This weekend my parents and my brother made the five and a half hour journey up north to see me. I have lived up near Inverness since September, and only recently has it truly dawned how far away I am from all of my family and friends. However, although incredibly far away, they have been a constant support through some difficult times, they dropped everything and drove up to me very last minute a few weeks ago and it was great to see them again in person this weekend- plus my little brother!
I decided that on Saturday we should visit Glen Affric. This is quite a special place for me, with lots of memories attached. I first visited in 2010 with an amazing family who I’m still very close with, and then with my previous partner a few months ago. I am not sure how long I am going to be staying up north, so I wanted to revisit the place and make new and probably final memories of the place with my own family.
We did the Dog Falls walk: along to the waterfalls, up to the viewpoint where there was snow on the highest peaks and back down to the car to share our picnic with some overfriendly chaffinches. People had created small cairns and rock towers on the water, so we added our own.
My Dad, never to be outdone by anyone, decided to pick the most precarious spot in the middle of the waterfall, and build the tallest tower possible. It was great to get outside and back to nature- I’ve been enjoying a lot of walks and runs at the moment, even some yoga on our front lawn. My Dad was showing me all the birds he was spotting and hearing, we excitedly spoke about our holidays next year and we slowly put my world, thoughts and life to right. After deciding we had definitely worked really hard that day, we opted for an all you can eat Chinese Buffet (of course) and then we waddled back to their Travelodge, and I ate my body weight in Peach loops and fell asleep.
Although sad to see them go the following day, I am going on ‘holiday’ next week- where I am visiting some friends in Edinburgh, having some quality Northumberland and family time before heading off to present at the Annual Student Archaeology Conference. Part of me is nervous to go back to Edinburgh, and I feel a bit apprehensive. However, I have decided I want to be back there on a permanent basis and am looking at opportunities which will enable me to do that.
That evening, as a welcome distraction to these thoughts, I was taken out to a grown up ‘concert’ at Eden Court. This was to see dorec-a-belle – a female Scottish indie/folk band, who play every instrument under the sun, including a banjolele. I wore a dress, we drank gingerbread lattes and ate almond tarts (very grown up) and came out of Eden Court wanting to book tickets for the Cat in the Hat performances later this month (not so grown up).
So I have an exciting couple of weeks ahead. I have meetings with different people about my future plans and how I’m going to make it all happen. I’ve been looking at various MSc programmes for the future- I have been accepted onto the MSc Interpretation at Perth College UHI and I also have an offer for a deferred entry place at ICCHS at Newcastle on their Heritage Studies with Education and Interpretation programme. I am compiling an application for MA Mesolithic Studies at York because I miss the Mesolithic and my dream is to work within outreach and education with a specialism in prehistoric (specifically Mesolithic) Britain. I’ve had my eye on this one for a while too because I love York and Prof. Nicky Milner (hello shells), but you need to submit two pieces of written work so have been trying to find the time do to those. Apparently I like to keep my options open- I’m not yet sure what my future holds and where I will want to be in 2016! I am training for my Run for Colour in July, my diet and eating has gotten so much better since I cut out dairy completely and I am digging at the Cromarty Medieval Burgh Project this month. These next few weeks are actually shaping up to be quite important, with various opportunities and their deadlines looming.
In the words of Dr. Seuss:
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.”