Islay weekend


This past weekend I turned 40. I am not too keen on birthday celebrations, and a quiet weekend in one of my favourite places was just what was required.


So though we weren’t celebrating my birthday, we definitely had cause for celebration . . . , having just had an offer accepted on a lovely house!


Our new place really is absolutely wonderful and it is frankly a massive relief to have this part of the process sorted out at last.


Meanwhile, in Edinburgh, the renovation work continues. The flat now features a shiny new bath, a plumbed-in kitchen sink, and a fantastic new floor. There is, however, no electricity in the kitchen or bathroom, no oven, no internet connection, and an awful lot of dust. I confess I find the nothing-is-where-it-is-supposed-to-be business extremely disconcerting, and am a bit rubbish at dealing with it. But every day I count my lucky stars for the good friends and neighbours with whom I’m surrounded, on whose accommodating kindness, stupendous cooking and modern ‘facilities’ I have been able to rely over the past few weeks.


Anyway, I think I can now safely say that the past few months’ upheaval has a happy END in sight. I am tremendously excited about moving to our new place – and most of all to Tom and I having our own shared space again – as opposed to our two lives being divided between an Edinburgh building site and a Glasgow bedsit. I don’t want to jinx the move by talking too much about it, but I am sure you will find that I won’t be able to shut up about it once we’re settled in.


Onward! Westward!

70 thoughts on “Islay weekend

  1. Change is always unsettling…renos, moves….even birthdays. I’m so happy that you have found and secured a house….that’s something to act as an anchor……and I look forward to hearing all about it. Happy B day…….

  2. I share your sentiments re birthdays – much prefer low key! Congratulations on your house purchase. Everything feels so much better when there is something to look forward to and you’ll be settled again in no time. Your photos look happy too!

  3. Congrats! A new house is the best possible incentive when faced with all the debris of renovations in the old one. I hate renovations and all the mess surrounding them, but after 25 years in my present home, I’ve come to realize that my kitchen (still the original 1923 model) really does need a new unit, a new floor and a coat of paint. I’ll keep your ordeal in mind while the work is going on… Kitty

  4. Great news! Happy Birthday. Really looking forward to hearing more about the new house in due course. How is Bruce coping with the renovations. Has he got that “I’m perplexed” tilt of the head look on his face that Labradors do so well? And I bet he is looking forward to having all the humans in the same place again. Good luck, hang in there.

  5. Congratulations on the new digs! Happy Birthday. I must say, that last picture with the two stones and the bridge is positively Magical!

    Here is to wishing you a smooth move in and all sorts of wonderful adventures in the future!

  6. Congratulations and Happy Birthday. Glad part of it is settled and you know the end of the upheaval is insight. You get to decorate a new home—how exciting. Stay healthy during this stressful time…

  7. Wonderful news on the house. I think it helps a lot to know where I am moving to and what the work/disruption is all for. Great to have something to look forward to. I think birthday’s are all about-give thanks for the old and look on to the new.

  8. Happy Birthday Kate! I am so happy that your move is making progress and remodeling is always a long journey. It is much like a sweater only messier, and there are so many steps involved to get to the end. HOWEVER be patience as the end result is wonderful much like blocking a sweater and getting out all the little bumps for a perfect fit. We have been remodeling for years and the inside is done . . . don’t ask about the outside! It was worth the frustrations—hang in there!

  9. Yup, we moved 4 years ago and you do kind of lose yourself; however, the promise of your new home is energizing. Can’t wait for pots and pots of photos.

  10. I was about to say “What? you can’t be 40, you look so young!” And then I thought “Wait, I can’t say that, people always tell me how young I look, and I get tired of it!” So let’s just say, simply, happy birthday! ; ) Also, I think I’m going to move to Scotland. Seriously. Each time I see your pictures, I want to be there. It looks so beautiful. I need to go. Thank you for showing us!

  11. Great that you had something to celebrate other than a birthday (too much noise about getting older doesn’t suit me either). The house news is very exciting indeed. I’m so pleased for you both.

    There are building works next door to me. The neighbours have moved out, so it’s just us and the cats putting up with the dust and noise. Fortunately, have bike, will travel. If only beautiful Islay were a bit closer.

  12. How wonderful that you have a shared home in your future, cannot wait to see and read more about it in the future… Last year I turned 50, and I chose to honour it quietly by spending the weekend at a beautiful, isolated gypsy caravan in the mountains of Quebec. It was just as I hoped. Sometimes it is great to be quiet.

  13. Happy Birthday Kate! And congratulations on finding a new home! I am currently in the process of moving, and it is a challenge. I can’t wait to be all settled into our new house, and have done with the packing, stacks of boxes and chaos that I’m surrounded with right now. :-)

  14. sounds like my kind of birthday– low key. being 2 yrs short of 60 I tell the kids not to get me anything but this year my son bought me a new ditch shovel and my daughter made me a pair of socks and a book. they were the best presents ever.
    as far as a house – it is a bit of a pain. we have gone through 2 renovations. the first being the home that we wanted to retire in which is now our cabin get away. after retiring both of us had major health issue that forced us to move back to the city. but with the renovations we did include features that make my disabilty easy to manage. so even with all the dust and noise and general inconvinience it was a good thing. after it is done you can toast the new house with a glass of ale and enjoy.

  15. Happiest NON Birthday wishes….but I will wish you an amazing new birth with your new home (fingers crossed) and your new adventures. You’re an inspiration in so many ways to those close and those so very far away. Hugs around to you, Tom and Bruce for a safe, easy and healthy new beginning. Signing off from New York City, Susan

  16. Happy news all around. I always used to imagine meeting you for tea in Edinburgh – well, whenever I finally make it to Scotland I shall visit Glasgow as well. Not to mention Islay. . .

  17. Oh you *do* have my sympathies: since my brain tumor and the attendant disability I find I just cannot cope with upheaval in my home! So hard! We had *lots* of work done on the house last summer and it was such a challenge … (A blessing too, of course, to be able to have the work done at all, but this brain and body can certainly be awkward).

    Congratulations on the house, such good news. Hoping it all goes smoothly from here!

  18. congrats on your new house Kate! It will truly be an exciting move for you. Happy Birthday to you also. I wish I was 40 again with all that time ahead of me….don’t waste a moment.

  19. congratulations and happy birthday. a new house is a wonderful way to mark turning 40.
    on another topic, i am always amazed by your photographs. the three of you are in such lovely locales, and you always appear to be the only ones there.

  20. Happy birthday, and congratulations on the house! I’m another Kate who turns forty today, and yours sounds like just the perfect way to celebrate.

  21. Happy birthday! And congratulations on the house! I can well imagine that must be a massive relief. I bet you’ll be glad to have everything where you can find it again.

  22. You’re still a mere babe! Even terrific moves are exhausting and emotional. Hang in with the renovations. Lovely photos, as usual. Really, I think I’m ready to move to Scotland!

  23. Happy Birthday and good luck with the new house. I was in Scotland about 8 years ago and would love to go back. I fell in love with Edinburgh and the surrounding countryside. I loved the castles, the salmon, the history………

  24. Happy birthday Kate! May this year bring you good health, happiness, and exciting adventures. If you do not like celebrating birthdays may I suggest that you celebrate your name day. That way you do not have to discuss your age but it is still a celebration!

  25. I too have a big birthday. The BIG 6-0! I really did not want a big deal made of this either so my 3 daughters have joined us for a short trip to Montreal. Happy Birthday and Good Luck on your new house!

  26. Kate, Thanks for sharing. Everything seems to be going along as usual. I have had to move several times. Congrats on the accepted offer. Happy Birthday. I like to enjoy a birthday month and celebrate with friends and family, Bruce as well.

  27. Happy Birthday and congratulations on the new house – I’m hoping it has equal numbers of pompoms to the one that got away, or at least plenty of room to add them.

  28. Happy Birthday and good luck with the upcoming moving house business, looking forward to hearing all about it sometime in the future!

  29. Happy birthday Kate!!! I’m so happy and relieved for you and Tom that this is sorted out and that you can now look forward to a new home!! I wish you the best of luck for sorting out the rest now, which is no doubt still quite a bit!

  30. Happy Bthday Kate! and congrats on the new house and move!! Is that in that town you wrote about?? that you fell in love with? Oh… sorry to say what the girl on top did not want to say… you look so young, who would say 40? best wishes

  31. belated birthday wishes.

    fingers crossed for new house going through without complications.

    hope that the building work in the flat has now crossed the border between making things worse and making them better.

    Also hope that you have spent enough time in the Highlands and Islands to be able to cope with the very different weather we get over this side of the country. my dear husband is a Leither (adjoining Edinburgh for those from other parts of the country/world) who was unprepared for how much more rain we get in the Wets (no, not a typo, just the facts ma’am!) of Scotland but after 33 years he’s beginning to get used to it.

  32. Happy Birthday and very very happy new life for both ( and Bruce)! Its a time of change, you beginnin a new decade with a lot of joy, improvements on health an interesting discoveries. I am looking foward to see a photo of the new home.Sorry, my english so strange… .
    With many greetings from Bremen.

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About Kate Davies

writer, designer and creator of Buachaille (100% Scottish wool)