Home Sweet Home
“It’s nice to go on holiday but it’s good to get home too, and if it’s not there’s got to be something wrong with home.”
These are the wise words of our mate Martin, uttered as we came to the end of a weeklong ski holiday. Admittedly Martin had sustained a rather nasty knee injury (which may in some, small way have been my fault) and spent much of the week alone in the chalet wearing flip flops (yes he did bring flip flops on a skiing holiday) so perhaps leaving France didn’t seem quite such a sad prospect for him as it did me. Although I nodded along as he said it all I could really think of was how little I wanted to return to my life and career and when was the next holiday coming along to brighten up my miserable existence.
Those of you who sit poised over your monitors eagerly awaiting my next blog post may notice that entries have been a little thin on the ground recently. This is because for the first time in three months I left the island. I honestly can’t remember the last time I spent such a long period of time on Colonsay without a trip to the mainland. I’m sure it was wasn’t an uncommon occurrence during my childhood. When you’re an adult used to the convenience of city living three months without access to TopShop is a pretty big deal. I must say I survived it fairly well. There was even the odd day when it didn’t rain and the girls and I ventured out without our wellies on!
The occasion which finally lead us to set welly on terra firma was our annual cottaging trip. This is only slightly less seedy than it sounds. A group of friends from university rent a cottage in the middle of nowhere and then proceed to spend four days drinking, eating beige food and playing board games. This year 11 of us plus the 2 brats spent a lovely Easter weekend in Scatwell, somewhere vaguely situated between Inverness and Ullapool. It’s interesting seeing how the group has matured over the years. A few of us have got married, Allan and I have procreated and for the first time this year instead of surviving almost entirely on crisps we took turns to cook ridiculous amounts of food each evening – there were even vegetables.
After the cottaging trip we visited Allan’s mum and my grandparents in Edinburgh and managed not to overwhelm ourselves by attempting far too much and achieving far too little in a very short space of time. Whilst we were enjoying ourselves I couldn’t stop thinking about what Martin had said. I was almost dreading coming home. Not because I didn’t want to come back but because I feared that I wouldn’t want to and I desperately didn’t want there to be “something wrong” with this home.
Friday did not start well. It’s never a good sign when you have to unload the entire car to find the car keys at the bottom of the boot before you can actually start your 100 mile drive with two small children in the back. It’s also not particularly good to get stuck in a half hour tail back behind a motorcycle accident, to have no food in the car apart from a box of Shreddies (gratefully accepted by Helen), to have a nappy actually disintegrate under the sheer weight of urine your baby produces or to still be in the checkout queue of Tesco 10 minutes before the boat is due to leave Oban.
Despite these grave obstacles we arrived home safely and the sight of my Dad and sister waiting for us was quite heart-warming. They had to pick us up because we had so much shopping in the car that there was no longer room for me, the buggy or the children. The island was bathed in gentle evening sun. The grass was green, lambs peeped out from behind their mothers and hordes of tourists were heading off on the boat. Our house was chilly and smelt very strongly of dog (Max had been for his holidays with Spud in my Dad’s shed but sadly his bed had remained behind sort of like a dog scented Airwick). There was a load of nappies sitting in the washing machine (bleugh) and our entire kitchen was filled with dirty washing, food needing to be put away and half completed sticker books. Despite all of this I still felt a glow of contentment at being home.
This morning that glow may have faded to a glimmer as I have thrown myself wholeheartedly at the list of adversities mentioned above but I am still definitely glad to be home. Although I am counting down the days until my next trip to civilization.