Monday, 8 September 2014

The Waiting Game

It seems to have been a summer of waiting, here at Scribbles Towers and all of a sudden we're heading rapidly into Autumn again.  I've been waiting to update the blog in the hope of new and exciting things to write about on the home front but despite a few false dawns myself and my beasties are still here, with no sign of new and exciting things! The horses remain at livery and the dream of some land of my own is still a castle in the air. Fortunately among the false dawns there have been some real ones to remind me of what a gorgeous place this is.

A real September dawn from the kitchen window.

The house remains unsold and people don't seem to be looking at all just now. I'm told it will all change after the Scottish Independence Referendum and in the meantime we continue to wait. And wait. I'm not much good at waiting. At being a passive recipient of fate. I get restless.Rebellious even. My itchy feet itch and my mind starts to seek alternatives. Increasingly bizarre alternatives as the waiting continues. Admittedly some of the potentials I've been considering are possibly a tad unsuitable but that's never been a stumbling block for me. And there have been some great potentials, the best I think is a wooden house in the forest with a couple of acres. I love it. Ok so the Galloway winter snows mean you can't actually get to or from it for several weeks in the winter but hey, I have freezers for a plentiful supply of food. Although in truth it sounds like I could reduce the electric bill and just keep my plentiful supply outside for the worst of the winter and chip bits off with an ice axe.

I suspect my love of the house in the woods is partly a result of happy childhood hours spent in the pine forests of Germany with my dad when we spent many a Sunday afternoon walking and looking for deer. Learning about nature and wildlife. That stillness, the softness of  the russet pine needles coating the forest paths, the scent of the woods. Cackling Jays and silently watching deer that looked like they were carved from the trees and the sight of which were a highlight that thrills me to this day. Then of course there is the influence of words that have inspired me. Robert Leslie's 'The Bears and I' about life in the Alaskan forests with a trio of orphaned black bears and characters like 'Larch of the North Woods. And then there's one of my all-time favourite poems by Robert Frost.

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

 Back to 'my' house in the woods and the realities and practicalities don't put me off. After all there aren't any bears to worry about. The need to swap my trusty eighteen year old Toyota (with 208000 miles on the clock) for a 4x4 to access the house even in the height of summer wasn't a deal breaker either. Nor the fact that the only family and friends who could visit would be those with a 4X4 which reduces my already slim visitors list down to one. How fortunate that my Dearly Beloved has an all-wheel drive vehicle. Clearly it's a 'Sign'.  I know no-one else has one but isn't that what Skype's for? I say this, I've never even attempted to Skype anyone and don't even know if Skype is actually a verb. But the house in the woods remains a possibility. It calls to me in the early hours of wakefulness and feverish planning. I picture myself there with the dogs and the horses, cat and chickens. And no Tesco deliveries, farrier or other life essentials. And the cleggs. The cleggs and Scottish Midgies are in fact the biggest obstacle to the house in the woods but who knows, I may yet answer it's calling, armed with several hundred gallons of Avon's Skin So Soft, that wonderful midgie repellent, and perhaps a small 'Chinese Compact' tractor. With snow plough attachment. I have seen such things as I've perused the 'How to live Off-Grid' guides that I've taken to reading, and the house in the forest isn't even Off Grid!

Meantime, a hundred yards up the road a house with land and buildings came up for rent. A far more sensible option and clearly another Sign. There have been a few Signs since I lost my grazing, and in this case I applied, along with seemingly the rest of the population of Scotland. I was interviewed and further encouraged and tempted with the offer of even more land from the property agent. I got excited and looked into becoming a landlady and letting out my own house to move up the road. Just as I was planning to cart some stuff up there in a wheelbarrow I heard I was unsuccessful. What??!! After dangling more land in front of me??!!  Not a Sign then. And to add salt to the wound my Dearly Beloved had just put a new wheel on the rusty but serviceable old wheelbarrow that I saved from the rubbish tip, in preparation for the move as well! The injustice! Although to be fair he had no idea of my wheelbarrow intentions.

Chico - I'm not sure what it is but I'll wait until she's not looking before I pee on it.

So I'll just have to get back to writing about everyday life while we wait. While I lie awake in the early hours, thinking up increasingly unviable alternatives. It's a good job that I've always loved a challenge.

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