Often when you come back from a great holiday you can struggle to settle back into your normal life and to be honest I often find this. It has been the opposite this year perhaps as the schools went back two days after we returned and normal routines began all over again for another year.
I love where I live and when my mum reads this blog post she will roll her eyes and think here she goes again! As yet again I write about how much I love the village of St Boswells. But as I have settled back into village life I have been reminded over and over again why I love living here. I am not alone in this and reading my husband’s blog over the weekend made me realise that being and feeling part of a community is at the essence of humanity. http://andydrane.wordpress.com/
Having reflected upon it over the weekend I think there are two main reasons why I feel this sense of belonging. Both of which are centred around two of my great passions. Food and Reading.
Since we came back from holiday our lives have centred round food this is not unusual but has taken up more of our time than usual. Our pigs were taken to slaughter a week after we got back and since then we have been making sure that we effectively use every part of the pig. Last weekend was about the butchering and this weekend has been about sausages, salami and brawn to name a few! In addition with our food co-operative in the village we have taken ownership of four Jacob Lambs. I enjoy the fact that we are actually raising our own animals but as importantly that we are doing so with friends and sharing the experience as we go along.
I have also enjoyed shopping again in the local shops we felt in Lewis that we were too reliant on the Co-OP and so it has been great to come back and shop in local shops again. Particularly the fruit and veg shop in Melrose and the Butchers in St Boswells. As well as picking local berries from Border Berries close by.
In a time when media headlines are screaming that food prices are set to rise and that in this day and age families are not eating proper meals with some children only eating at school. It humbles me to realise that growing our own fruit and vegetables, keeping our own animals and shopping locally is not just imitating the Good Life it is also giving our children valuable lessons where their food comes from and I hope allowing them to take this on to adulthood not just the providing the food but also the vital cooking skills that is required too.
The second reason I realise that I love this community is its creativity. My friend Julia Cunningham is part of the Crossing Borders Art Trail and it showcases the best of arts and crafts in the Scottish Borders. http://www.crossing-borders.org.uk/artists_detail.php?id=40 . I really enjoyed seeing Julia showcase her work last weekend. I would love to be as creative as Julia and others in Crossing Borders. But I am not great with my hands.
I am though good with words.
I have loved reading from childhood it was a love that perhaps was well hidden a passion from childhood but slightly forgotten. Untill the Borders Book Festival came along. This love of reading has been dramatically rekindled not by a kindle but by my local bookshop Mainstreet Trading. Not only does it sell a fantastic range of books and runs two bookclubs. It also has a wonderful events programme. Last week Ben Fogle spoke to a packed village hall and two days later Mainstreet announced that Clare Balding for me the commentator of the Olympics and Paralympics is coming to speak.
This made me realise yet again that for a small village in the Scottish Borders we really punch way above our weight. I am not alone in thinking this its a view shared by many in the village including the 5 Star Bed and Breakfast Whitehouse Country House where Ben Fogle was fortunate to stay. Within the village we have two award-winning Hotels, Whitehouse itself who have won awards and are shortlisted for this years Scottish Thistle Awards, an award-winning Butchers and of course the Bookshop who are winners of many prestigious awards. So I was delighted to read Ben Fogle’s piece in the Sunday Telegraph yesterday. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthcomment/country-diary/5104654/Country-Diary-Ben-Fogle.html
Mum as ever you are right! I do boast about St Boswells but its justified isn’t it?