Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Scourie, 15:50

Yes, there is a pattern here. The air is bursting with pinks and blues, and even the sky takes on a blue-grey hue. Birds are everywhere - cranes, robins, ducks, of course the geese and turkeys on the farm down the lane - and when one starts squawking, the others answer. I wonder what they're discussing.

Living in a place like this would be a lifestyle. Yes, the SPAR has a good range of foods, but milk is only delivered on Thursdays and there wasn't any left today. The nearest supermarket is in Ullapool, which is over an hour away in good weather. So there's step one: plan. I did create a menu list for three weeks but for some reason I didn't think about things like milk.

The house where we're staying is on the estate of Scourie House, which was built for the Sutherland estate in 1846. This was part of the 1.1 million acres of the Sutherland Estate, which was one of the biggest landowning estates in Europe for much of the 18th and 19th centuries. This house was part of the administration of these vast acres of land, and was one of three places in Scotland that did the day-to-day running of the estate. I'm curious about Scourie House, a rambling white house on the hill, with palm trees in the garden and the goose and turkey farm at the end of the long, gated drive. A light is on in one of the rooms tonight - a first since I arrived. Maybe I'll go snoop tomorrow.

We were talking earlier about growing up in a place like this. M sees the romantic side: romping up and down the hills, swimming in the sea in summer, self-sustaining gardens, wild camping. I see the frustrating side; tedious planning, three-hour jaunts to the cinema, total dependency on the Royal Mail for any books or magazines, desolation if the internet or electricity goes out.

It's only Day Three. Sixteen to go. 

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