So I’ve been procrastinating on art, de-cluttering the house, clearing out old stuff, pontificating about the past & the future..whats that all been about?
Well, finally we set a date, for myself & Andrew to merge households. For two years ( tomorrow ) we have been commuting at weekends to each others homes, 97 miles, alternating between East and West coast abodes. It has been wonderful to have a retreat, somewhere to get away from stress and worries, somewhere with little internet and where people can’t get a hold of me to nag for my volunteering time. The weather is better on the East, there are less midges, the Burghead harbour is tranquil and beautiful. I loved the chugging back and forth of the fishing boats. There is a massive curving sandy beach which goes all the way to Findhorn, pine forests fringe the beach, riddled with pathways to explore. The sandstone and big waves from the North sea are such a contrast to the West, where long pebbled sea lochs reach into the mountains. At Burghead there was a sense of space, of openness, sea and sky.
While it is a shame to loose this Eastern retreat, the driving, the lost
hours and fuel money was difficult. The lonely weekdays, chatting on computer or phone in the evenings were a trudge, I felt I was living out of bags a lot, and the food cuboards at either end never had the right things in at the right time. Economically and emotionally it all makes sense to move in together. We chose the West coast because it is a bigger space, a house & big garden rather than a flat with no Garden. There is room for both of us to have home studios set up to work in. It has just been a matter of getting organised and fitting in the big move. So we plumped for last weekend. 11th & 12th July. I had to drop a Glasgow conference, and catching up with a college pal over from New Zealand to Edinburgh, to do the ‘flit’ , but the timing was going to be difficult whenever we chose.
It was Gala week the week we packed & got ready to leave Burghead.
A restored Fishing boat, a traditional Herring drifter had docked at the harbour. The ‘Reaper’ is now a floating museum. The main mast was huge, made from one douglas fir tree. It was wonderful to see it there and have a look about.
this out of focus phone camera picture was taken at midnight, looking North, on one of our last nights there. We spent the last days, between packing and loading cars, sitting at the harbour, watching the boats come and go, watching shoals of fish, flashing silver in the waters as waves of movement passed through the shoal.
One of the regular seal visitors was also enjoying a fish, until the gulls managed to swipe it off him/her.
The move involved a lot of heavy lifting! I’m still pretty incapacitated by my wrecked elbow & having to wear a wrist strap. Luckily we got some help from Andrews brother at the Burghead end, and my Mother, sister & two neighbours joined in at the Lochcarron end. We hired a big van, loaded her up. drove to lochcarron, unloaded. reloaded with old spare furniture to go to the recycling centre. dropped that off in Inverness. Picked up a take-away. Sat on the beach for that Burghead goodbye, burning the delicate broomflower basket I’d made earlier in the summer.
After a night of camping at the empty flat, cleaning and loading the cars with as much as we could carry, we treated ourselves to these little chaps which had been tempting us at the local wee shop.
Now drained & exhausted, we just wanted to get back to set up the new joint home. Back along that long, long road we went. My family treated us to Dinner at Strathcarron Hotel when we arrived. The Bar was busy, full of banter and laughter, with a local band playing traditional tunes. It seemed like a rather appropriate and positive welcome for Andrew to the West. Just what we needed!
Of course there is never one thing to deal with… this same weekend as our move, the community gallery I am involved with had the joiners in to create a partition wall and two new office spaces. this meant that the 20 or so exhibitors different displays needed moving, packing. rearranging and a new floor & wall plan working out…..
Then setting up Andrews studio so he can get on with his work with the minimum of disruption. Here is the start of his room before we assembled his desks.
So it’s been a massive change, a lot of work. But it all went smoothly, things seem to have slotted into place quickly. We will of course be visiting the East coast to see family and get our sandy beaches fix, but now here we are, West coast based, to live, work & play.
I have been priming canvases today & can’t wait to settle into some ART!