Tuesday, September 20, 2011

All those pubs draw me back to Scotland

Colin and me at the Cawdor pub; Megan and me at the clearly labeled St. Michael's Inn, and the pub at Dores in the small inset. (I thought that's the right picture--turns out it's not and I don't know how to get rid of it; on fact, I'm not sure what it is. The picture of the Dores Inn is below.)
Many of us in Texas joke these days about where we'll move if Governor Perry is elected president. A Canadian friend is keepig her citizenship, just in case, and my oldest kids are hearing the call of the Carribbean where they once lived. I have always said I'd move to Scotland, but lately that has become an active daydream: to live in a small village, read, write, meet people at the local pub. Some of my kids urge me to do it, and Colin suggested six months here and six months there--which of course presents insurmountable problems with dogs and my house, as well as probably insurmountable expenses.I once said I had a specific town in mind but now I'm waffling. Dores would be appropriate because it's the site of the MacBain Clan Memorial Park. But I really saw nothing of Dores except the pub, where the people were very friendly. Then there's St. Michael's--again I like the pub and I have an impression of cobbled streets with houses very close together--I may be wrong. Cawdor was nice, with Cawdor castle not far away--but then again I only saw the pub, and while the food was great I didn't get a great sense of sociability. Either Dores or Cawdor would be close enough to Culloden to do some research and more and more the idea of a Scottish novel, multi-generational, is  forming in the back of my mind. As I read back over this, it sounds like all I did was go to the pubs--but that truly is all I saw of many villages, that and the local castle. I've ruled out Portree on the Isle of Skye--too cold and wet and windy and tourist-y. Of course, my six=moth say would be from May to November--or maybe April to October.
One good friend who loves Scotland said the idea sounded great, but she didn't think she could be away from her kids and grandkids that long. I'm not at all sure I could either, but they say they'd come to visit. There are all kinds of other reasons this is an impractical pipe dream--not only family, house, and dogs but I've never been an adventurous person, the kind who sets off on her own for faraway places. I hate to travel alone, and I hate too much solitude. I value highly the warm circle of friends and acquaintances I have here. And finally I don't know about going off like that my age--I was never agile, but I have surely gotten less so lately. My health is good, but what if something happened? See, the cautious side of me comes out.
My daughter-in-law Lisa says, "Jude, you only live once. Go for it!" I wish I had that spirit.

It's not a dream I've completely let go of yet. The Lord moves in mysterious ways--my mom told me that.

No comments: