"FUIMUS - We Have Been"

"FUIMUS - We Have Been!" motto of Clan Bruce

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Sunday, 23 September 2012

ONCE UPON A DREAM; There's No Place Like Home

The comfort of one's own bed after travelling is perfect bliss.

Picture from; www.google.com
Late last night I returned from my working holiday in the Highlands and if you have been following my blog recently you will know why I was so much looking forward to the break.  I spent my time based in a tiny Victorian spa town called Strathpeffer which really hasn't changed a bit since its heyday in the 19th century; it is very easy to imagine ladies in long gowns wandering around the little town to 'take the waters'.  I have been to Strathpeffer before and the area and the locals are familiar to me.  I like to travel alone so I have no-one else to please and I can just wander and ponder and do my own thing.

My first visit to the town was eleven years ago and although I love all things Victoriana,  it made me realize just how much of a city girl I actually am. Even though I love the countryside and the Highlands, it was still a bit of a culture shock that the town does not boast a single jukebox... nor is there a village pub, just the hotel bars...or a takeaway -  the locals have to order pizza from Inverness and it takes 40 minutes to arrive and then it needs to be warmed in the oven.  This all seemed very strange to a 20-something girl used to having everything she could possibly want right on her doorstep at all hours of the day and night.  On my recent visits over the last couple of years however, it is the very peace and tranquility of Strathpeffer that has drawn me back there - it is like spending a few days in a time capsule. It is the closest I have ever come to time travelling!

Staying in a hotel has its perks; no washing up, all meals are cooked for you and there is no housework to do.  But it also has its drawbacks...I missed my home comforts, my cat Pyewackett, my privacy.  I did get lots of writing done, but missed the comfort of my own study.  As I was up in the mountains the internet and phone network coverage are somewhat sketchy so I left my laptop at home and carried a notebook and my diary instead.  Again this allowed me to absorb the peace of a much simpler time and I was offline for more than a week, which for a writer is a very long time.

On my last evening I said a fond farewell to the town, the Pictish Eagle Stone, the memories and the timeless mountains;  I will be back again one day, but in the meantime there are other parts of Scotland I want to explore. I am already planning a new trip to Wester Ross for next year.  I always find coming home after travelling in Scotland somewhat bitter-sweet.  I am happy to have my space and privacy again; but I miss the fresh mountain air, the big landscapes, the glens, the stags, the scent of pine trees, the pipes and kilts and the beautiful accent of the Scots with their romantic way of expressing themselves.  I never feel so free as when I am in Scotland. But these are some of the things which make my return home a true homecoming;

The comfort of my own lovely four poster bed
A hot bath with a range of lovely bath products to chose from
A cosy study in which to write
My big screen TV and DVD collection
My car just waiting for a midnight drive to see if the local barn owl is hunting
The lure of the shopping center!
The fragrance of scented candles burning in the evenings
My cat Pyewackett
Family and friends and their 'Welcome Home' smiles
Ordering pizza for supper and it arrives inside 10 minutes, piping hot!
Enjoying breakfast in bed and a lazy lie-abed morning
The knowledge that Yorkshire is home, Scotland is hame and I will always have a foot in each country.  I could never choose between the two. I am a Bruce and I belong to both places.

It was wonderful to be in Scotland; it's great to be back in Yorkshire.

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