Sassenach Swallow

Migration notes from North to South and…….

Spring has sprung in Ilminster

Spring has sprung in Ilminster!

2015-11-05 11.21.24The daffs are out, magnolia blooms and blossom studs the hedgerows like clouds of stars. I find all this incredible having spent so many Februarys battling wild weather north of the border. Sitting on my step eating lunch with warm sun penetrating my woolly layers, feels most unnatural.

The building project that Offspring One and I have been working on since last November is finally coming to a close; the end is in sight. I can now see a house I might like emerging from under the caul of plaster dust, possibly even a home!2015-11-09 15.30.54

It is 18 months since I packed up my beloved old burrow and headed south with a heart high with optimism and a spirit ready for new vistas.  It was however quite different from my imaginings.


I used to believe dear friends, that when you set yourself free on some adventure it would all be glorious, but take heed fellow travellers, that dream was quickly shattered for me!  It has been quite a struggle for this old goat to change her ways and homesickness still wracks me. However, all the experiences I have had, including this house malarky have taught me much and given me many gifts.

2016-02-29 07.38.27

the wee loon

I can now strip walls, ‘cork’ and paint like a pro…actually that is not quite true…. I am as rubbish at DIY as  I  was three months ago and rely heavily on my team of trusty helpers to carry me through! My best mates are in the builder’s merchants where I virtually live and I have gained half a stone in weight from an endless sandwich diet. The highs and lows of refurbishing a property have left me sleepless with anxiety, exhausted from hard labour and, I am sure, permanently impregnated with dust.  My hair urgently needs attention from Sarah at The Hair Shop in Alford!

The skip is abo2015-12-05 16.05.24ut to give way to tubs of flowers, the new windows that came on a pallet all the way from wonderful Matt Rae in Huntly, are all in place, the Morso stove roars contently on what must be a lifetime’s supply of scrap wood and startlingly white paint, not fake wood wallpaper, covers the walls!2016-02-18 13.28.12

Progress indeed!

Offspring One leaves on Friday to resume his summer work at Scarlett’s Garden Cafe then  Small Hound and I will  be left contemplating a room full of possessions that we have not needed for the last 18 months and most probably don’t need now. A daunting prospect. I might have to get yet another skip!

Sunshine helps however and my ever patient new neighbours will certainly be relieved to return from their holidays to find  the third overflowing skip gone, the  hammering, banging, drilling and relentless beat of Radio One ceased and peace  restored  to their quiet street.

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2016-01-28 11.44.48

the  lining goes down.. with difficulty!

So, the swallow has landed, for the moment. The nest is almost built, the unpacking begun and somehow life will go on. Scotland will never be forgotten and even as I write my next visit is being planned. Before April can fool me I will be heading up through Cumbria with massage couch in tow and yoga mats in the boot to the open roads, wide spaces and clear light of the place I love best in the world, a place peopled with beloveds that I am sure that will always be called home. I hope to see you there!



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from here you cannot see the long list of ‘snags’ yet to be sorted… ie. the plasterer comes tomorrow!


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2 thoughts on “Spring has sprung in Ilminster

  1. tartyart on said:

    Well done dear one. Proper email soon. N xx


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