Your first home is a cottage in the Speyside town of Dufftown. We live at the top of a dirt track, backing onto fields and a farm. It seems more remote than it is; we are only a short walk from the centre of the town but being next to the farm gives it a more country feel. Recently I’ve grown weary of what others politely call the ‘cosiness’ of the cottage. It’s small. And there is little storage space, which is becoming increasingly difficult (particularly with the vast amount of baby things that we have acquired). But I know that there are many positives to living here, cramped though it may seem.
Every morning before you sit down to breakfast, we open the curtains and stand at the patio window, surveying the world outside. Sometimes you see the sheep having a morning drink, sometimes a bird catches your eye, mostly you look at the tree directly in front as the branches move in the breeze. If we’re lucky we catch John the Farmer driving by on one of his many tractors. We often walk over and look at the lambs, hiding behind their mothers as we approach. You stare at them solemnly, watching as they dart frantically under their mothers’ stomachs, searching for milk with an intensity I now recognise. When you’re eating your dinner we can hear the sheep and lambs being fed theirs, and you turn your head towards the sound of hungry bleating. (Next year you’re going to love lambing time).
We often go for a walk around the fields and through the woods, following the loop that passes our house. Sometimes (when I’m feeling strong) I carry you in the Baby Bjorn instead of pushing you in the buggy, and you love being able to see everything as we walk. On our last outing we saw sheep, Shetland ponies, horses, a bull, met John on his tractor and watched a pheasant zig zag across the path, in the amusing, frenzied way that pheasants run.
A recent trip to Edinburgh made me think about all that city life offers, and how lovely it would be to take you to the Botanic Garden on a Saturday morning, meet friends for lunch in a cafe, spend a rainy afternoon in the fantastic National Museum of Scotland… I walked around the museum, thinking how wonderful it would be to have it on your doorstep. But in the end I’m not a city person; I love the peacefulness of where we live, the brightness of the stars in the inky skies above us, the drone of the tractor as it puffs up the hill. I love that it is here that you are discovering the world, surrounded by fields and trees and animals. I know that one day you will love having a farm on your doorstep. And when the three of us are cuddled together on the couch in front of the fire, I even love the cosiness of it.