Well, I’m back in my own house after three weeks in my native land.
It was cold and damp there, as expected in November, and it is colder and sharper here. I am sitting at the dining room table watching big fat Hollywood snowflakes drifting down to re-cover the fallen leaves that had just started poking out from under a layer of snow that fell before we got back. (Both the leaves and the snow, actually. That’s how long we were away.)
It’s very pretty. It is the sort of snow that coats the grass and trees and dusts the roofs and makes the world look like a Christmas card, but doesn’t threaten to send you scurrying for the snow shovel. Not yet, anyway.
And it’s nice to be watching the snow fall and not wonder if I’m going to have to hire a snow plough to get me to the maternity ward. Not this winter. I suppose I still have to worry about the accompanying burst pipes and furnace failures but all of that seems much less likely without the whole going-into-labour-at-the-same-time bit.
The holiday was a real tonic, for me at least. I’m sure I didn’t do all the things I should have and I’m OK with that. I feel a bit selfish about it all, but I did sort of suit myself. I was just so happy to be there. And tired. Don’t forget tired.
I did get to see Stirling Castle, where I had not been before, and I got to take the boys swimming in two of those excellent ‘leisure centres’ the local councils lay on (all waterfalls and slides and fun stuff – unlike the ‘family fun’ pool at our local Y which consists of a pool and some staff who shout at you if you have anything resembling fun). I also got to go to an excellent yarn store where I chatted to (and bought some handspun yarn from) a relocated Canadian, who seemed as surprised as I that she was sitting spinning in a wool shop in Ayrshire, nine years after turning up in the country to go to university. Contented, though. I was a little envious.
I think it’s just as well that we went in November, when it was cold and dark and wet a lot. I think if I went in the summer (when it is still chilly but not remotely dark and you can play golf or take walks until 10 in the evening without even losing the horizon) I would have found it harder to come back.
I was not, it has to be said, looking forward to coming back, so I was pleasantly surprised to find myself being quite pleased to see familiar sights. And it was nice to get into our house again. It’s still too far away from Scotland, but apart from that I really have nothing to grouse about.