Six Months On – A Major Page Turn

A view of Portree Harbour

Occasionally I surprise myself, but this time, I went a little further than usual.

After 15 happy years in the Peak District, we’ve moved 500 miles up north to the Isle of Skye! The whole move took around four and half months, and this included securing two jobs, selling and buying a house and enrolling Little M in a local school. Frankly, looking back on it, I’m astounded that we managed to achieve all of this in such a short time, especially as this isn’t the easiest place to move to, but our general philosophy was ‘if it’s meant to be, it will happen.’ And it did.

So here we are – between the woods and the water. Why did we make such a major change in our lives? I can’t answer that fully except to say that it felt right. We’d visited Skye before, and the Highlands, but it was more than landscape which brought us here. A hankering for remote living, tighter community, Scottish culture and values, wilderness, sea – all of these influenced our decision. And although it’s maybe a little too early to say, this place feels instantly comfortable. I’ve only experienced that a few times in my life. Let’s hope the feeling holds.

Aside from missing family and friends, the only other thing I’ve pined for is my reading vibe. In the flurry, I lost my bookish mojo and I’m keen to get it back again. I can’t even remember half the books that I have read, which is frustrating. On the positive side, there is a fantastic bookshop on Skye and a great library so we won’t be short of excellent reads.

We ended up giving around 500 books to charity before we left England, but inevitably accumulated a few too, especially books about Skye and the Hebrides. These were gifted to us by friends and colleagues and I’m almost as excited about reading these as I am exploring the local area, which is rich in history, legend and geological wonder. Titles in waiting include:

  • Love of Country: A Hebridean Journey by Madeleine Bunting
  • The Summer Isles by Philip Marsden
  • The Art of Coorie: How to Live Happy the Scottish Way by Gabriella Bennett
  • Isle of Skye Natural History Walks by Chris Mitchell
  • Wildfire at Midnight by Mary Stewart

I also have the below on my wishlist:

  • Calum’s Road by Roger Hutchinson
  • Ring of Bright Water by Gavin Maxwell
  • Reread To The Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
  • From Wood to Ridge/O Choille gu Bearradh Collected Poems by Sorley MacLean

Please let me know if you have any other recommendations in any genre. I’m sure that there are many more to track down.

I’m hoping to post at least once a month from now on – mostly book-orientated with perhaps some travel in the mix. Give us a shout if there is anything you’d like us to share!

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