up Auri and Scapa to go wear them out for an hour before bed. “It takes a village,” one of them said, “and we’re your village.”
“We had four children back then and we took ourselves off to an unknown (to us) place where we believed our children would be happy. We were right! Orkney was everything we had hoped it would be. The children were out of doors on fine days and soaking up the natural world like little sponges. They had freedom to roam and a hunger to learn about their environment.”
As well as his Not A Travel Writer update sneaking in on the last day of March and starting with thoughts on spring from a different pocket of the world, amongst other things including fantasy and techno, Alexander also shared his thoughts on How to Commit to Long Term Travel, a must-read for anyone still wondering whether a travelling life is for them, with practical suggestions about how to approach such a significant change in ways of living.
Crowvus has also been busy, organising events and finalising their latest journal for publication. Their latest publication (imminent journal aside) is Heartstone by Clemency, “a middle grade fantasy adventure set in rural Cumbria.” My younger sisters also managed to capture some amazing pictures of the Merry Dancers when they paid a visit to Caithness mid-month. Check out Judith and Virginia’s Twitter accounts for their images.
And so to April!
I am finishing this draft early in the morning at Stempster, listening to the ticking of the clocks — oh, so many clocks! - and the chatter and bluster of the birds outside. Time for another cup of tea.
Until next time, friends, Lydia and all at Elosa xxx