A Very Good Year

Looking down the croft and across the loch to Trotternish ridge

The lunar eclipse this morning and a most beautiful golden moon this evening seem to mark the return of the sun to the northern hemisphere. Christmas and the year’s end draw near. I had a lovely, snowy, sunny, wintry walk this morning and took photos of the garden, croft and township while I was out. I’ve interspersed some of them here.

Robin in tree


Like many people in December, I find myself looking back over the last twelve months and savouring all that’s been good during that time.

another garden resident

In my personal life, I have continued to enjoy the most amazing love and support of my husband. And my grown-up children, though I don’t get to see them as much as I’d like as they live hundreds of miles away, remain simply the best.

township track

In the spring, husband and me had a lovely weekend in Inverness. We saw a new adaptation of one of my favourite children’s stories, ‘Peter Pan’ at the Eden Court Theatre. It was an amazing adaptation – re-located from its original London setting to take place within sight of the construction of the Forth rail bridge. The stage set was amazing – the bridge mutated into the pirates ship, and the special effects – especially having Tinkerbell, as a fireball – were stunning.

In July Mr S and me celebrated our 32nd wedding anniversary in London. We went there with our son and his partner for a city break and had a wonderful time in what is one of my favourite places in the world. Also in July, our daughter and her partner came home to Skye for a week. For six out of the seven days they were here it rained, but on the seventh day the sun came out and we had a fabulous, long hike to the point of the Waternish peninsula (I posted photos and description of that day here on the blog).

Another highlight of 2010 came on my birthday in August. We went to Edinburgh where I attended the Edinburgh Writers’ Club summer lunch and collected my award for winning the children’s story competition. The day was rounded off with a very special dinner with family and some good friends.

Meeting up with friends all around the country has continued to provide marvellous punctuation points to the year – sometimes it’s been having folks to stay here and sometimes it’s been me or us travelling to them. Either way, I love catching up. One very welcome visitor was the husband, and widower, of my much, much missed lifelong friend, Elspeth. It’s always a bittersweet get together for the two of us – but very precious and special.

As for my writing in 2010 – well – January saw the publication of my novel ‘Change of Life’ – what a high that was. I was featured in the local paper and interviewed on local radio – all very surreal but great fun. I am so proud of the book and feedback and sales have been gratifying. I just set out to tell the sort of story I enjoy – and it’s good that others appear to have enjoyed it too. I’m excited too that it’s going to be available as an ebook early in 2011.

And now I’m well on with the first draft of novel 2. I continue to write for ‘Words with Jam’ and to write short stories and stories for children as well.  I’m developing a little booklet of updated fairy tales at the moment – a project that began life in my classroom with a group of pupils – and that has somehow grown and spilled into my writing life outside school. Yes, I’m still teaching full-time – the writing has to fit around that –  but I do get good holidays.

Of course 2010 was also the year I began this blog – I hadn’t a clue what I was doing but have learned as I’ve gone along. I do hope you’ve enjoyed reading it as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it.

Nollaig Chridheil/ Merry Christmas to you all!

P.S. next post – coming soon – my best reads of 2010

4 thoughts on “A Very Good Year

  1. Aye I second Johanna, what a view of the mountains, you are very lucky where you live.

    The Peter Pan adaptation sounds amazing, we also saw Peter Play performed this year at a park in Lancaster for our wedding anniversary. There seems a lot of love around.

    Have you thought of entering some of your fairy tales to Dan’s exhibition? Good luck with your writing.

    Hope 2011 is a good one for you.

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