Oh sunshine, where art thou? Don’t worry, I promise this isn’t whining post, miserably moaning about the totally unforeseeable fact that Scotland tends to experience Scottish weather. Quite the opposite actually.
Presently I’m cosily ensconced in the conservatory/kitchen of my mum’s house, deep in the wilds of Fife, where four days of snow have utterly transformed the landscape. It feels for all the world like I’m sitting in a snowglobe, watching entranced from the inside as the world around me slowly loses all trace of colour and everything fades to white. For the past four hours the snow has fallen in a variety of shapes and intensities, from whirling, biting blizzards to soft flurries of enormous snowflakes, coating the garden and surrounding woodlands in a layer of fairytale icing and brightening the gloom of a Scottish autumn.
The only visible colour comes from the birdlife inhabiting the nearby trees and congregating on the strategically-placed hanging feeders outside the window, barely five metres from where sit. The twin towers of nuts and seeds provide an irresistible attraction for our avian friends, robbed of their normal food sources by the newly arrived monochrome blanket covering the countryside. Flashes of red, pink and yellow dart past my eyes as chaffinches, blue tits and the inevitable seasonal robins dance to and fro, jostling for the best positions and the choicest morsels. A gorgeous pair of wood pigeons, their normally dull colouring now resplendent against the white backdrop, occasionally interrupt proceedings, their superior size commanding obvious respect from their smaller brethren. After a week being reminded of Edinburgh hideous, deformed, disease-ridden urban pigeons these two appear as nothing less than angels.
although seemingly shy, the tracks of smaller mammalian friends litter the landscape, tell-tale signs of their usually nocturnal comings and goings. Foxes, squirrels and deer surround the house, all out of sight for now but preparing for the imminent departure of the sun to begin their crepuscular carnival. They can dance freely tonight as Gin, my erstwhile companion and now lodger here at my mother’s, has paused her feline campaign of terror until blessed by more clement weather, her aging but no less deadly claws feeling the bite of winter. The more timid local residents can hold their midnight snowball fights in peace without the lurking spectre of death by Gin.
With every hour that passes the snow’s utter dominion over my new habitat increases, lessening the likelihood I’ll be able to visit Edinburgh for tomorrow’s scheduled interview with a Japanese recruitment agency. Honestly? I couldn’t care less, despite struggling for weeks to arrange this appointment I’m more than happy to remain by my window, sipping endless teas and coffees, sustained by hearty soups and crusty bread, basking in the warmth and remaining hypnotised by weather the likes of which I haven’t experienced for years. No, I’ll just wait here and conduct the rest of the week’s interviews via the wonder of Skype, thankful that at least some employers have realised we are now in the 21st Century and embraced the technological advances which facilitate a global economy and international lifestyle.
To all those friends remaining in Surat, the paradise I grudgingly abandoned to move on to another chapter in my life – yes, I remain jealous of the weather (well, not the rain), the food and above all, the company. But right now, surrounded by snow, whisky and family? I couldn’t be happier.