The past few months have been…interesting. Since moving to southern Kintyre in June I’ve oscillated between loving it and hating it, staying and going.
The things I haven’t liked are small, really. The lack of choice in the shops, for a start. We have a Tesco Express and a Co-op, but they are small and I am used to the choice and variety of living in near a small town with a huge Tesco, Morrison’s and Lidl. It’s been a huge adjustment.
I don’t have a signal for my phone. but I have got my network to agree to send me a signal box so I can use my phone again without driving the 6 miles into Campbeltown. I sometimes catch a fleeting signal on the beach, but it’s not to be relied upon.
It’s a 600 mile round trip to visit my mum and the drive is slow and winding. But the scenery is gorgeous. I drive along the coast and then through glens and by the sides of lochs. The hills are frequently topped by clouds and on a good day, the water in Loch Fyne is as smooth as glass.
While I like the house’s location, the decor leaves a lot to be desired. I’ve found it quite depressing living in surroundings that remind me of an old folks’ home but we were reluctant to spend money on it while we were so undecided about whether or not we should stay.
So much for all the negatives. I’d rather spend time on the positives.
I am literally three minutes from Machrihanish Pans, the smaller of the two beaches, and five minutes from the long, clean beach that winds round the bay for over five miles. If I leave my bedroom window open at night I fall asleep to the sound of the waves crashing against the shore. We face west and the sunsets are amazing. The colours and variety have reduced me to tears on more than one occasion. Often, I am the only one on the beach, watching as the golden disc drops beneath the horizon.
There is a Seabird and Wildlife observatory around a mile from me and just 100 metres or so further on, a small hill with a viewpoint lets you gaze upon Ireland. A variety of birds are regular customers at the feeders I hang from the tree in the back garden and most mornings when I look out the window of the spare bedroom I see cows staring back in at me, just 30 metres distant on the hill.
The Inner Hebrides are clearly visible from my bedroom window – Islay, Jura and Gigha – and if we drive into Campbeltown there’s Davaar and Aran to be seen.
The people are friendly and welcoming and we are getting to know quite a few folk in Campbeltown now too. Crime is low and the pace is slow and each time I drive home and round the bend in the road which winds along the coast and into the village, my heart soars at the sheer bloody beauty of the place.
I am happy here. We are staying. This is now home.
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