• Alison Cowell

July is dressed up and playing her tune

What a gorgeous summer we’ve had so far!

July has been such a busy month, with no less than three trips down south to England and one trip to Spain. The costs of flights and trains are extortionate, so I decided to try driving from Guthrie to Leigh-on-Sea. ‘My lady’ (aka the SatNav voice) told me it was a nine-and-a-half-hour journey. Ok, I can do that surely? 5 minutes after I set off at 5.30am in the misty rain, my lady announced that I was being diverted due to a road closure. Great start! I headed to the other side of Scotland, dutifully following her instructions, until silence fell for rather longer than I anticipated it should. I’m hopeless at directions but I had a sense that I should not be taking the turn-off to Glasgow airport. I tapped the phone – nothing there! It was totally blank! Caught up in a stream of fast-flowing traffic, I was ‘tsunamied’ unwillingly into an industrial area, where I finally pulled over and re-set the phone. My lady now had now become ‘my man’ (I’ve no idea why or what happened), and he took me safely the rest of the way (well, sort of…….I have to admit to a couple of unexpected detours). The total trip took 12 hours, but I did it! Yay!

The reason Steve didn’t join me on the last trip was because he needed to get on with the cottage as we had a visitor coming to stay, my friend Adrienne from New Zealand.

I’m forever cleaning up after Steve has been plastering and sanding etc. This isn’t the biggest renovation by any stretch of the imagination but crikey, we’ve had sooooo much mess! One morning Steve was intricately cutting something with his fancy saw. He took ages working on whatever it was (at least two cups of tea’s worth of time) and his expression confirmed it had been a success. I discovered later that he had created a template, which I had swept up and bagged for the tip. We both agreed that any future templates should be announced, shown and then carefully located in a ‘safe ‘place.

Adrienne arrived from New Zealand and it was lovely to show her round this beautiful area we have chosen to live in. She and I then went to Spain for a few days to visit another friend, Judy. Judy moved to Spain from England earlier this year and is carving out a great new life for herself. As one who has done something similar, I appreciate everything it takes to totally up-end your whole life and start afresh somewhere else. People have often commented how lucky I am to have lived in New Zealand and now, in Scotland. Luck? Not sure about that. It’s taking the risk, making it happen – and it’s hard work.

Fun in the sun!


The one night of the year we had rain- a deluge at the 60th party!

Back home, I attended a wedding, a 40th birthday party and a 60th celebration. I was in my element catching up with so many of my family and friends, totally cementing the choice to live back in the UK. Of course, the cherry on the cake is baby Jessica. At twelve weeks old, her personality is beginning to emerge, and she is an absolute pleasure. I bought her two little dresses when I was in Spain. She would have had a third, but I tried haggling (encouraged by Judy and Adrienne who had successfully haggled for a dress and a bag respectively) and got nowhere. My Spanish lessons have given me sufficient knowledge to know that the saleslady’s helpful friend advised her not to take anything less, and she was convinced I had more money to offer. I hung the dress back on the rack, consoling myself with the fact that the bulky embroidery would have only irritated baby Jessica’s neck anyway. So there!

August has just arrived and with it some great opportunities on the work front. In between my socialising and travelling, I’ve been casting my net, making contacts and sowing seeds for the past few months and things look to be taking off. I have several speaking engagements booked and some exciting projects to consider.

Oh my goodness, I nearly forgot to tell you – Steve and I are now sleeping in the cottage! We had to get the bedroom in a good enough state for Adrienne to sleep in while she was here. It’s by no means finished but it’s useable, as is the bathroom. Our next visitors arrive in two weeks, best get cracking then……………………………


Copyright © 2019 Alison Cowell

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