it has been a while since my last post.
Life was literally upside down since ’round about Christmas time,
as I was relocating back to Scotland from Galicia, Spain.
Packing up a home and studio, trying to squeeze life into boxes to fit into only one car is never easy,
but it was not the first time I did it, so I have become acquainted with the goodbyes,
the letting go of personal possessions and so on.
The only thing I have held onto these past years of moving around Europe,
were my sewing machine, baskets of textiles, many old tins and boxes full of doll making materials,
a crystal wine decanter and matching glasses (because you always need those in your life)
my late gran’s China teapot, a huge Victorian oil lamp (came in handy with the many power cuts we experienced in stormy Galicia) some special books (a signed copy of Vali Myers‘ fabulous book of drawings!)
a few useless but beautiful dresses I never wear, but like to see hanging in my wardrobe anyway,
a miniature dresser my great grandfather made (he was a carpenter, and this beautiful little wardrobe was a model study for a real life piece) and then of course my lovely dog Flynn and his entourage of mainly biscuits and his red wooly jumper for those cold nights (like me he is a creature of comfort, no matter what the situation)
France was again a most welcoming and beautiful host for the journey in between Spain and Britain,
and luckily it is such a huge country that it takes a good old time to drive through it,
really taking in the variety of landscapes, with matching wine and cuisine to go with it.
Back in Scotland now, where I moved into a funny old wee house by a river in a serious glen.
I have been told the sun does not rise over the hill here in winter,
and I am already struggling to come to terms with that…
Some months have passed, but it feels like only weeks.
Walls have been whitewashed, 60’s carpets removed, boxes unpacked (most of them)
and my studio is as good as in working order again, which is really wonderful.
As much as I do love the traveling, I always miss my work.
It is almost two years ago now since we left the UK for Europe,
and it was a really amazing experience to live in different places, adjusting, moulding yourself into new ways of life,
getting familiar with a new language, different climate, different light, different sounds and smells, and meeting the most welcoming people of all time.
This morning I woke up with a really severe nostalgia, wishing I could spend the day in Ortigueira,
drinking café con leche (with the accompanying sugary olive oil cake that comes with it for free)
Soaking up the warm spring air, listening to the sound of the narrow streets behind the plaza;
cats, birds, people going about their day.
Time was so effortlessly spent there, you could just melt into it and not notice it until the warm sun had sunk below the ria, then you realized a day had just passed.
I always knew I would come across days in which I would fiercely miss Galicia, and just the adventure of living in an unknown place in general.
I had not really heard of it before I got there, Galicia.
It was our Northern refuge away from the devastating wildfires in Portugal where we had moved to initially.
Scorched forests and villages, many lives tragically lost. It didn’t feel to me like a very safe place to stay at the time.
Whilst in Porto for a few nights, having escaped our mountain village surrounded by burning hills for the third time in a month, we had a look on the map, looking for a place not too far away with some cool ocean air and less dangerous heat.
The green, rugged bit right above Portugal that I had never heard of, would become home for a beautiful year and a half. And that is how funny life can be. It just throws you around the place sometimes, saying in its funny voice
“You may have planned this all out you know, but I have something different in store for you”
There were some concerned people around me asking if I had a place to live already, and if I knew this that and the other. Thing is though, you can’t really sort life out before you get to a place.
And if you do, you sort it out with the wrong people (estate agents who deal with expats usually do not offer you very good deals, understatement)
So I found that you just have to trust that all will work out, that the tide will be in your favor.
And then it does and is.
So far it has anyway