One thing that is obvious in this part of the world is the presence of micro-climates. We can drive 10 miles in any direction and find weather that is as opposite to what we just left as you can imagine. This week has been fairly mild and yesterday we had the windows open and Chris spent some time in the garden. When he went down to the little store in the village, he was remarking on how lovely and mild it was and another shopper, from just down the road, commented that it was nearly freezing where he lived (or, as they say in the Highlands, where he stayed). Amazing. We can go through all four seasons in a day. Today, we had a flurry of snow, and the snow is still lying on the higher hills. Now the sun is shining, but the temperatures are still low. But through it all, it is always, always beautiful.
|Snow on Beinn Airigh Charr|
Chris and I remarked the other day that of all the places we've lived, both apart and together, we are happier and more relaxed here than we have ever been. Our bodies seem to be relaxing - muscle by muscle - and we find ourselves sleeping so well and feeling just so at home. We want to be here forever and will do what we need to do to make that dream come true. We've had only good luck with our other dreams - why not this one?
Even the chronic pain I suffer with my arthritis seems more bearable here. I will not give this place the magical property of healing - the arthritis continues to worsen and I am just learning to put up with it. But, all I need to do is count my many blessings and the pain seems a reasonable price to pay for the happiness we are feeling in both our situation and our lives in general.
Chris is doing more and more abstract digital photo art these days. We are hopeful that we can get him into Exclusively Highlands with this fairly new art form. His imagination is amazing and what he can do with the images is magical. This past Monday, he sold two matted prints - one a digitally manipulated image of a boat and the other a haunting black and white of an abandoned old building. We are getting ready to print up cards that can be used for Christmas cards. I am sure those will sell well.
In addition to doing our regular "thing" at the market, I have volunteered to run a workshop showing people how to make beautiful little Christmas topiaries. It's been years since I made one, but I remember well how lovely they looked and how much they were loved by those folks who were at the receiving end of that little gift. I am looking forward to all the fun planned for Christmas up here. Chris and I are going to have a tree in the GALE Centre, one we decorate ourselves with bits and pieces that reflect our businesses, and then it will remain in the centre during the Christmas season. Gairloch will have its annual Fayre in the Square and Chris and I are both taking part in that as well. What better way to feel the Christmas spirit than to be surrounded by wonderful friends in a beautiful setting. And, the best news is that my precious Catherine and her mum and dad may be coming for Christmas (Caroline's schedule and the weather allowing). I can't imagine anything better.
I am spending more and more of my time on my business now. Ailleas Designs is doing well and I am looking forward to the events in which I am participating throughout November and early December. I am awaiting a card reader so that folks can make their purchases without having to worry about having available cash, and I am working very hard at making the business not only viable, but very successful. There will be a great deal of work done on sourcing new stockists throughout Scotland, possibly even looking to the other parts of the UK. In addition to Ailleas Designs, I will be launching a new business, along with a relaunch of Ailleas Designs, mid-January. I am so lucky to have some talented artists helping me with the logos and look forward to redoing the AD site and designing the new site once I have the finals of the new designs. I am busy in my studio creating new pieces and getting ready for a marathon photo shoot after Christmas.
(Having a 25% off sale of The Sea Collection at www.ailleasdesigns.com if you would like to have a look in.)