here . . . a year!

homestead

It is a year today since we moved from Edinburgh to this wonderful spot. We absolutely love it,  and are all enjoying our new life here. An inhabitant of towns and cities all my life, I have always loved the outdoors, and have often yearned to live in the country. . . and being here at last has already made a massive difference to my mindset, my outlook,  my work, and most certainly my health.  Outdoors walking every day, I feel incredibly connected to my surroundings and the changing seasons: every day is subtly different, and I love tracing the turning of the year through the appearance of  wildflowers and the songs of different birds. I have learned the privilege of recognising wild animals as individuals (not just “a hare” but “that hare”) and have enjoyed encountering many different beasties on my daily walks from newts to hen harriers.  There are still many mornings when I wake up, find the world around me absolutely breathtaking, and can’t quite believe I actually live here. I wonder if this feeling will ever go away – I rather hope it doesn’t. The eighteenth-century women, whose letters I used to work on, were very fond of quoting Micah 4, the bit that comes after the swords and ploughshares about sitting under one’s own vine and fig tree. All I can say is that here I have at last found my vine, and my fig tree, though, this being Scotland, I’ll definitely have to erect a greenhouse if I actually want to grow them.

Here are some photos from our first year in our new home.

hiya

sheepbuddies

oakanddumgoyne

westhighlandsfromdumgoyne

sweeksarego

ice

bruce2

home-1

congratulations

beds

basket

machrihanish7
hap4lo
eccelfechan11

midsummerseve

mistybruce

scabious

westhighlandevening

changingsky

manfiredogbeer

91 responses

  1. I want to live there…my gene pool demands it, I can feel the pull through the centuries, and it cannot be denied much longer. As much as I love Portland Oregon, I see these photos and know I must go.

  2. Happy anniversary to you all!
    I’m sure Bruce can’t figure out why you didn’t realize all this long ago, as the superiority of your new life must have always clear to HIM!
    I love your intelligent and beautifully-written blog, Kate. Having just come back to the States after 10 days hiking the Scottish Highlands, I can say that while there, I thought about you often and envied the life you have come to live.
    I wish you and Tom and Bruce many more years of joy and health at Carbeth Loch!
    Your fan, Cathy F.

  3. was researching saturn turner info and came across your site by chance…..a much underrated invention!..have since followedyour diary with interest! congratulations on achievments and to partner. Christine Page. Tunbridge Wells

  4. It’s so lovely – makes me want to come back. It amuses me that you live just up the street (relatively speaking) from an artist friend of mine :)

  5. How lucky you are to live in such enchanted surroundings! Your home is warm and cozy, and to be so close to nature! I love and envy your talent and beautiful designs, this will be my first year wearing the Efflechan mitts, and I delighted in knitting the Betty Mouat cowl last summer, playing with my sock yarn leftovers! Continue to be well, and enjoy!

  6. Lovely pictures, lovely thoughts! How wonderful that you have found your place! Just in the past couple of years, I’ve come to recognize that my home (in the mountain Southwest, USA) is not just where I live, it’s my Home—my place where I feel connected to the people, the land, the sunlight, the smell of the air, and know it is my favorite place on Earth, the place I belong. So even though we’re far away, I know just how you feel.

  7. From your photos it looks like you’ve had a marvellous year. Long may it last! Personally, it’s good to be reminded that change is good – I’ll be crossing continents in the autumn to join Mr Soknitsome but will be leaving parents in Edinburgh and daughters in German cities with a heavy heart.

  8. You are living the dream life of so many of us “across the pond” – please just keep sharing it! I am on the hunt for my own smaller home on a large bit of land…one can live with far less than imagined.

  9. Perfectly lovely. What a blessing for you – and for all your friends and followers who can share in this beauty through your generosity.

  10. It does look perfect – and all I can say is that 12 years after moving to Snowdonia, between the mountains and the sea, I am still completely enchanted. I’m sure the same will be true for you in 11 years’ time!

  11. Dear Kate,

    I love all your posts, but something about this one really touched my heart. I’ve been living in New York City for most of my life after graduating from university back in 1967, and for the past year have been doing some serious contemplation about moving to a place without quite so many sidewalks and electric signage. Seeing that gigantic full moon on Sunday night also sent me a message about what lies beyond this huge City.

    Best wishes, Frances Oakley

  12. I almost share the anniversary, I’m a few weeks short of a year since moving to Glasgow from the other side of the world. Many, many thanks for your insights and introduction to local must-sees – you’ve pointed me to many delights I might never have found otherwise. Particular thanks for enabling a recent weekend in Lancashire (Gawthorpe and Helmshore) and my current Shetland holiday. I only wish I could capture these special places in photographs 1/10 as well as you!

  13. Thank you for the deep soothing breathe that always comes, with your wonderful photos. Congratulations on the first year, in the rest of your country life. Wishing all three of you many healthy, happy years moving forward!

  14. I moved to the Scottish countryside (just south of Edinburgh) 3 1/2 years ago and still have that sense of wonder every day as I watch the seasons change, get to know the animals (wild and tame) and the trees, plants, light. I love it.

  15. Thanks for sharing this year-in-review — it’s gone by so quickly! I love the photos of Bruce gamboling around and have so enjoyed your posts this year. Others have asked previously — will we ever get a glimpse inside your studio? My very best wishes to you & your family for the coming year.

