If you follow me on social media, or keep up with this blog, you will know we have been in Scotland for a week, on holiday. I am half Scottish. My mother was Scottish, and I still have family and friends here. We decided, pretty much last minute, that we needed a week away, during the Easter holidays, and I came up with the bright idea of us coming up to Scotland for a week. LSH, very kindly humored me, because he knows I get homesick every now and then, because really, I do regard Scotland as my “home”. I spent a time here as a child visiting family, and went to school here. (I am writing this whilst still in Scotland, hence the “here”)
We have had a mostly lovely week. Of course, no holiday with small children is entirely restful or relaxing, we haven’t had lazy lie ins or romantic nights out, but we have spent good time with some old friends of mine, and also more importantly, my family. My children met their cousins, which was something important to me as we don’t get to see them often. We have explored Edinburgh and played tourist. It’s been fun.
But, as I sit here typing this, I am filled with emotion. Tomorrow, we make our way back to England and for the first time we have been anywhere, my oldest child has said “I like it here, I don’t want to go home”. I asked her why she liked it, and she couldn’t really say why, other than “it feels nicer than London, it’s different, and I like being able to see my cousins”.
That kind of sums it up for me to. I can’t clearly explain it. I don’t have a logical “why I would want to come and live here” list of things to justify. Well, actually, I do, the buses are better and cheaper, the water tastes so much nicer and I can get Mother’s Pride bread and Iron Bru in the local supermarket, but those probably aren’t really the most convincing of reasons.
Of course, I am looking in, from the outside, and it’s all wistfully ideal in my head. The grass always looks greener, when you are on the other side of the fence (or the border, in my case). I am currently struggling with London life, and a lot of things that I cannot change and circumstances that we find ourselves in, that are not the choices I thought I would ever make. We live life, we try to be cheerful about it, but there is a huge part of me that feels (probably unrealistically) that life would be better if we were in Scotland. House prices are cheaper, the education system, independent from England, whilst not perfect, seems to better, and did I mention that the buses in Edinburgh run far better and are much cheaper? (I did, I know, but it’s something I keep saying to LSH) we could see my family when we wanted, as opposed to carefully coordinated visits timed when everyone is available and around the very different school holidays we have. I know people would argue with me, but people don’t seem so tense, or stressed here. It does feel different.
I do know it’s not perfect here. As my wise, and almost one of my oldest friends pointed out when I had a whinge to her yesterday over coffee that I wasn’t selling moving to Scotland that well to LSH, there are many things that would not be any better here and are in fact possibly worse or more complicated. She is of course right, and I am trying to clean the lenses of my glasses so they aren’t so rose tinted and misty with emotion, overruling all logic. For us to move here, would require a miracle on the job front for LSH, and we have a lot of commitments both personally and professionally in London that we can’t just up and leave to move north of the border.
So, we pack our bags and we head back down south, and I will try not to tear up in the car as we leave the glorious scenery that I love so much behind, and I will squash the desire to ditch everything about our current life and run away to a house by the windy and wild East coast of Scotland (for now, that part is my retirement plan, I am working on LSH) and we will go back to normal life. The accent I have picked up over the week will fade, my stash of proper Scottish bread will get consumed (my children like it too) and carry on. The homesickness will always be there, though, somewhere buried deep down and I will say to myself “one day, girl, one day”.
So that grass is still greener, the water tastes better, and yes the weather is colder (I don’t mind that) but it’s not where we are meant to be right now. I am raising a glass of Scottish water to our life, and the many blessings I must count, and not wish for something I can’t have. (But if my local Sainsbury’s could start selling Mother’s Pride bread, then it would probably cheer me up a lot, maybe I will distract myself by campaigning for that)
Ah mothers pride bread- reason 42. To live in Scotland! I’ve always lived here. For me my equivalent of your dream was upping sticks and moving to the tiny island in the inner Hebrides where I had grown up. It was a step too far. Whilst my husband and kids flourished I missed edinburgh life, the rat race and any bread I hadn’t made myself. Now safely back in edinburgh I would absolutely recommend you follow your dream. Sure mine didn’t work out but it finally silenced the ‘what if?’ I’d been living with for the last thirty years or so.