Tuesday afternoon tea

The feeling of being in control that I wrote about recently has long gone, as I suspected it would. Recovering from the Great Glen has hit me in a few unexpected ways and I’ve had to really watch out for myself. 

After an awful week at the day job, I had a really hectic few days of harping interspersed with a visit from my parents – cue frantic cleaning and digging my way through the spare room to find the bed so they had somewhere to sleep. 

On my way back from Tuesday’s wedding, I dropped in on a running buddy who was house sitting for some friends in an extremely smart bit of Edinburgh. There were loose plans to go to the cinema but these were abandoned in favour of playing with the dog, drinking tea and watching the Olympics. 

For three hours I switched off from the world (well, apart from the Olympics bit). I left my phone in the car. The house was incredible and as I sat in the sort of kitchen that would make Grand Designs look a bit shabby, I watched the weather change from heavy rain to bright sunshine back to rain in a matter of minutes, as only a Scottish summer can. 

Through the huge floor to ceiling windows, I could see an enormous owl statue in the garden. I couldn’t work out if it was moving as it seemed to have a different expression on its face every time it caught my eye. I watched M and the dog on the trampoline and now I really wish I’d had a go too.

I padded round and round in a corner of one of the rooms as the carpet was so deep and soft (which sounds a bit strange I know). 

I contemplated running from one side of the house to the other – and it was big enough to get a proper sprint on. I pondered the prospect of doing cartwheels across the kitchen.

The box room was bigger than my harp room. 

And yet it was a house that was lived in, and full of love.

A trip to the loo was approached with great care – I chose the one I knew I could find my way back from without disappearing into Narnia. 

It was the closest thing I’ve felt to being in fairy land in ages, a brief escape from everything else that was going on. 

We talked about running, climbing, motorbikes, dogs, house hunting, break ups. M is one of the few English voices I’ve heard up here lately, and is from a very familiar part of London. It was comforting and warm and many stories were swapped. We laughed as the dog tried to join in with the beach volleyball, truly an impressive sight. 

After the rowdiness of the wedding (a combination of a very large excited family and a very late bride), the peace and the space was very welcome. 

M asked me what I was doing for my birthday in a few weeks’ time. I’d been avoiding thinking about it for a while as last year’s had been so tricky. But a few things came to mind and I realised I felt ready to make some decisions.

I got back in the car to come home. I suddenly realised how hungry I was, and the Edinburgh traffic brought me back to the real world very quickly. But I’ll remember that afternoon for a while. 

And I’ve hatched a plan for my birthday. 

Last year’s was spent on an empty beach on Tiree.  


This year’s will involve similar (subject to weather of course). 

Even better, it will also involve a ride on a tiny plane. 


And even better than that, and best of all, I’ll be landing on a beach. 

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