Awesome August…. away with ye

As August drew to a close last week, it seemed to take the last of the summer with it. The eternal optimist in me hopes for a last gasp effort later in September and October (in fact, on September 14th would suit perfectly) but I am also aware that this unbridled weather optimism is based on many years spent living in coastal North Essex and not in the hills of Glasgow.

At first I felt desperately sad as I realised that the days are getting shorter, and quickly. Being out at both ends of the day on dog walking duty means that I feel the darker mornings more than most.

But this evening, after a few days of somewhat questionable weather, I was treated to another stunning Campsie sunset, and I remembered that as the seasons change, so do the hills that guard my house.


The hills are beginning to go golden, and the light is definitely changing. Leaves are just starting to fall from the tree in my front garden. The mornings will be dark again before long, but winter sunrises are long and stunning when watched from the warmth of a bus or train journey.

It’s fair to say that I’ve just had one of the busiest months of my life. I find this hard to believe in many ways, given what was going on for me this time last year. Another birthday is rapidly approaching, which always means a lot of reflecting.

August 2012 saw a period of being ridiculously run down, with a long and uphill battle still ahead of me in order to make it to Scotland in time for the start of my new course at the RCS. Most of the month was spent in a state resembling the below pictures. Unlike the hounds, I didn’t sleep through it particularly well.




August 2013 has been very different. I started the month in Hertfordshire on an inspirational harp summer school. I’ve driven (and been driven) for miles. After the summer school I headed back north, headed back south, then north again. Last weekend I ended up even further north.


I’ve been to the Edinburgh Festival for the first time. I’ve been to my first ever music festival, a long way out of the way in the wilds of the North West of Scotland. I’ve salsa-d and ceilidh-d and hauled my behind around the velodrome. I’ve been up my first Munro. There will be things I’ve forgotten to mention, and others I’m choosing not to.

When I made the decision to move away from the old life of working endlessly with no real purpose or end in sight, I couldn’t have begun to contemplate the month I’ve just had.

The thing about this August is that I am shattered because I spent the month living. Really, really living and making the most of almost every moment. I’ve been ill again, but for all the right reasons. Burning out in the past has been down to work. This time it was due to enjoying myself. I’ve always struggled to pace myself, and while this is incredibly frustrating at times, it’s also part of who I am.

Life had already changed beyond recognition after six months and it will continue to do so, for the better, before I start back at the RCS again in a few weeks’ time.


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