Time to resurrect this blog, record things that have been happening and all the wonderful times we're going to have.
So much has changed. Having committed to moving to Scotland by the end of April, we set out about applying for jobs. Whoever got the job would take it. As time dragged on, we zoomed up for a week in February to try and make things happen. Things were looking unlikely on Kirsten's side, so I spoke to various people on the west coast and it looked like we were going there. Kirsten would get seasonal work and we'd survive and be where we wanted to be.
And then, out of the blue, Kirsten got invited for two interviews in a week, one in Inverness, one in Kingussie. Both VERY good locations! She trotted off to the first one, and felt it had gone ok as she called me on the way out of Inverness. Within an hour she'd called me back to say they'd rung and offered her the job! Inverness it was then!!
So we set about finding somewhere to live, somewhere quiet and beautiful and yet commutable. We saw a lovely place in Strathfarrar, owned by the Lister-Kaye "estate" (look up his books, wonderful!) and then another wonderful place high above Loch Ness at Abriachan.
We had one final place to see, found in a two-line advert in the local paper and with very few details. As soon as we turned in the drive and drove up towards a real fairy-tale Scottish castle, we sensed we'd found something wonderful. We parked the car and walked with the Lord, Chief of the Clan, from his castle(!) a few hundred yards into the woods to a clearing, where the most beautiful stone cottage stood, bathed in the rays of sun filtering through the trees.
It was a bit more than we intended paying, but there was no way we were turning down an opportunity to live here. It's a once in a lifetime chance. We have seclusion, peace, tranquility. We really feel part of the woods. The birdsong is magnificent. The roe deer a bonus!
And out the back of the house, we have miles and miles of good off-road cycling plus plenty of good running. Ben Wyvis is just out the back, The Cat's Back is a a great little hill for running over the road. Perfect!
We both trotted off to the local doctors to register....and as part of our induction, we were weighed...yikes! We'd both put on a good half a stone, due to lack of running while we were trying to secure our move. Time to get back to it. And we naturally are. As well as cycling and running, there are plenty of physical jobs to be done around the house and garden. Chopping wood has become a regular habit!
We've now been here a month and we're really settling in. Time to head off to a few events. We went and watched Slioch Horseshoe and a rough, wild day...and I wished I'd been running. There's an uphill only race this Saturday we're going to. All up, to the top of a munro. We'll be having to make our own way down then? ;-)
Then there's as near as we'll get to an LDWA event next week over at Glenelg. Plus a local race at the end of June. All these places are now so near. It's incredible! Ullapool is an early evening drive away!
Plus lots of new places to explore. On Saturday we did a recce of the Fyrish race from Evanton. What a splendid place. Good running on forest tracks, then out onto the top of Cnoc Fyrish and the magnificent monument, viewed as you drive north on the A9. And on Sunday, we went walking out at Fortrose in wild, windy conditions. We headed down to Chanonry Point, one of the best places in the UK to view dolphins...and sure enough four came playfully swimming close to shore! WOW! As if that wasn't good enough, we then found a fantastic "proper" pub which I suspect we'll be popping to more regularly!!
All in all, life is pretty wonderful and, whilst it has to get back to something more "mundane", with work to get down to, the opportunity to take off from our door into wild, mountainous terrain after a day's work is just too good to be true.