In the woods, by the sea

In the woods, by the sea

My favourite month has arrived, and even though things start blooming a little later this far north, they’re definitely blooming. The gorse is everywhere and reminds me of previous holidays on Skye (we’ve always visited in May). Sulphur yellow against blue skies…

Joe’s not too keen on it as, being little, he’s at the mercy of those spiky branches. It gives him something to complain about though and he does enjoy a good whinge.

On Monday, he was off school for the morning as we had business to attend to (more about that later). And after that we had a few hours together before he returned to school in time for lunch. So we did one of our favourite walks through the gorse and down through the woods. Ferns are unfurling, bluebells are appearing and new leaves are opening.

This is all timely for me as I’m collecting plants for pressing. I’m running a few printmaking workshops later this month and need stems and flowers for the botanical monoprinting session. I do have some ferns and cow parsley from last summer, but they eventually fall apart so it’s all about replenishing supplies. And seasonality is important so recently-gathered specimens tell a story about when the prints were made. It’s like capturing and preserving the spring.

At the weekend we had a picnic at Glenbrittle beach. It’s one of our favourite places as it’s nearby and the beach itself is so big. It’s mostly sandy and often quite empty. I think most tourists flock to the Fairy Pools then turn around and head elsewhere, but if you continue past them you eventually reach Glenbrittle. There’s a campsite and (unusually for Skye) toilets - always handy when you’ve got a little one in tow. The campsite is beautifully kept and they’ve got a lovely shop and cafe too.

Joe’s in his element by the sea. He loves to explore and collect things, and to wade into the water. Jay bought him a little fishing rod recently so we’re thinking about somewhere to take him fishing. It’s unlikely he’ll catch much but I suspect we’ll be in danger of losing an eye, so definitely somewhere with plenty of open space!

May is my birthday month and the prettiness of it all really appeals to me. I’ve already spotted some hawthorns growing here and there (I love hawthorn blossom) and am on the lookout for elder trees although I think they’ll be much harder to find in these parts.

So: that business we were attending to.

Joe’s going to be attending a new school soon so we’d just been to visit and meet the headteacher. We’ve found a house (we first viewed it a few months ago - the first one we saw) and we’re buying it! We don’t have a definite date for moving in but it’s looking as though it’ll be at the end of this month. Everything’s going through very smoothly but I don’t want to jinx things - or look like an idiot if it all falls through last-minute - so I’m trying not to share too much just yet.

But I’ll be able to write more ‘Seasonal home’ posts, which I love doing. The house is beautiful and in a village where there’s more going on. That’s so important to us with Joe to consider, and also because I work from home and in the interests of preserving my sanity, need to be near other people. We’ll have a garden again and lots of space, and we’re looking forward to making it our own. Once things progress a bit more I’ll let you know more about our new island home…

Things are getting very busy. But good busy.