Monday, 14 December 2009


Oh, at last I am home.  There are all the familiar elements of re-entry: the piles of post (junk, junk, junk, a CHEQUE! from AMERICA! in sexy DOLLARS!), the slight smell of must, the empty fridge which feels like a reproach, and must be filled as soon as possible.  I wander about, acquainting myself again with the house.  I get in piles of food and make soup.  I go a little fey, and squirt Ken Turner's lovely Christmas room spray all about, to drive out the scent of neglect.  I catch up on missed episodes of The Archers. (Don't ever let anyone tell you a writer's life is not wild and glamorous.) 

When I drive over the border, I always go a little teary when I see the Welcome to Scotland sign.  Sometimes I actually shout out loud, waking the dogs.  Always I get a physical shiver, the goosebumps of return.  It is for many complicated reasons, but perhaps the most obvious is the beauty.  Because this is what I see on my drive back:

London and driving home 047

On a clear day, you can see for miles, as if the whole country opens up before you like a book.  On Saturday, it was minus three with glittering sun and an evocative fog effect, as if a passing group of clouds had fallen onto the hills.

And I get to see this:

London and driving home 055

And this:

London and driving home 056

I'm not going out of my way, or taking the scenic route.  This is what the road back to my house passes through.  It's one of the great drives of the world.  And it just happens to be the way to my front door.  I don't take that for granted.


  1. Tania, those photos are so beautiful. I love reading about people's concepts of 'home'. bec of my father's job, i lived all over the world- Rome was the only place i lived the longest- 6 years, so it was very difficult to leave. but still, i have this itch to keep moving, as does my husb (foreign service brat). i have to admit, though, that when i read posts like yours, it does make me wish that i also felt that way about one special place on earth. wherei could humb through my childhood books, on that one shelf. alas, my parents kept giving things away as we moved so much. welcome home, T.

  2. sorry, meant to write "thumb through".

  3. I once drove with a friend from Newcastle up to Loch Lomond - the scenery is absolutely stunning, just like your pictures! I may live in London but I grew up in the north of England & so family holidays were in the Lake District and Scotland. I'll never forget how beautiful it is up there.

  4. Hoorah you're back! There have been dog-shaped holes all over. And the photos are wonderful.

  5. Oh what a wonderful thing to wake up to that! Welcome home.

    xx Miss W


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