  16. Living in the country restores our sense of wonder and joy in the beauty of the universe. It doesn’t go away. It is an extraordinarily privileged existence for which I give grateful thanks every single day of the eleven years I have been here. I wish you all joy.

  17. I can only dream!!! So nice that you share your new adventures with us and let us just have a small glimpse into your lives. I would love to escape to a quiet place like that and just breathe!!! Decorate a small house and knit.
    Wishing you and your darling hubby many happy years to come.

  18. breathtaking beauty, happiness , joy and love
    most of all I love the “jump” in your swants

    your happiness is wonderful

  19. I feel calmer and more focused just looking at your photos of such a lovely spot! I can only imagine how it really feels to actually live there. I understand how you can feel so blessed.

  20. Such a lovely place to live. I’m so happy that your new environment has helped in your recovery.
    The pictures are amazing!!

  21. Congratulations! Your blog always has amazing pictures, but these are very special! I also had the opportunity to live very close to nature, getting to know each bird or other animal that frequented my garden, in Brazil. All the best!

  22. Happy Anniversary!!! Thank you for sharing your beautiful countryside. I’m very happy for you that you have found a wonderful place to call home and have Tom and Bruce to share it with. Wishing you the best with your continuing recovery. Hoping to make it back to the isles in the next couple years, till then I will I get a piece of “home” when I visit your blog.

  23. You posts and photos have given me such a deeper appreciation of the wild areas in Scotland. Such a beautiful and inspiring landscape! I’m so happy for you (and Tom and Bruce) that this move has been so beneficial for you all. Wishing you many more happy years in your home! (PS how’s YOKES coming along?)

  24. What a wonderful year and long may it continue. I agree that everything changes (mindset, outlook, work and health) when you are in the right place! I live in the country and am out with dogs EVERY day and it certainly starts me off on the right foot!! Rain or shine. SO happy for you, Tom and Bruce. Thank you for keeping us in your life.

  25. Lovely that you’re all so happy there, Kate – it’s beautiful. My husband and I feel something very similar after moving from Bristol to Hebden Bridge. It’s been two years for us and that sense of daily joy and wonder hasn’t worn off yet. There’s something so deeply soul-nourishing about finally being in place where you belong.

  26. What a beautiful post (all of them are!).
    What you said here perfectly encapsulates just why I take my own kids outside every day, and why I spend my volunteer hours at their school with the outdoor education program. We live in a city but I love the outdoor spaces we find. It’s not only good for your health, but essential, and I mourn the fact that not everyone has that accessibility.
    Happy one-year anniversary in the new place!!

  27. Thank you for a whole year’s worth of posts from your paradise; they gladden the heart, and I look forward to years ahead filled with tales of Bruce, Tom and Kate.

  28. One of these days I’ll pedal my tricycle down that lane and challenge you to a race! What a wonderful part of the world – I am so envious!

  29. City-bred myself, and living in the country for many years, I can attest that no, the feeling doesn’t go away :-) Enjoy it! And thank you for articulating so beautifully through your words and pictures your love of your new surroundings…xx

  30. I love that photo of Bruce dashing through the misty trees, ears a-flapping. It’s the kind of photo you’ll treasure in twenty years – so much personality just packed into that micro-second and captured by the camera.

  31. A stunning bit of the world which you capture so well. Although a Tawny Owl flew right in front of me in urban Edinburgh last night not far from your old ends so you never know where you will come across the exciting beasties!

  32. To live in a beautiful and wild place is a blessing. We moved to the country over a decade ago after many years in big cities. A day does not go by that I don’t feel very grateful for it.

    And I know what you mean by getting to know “that” raven, “that” fox, “that” (aaargh!) turkey. They think my property is theirs and regard me as the interloper. ;-)

  33. Thank you for sharing your words and pictures. That part of Scotland was home to my ancestors, and your writing connects me to them in a way.

  34. Magnificent….with lots of joy in these photos. Thank you for sharing. (Although it just looks a smidgen cold for my Australian bones!)

  35. Thank you for sharing the past year in pictures. I enjoy seeing the landscape and the flowers you have grown this year. My favorite pictures are of Bruce. He is a beautiful dog and looks like a great companion for both of you. When I see his pictures the words that come to mind are strength and adventure.

  36. Happy first anniversary – goodness, how fast it’s come round – and may you have many more happy years there. I love your selection of photos and your fine summary of what makes rural life in Scotland so precious. As so often, you articulate just what I feel too. Having lived in my own corner of the sticks for over a decade, I can assure you that, if you remain as open to wonder as you have been this past year, you will never take it all for granted.

  37. Looking at your photos is a bit like taking a walk with you… I too dream of living in Scotland one day. Sharing your days with you is the next best thing. Congratulations on your first year and blessings on the next.

  38. Dear Kate, I’ve been reading your blog on and off for quite a few years now (only off when I don’t have time to read your more in depth posts!) but I really felt compelled to comment on this beautiful post. I am truly moved to see the blessings that have transpired in your life following all you’ve been through, and I am delighted for you that you are able to live in these inspiring, beautiful surroundings.
    Best wishes x Sam

  39. Looking at your pictures of the truly breathtaking land surrounding you… I just want to sell my suburban house and move to the Scottish Highlands.

    I can almost hear the quiet. The Wind. The birds.

    Hope you never loose that feeling of “can this be real?”

  40. Having just returned from holiday on the Moray Firth I understand how you are all loving living in the countryside IF only it could have been a little warmer there But the scenery more than compensated for that especially around Ullapool .

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