Cover photo for Elosa

#4 A Look Back at July, August 2023

July and August have both been busy months, in very different ways.
July featured a wedding, trips north and south (and then even further south, to visit old friends, covering nearly the length of the country in a handful of days). Then back home again to welcome some friends who were coming to stay. All in all, I can’t say we exactly had a relaxing holiday, but it certainly was a lot of fun.
Every year, my three younger sisters and mum randomly assign each other a category they have to enter in the County Show the next year. Because we were there at Stempster when they did this last year, we all decided to take part in the random draw: Euan had to make custard creams, I had to submit a photograph on the theme “A Favourite Walk”, and Auri had to decorate fairy cakes. We had a lot of fun preparing our submissions. I also thoroughly enjoyed sitting down afterwards while we all showed off our winning (or not) submissions. After some not-so-subtle hints to my sisters, I managed to bring home an excellent haul of handcrafted works and original artworks.
August was different entirely. We’d decided a while back that, given Auri was starting school, we’d be hunkering down at home for the rest of the year, only making trips within Scotland. The first half of August was relatively peaceful. Elfi started nursery at the beginning of the month, so the days were suddenly a lot more simple, and Auri and I had a lot of fun together, including a fantastic Adventure Day. Auri is now at school (and loving it) and Elfi has settled well into nursery. Euan was off gadding around on fieldwork for some of August and has some interesting projects on the go at present, and I started back at work last week after my maternity leave.
As of the beginning of this month, I started a new series of seasonal notebooks, Scribbles and Sketches. Each notebook – four a year – will last a calendar month, and will follow a single theme, which may be predominantly textual or predominantly visual. My first notebook is Leaves of Poetry.
We have been thinking and talking about future adventures, and we have some interesting ideas we’re pondering at present. More news as we have (or make) it.
A peacock butterfly, resting in the woods

A Murder of Crows

I always enjoy reading Mum’s blog, but I think her July post may be my favourite yet: “The tiny scrap grows well, the magic love grows too…” Her August post contains a rather mischievous mention of a certain trip to Sannick Bay and Duncansby Lighthouse. Miss Trunchbull – such cheek!
Alexander continues with his newly revamped newsletter, The Crow’s Nest, and I strongly recommend you check it out. As well as recent writing on ancestral skills and how we can improve our understanding of and engagement with the natural world, he has recently started another series of posts focussing on Edges and Entries, and I am really enjoying where this one is going. Alexander also recently serialised his first novella (there are several out there!), Only One Death, and with this came a beautifully visual post on how he creates his maps.
Crowvus is currently focussing on their seasonal competitions, with their annual Christmas Ghost Story competitions for adults and children (renamed this year to the Ghost Osa Prize for Children, in memory of our Osa!), and a graveyard photography competition.
Judith also has a new book out, The Folly at Raighvan Park, which I am sure will be another creepy, gothic masterpiece.

And So To September!

And we’re five days in, already. Five years ago today, I left my job and moved northward to the Highlands full-time, after being split between Edinburgh and the Highlands. It’s fair to say, quite a bit has happened since then. Scapa arrived, Auri arrived, Elfi arrived. Life is good, and we’re all excited about the promise of new adventures just round the corner. Watch this space!
Until next time, friends,
Lydia and all at Elosa xxx