Countryside living…

From growing up in Scotland’s capital to moving to the hustling and bustling Glasgow for university; city life is all I have ever known (and wanted to know). So when my mum suggested a family trip up North I was less than enthusiastic.

Never really understanding the point of a holiday within your own country I went into this with a very negative mind set. Now don’t get me wrong, if you like to walk, cycle, look at nature (just generally be a more interesting person than I am) then this kind of holiday would be great! But for me, with slight shame, I must say I’d rather spend a day in the sun, on the beach, book and cocktail in hand.

So for the weeks leading up to the holiday I sat glum imagining the countless cold rainy days filled with spiders, endless board games and green stuff everywhere.

In truth, my preconceptions of the highlands weren’t completely wrong ( I found a few small 8 legged friends in my bed and saw pretty much nothing but trees and hills for days on end) but being in the middle of nowhere is not too bad…if you follow a few small tips from one city person to another;

  • Embrace it; after three days of refusing point blank to join my family on cycling rides I decided I would put on my (borrowed) cycling gear and give it a go. Yes it was slightly painful and at some points I thought I would need air lifted back to the cottages we were staying at…but seeing your dad nearly fall of his bike to swerve a pheasant definitely made it all worth it! And I felt great after, it was like a spin class but with much prettier views.
  • Do that thing you have been meaning to do for ages; Although I was all for relaxing on my week off work, I thought I would fit in some time to be productive too and reply to those emails which had slipped my mind for a few weeks and do some much needed Edit brainstorming with the editor! And as you will hopefully see from next term, the countryside air definitely seemed to help some fresh ideas pop up!
  • Find a nearby town; all countryside has to have some form of town/village/shop nearby, well this is what I kept telling my mum anyway and eventually she succumbed to my moaning and we headed to the nearest town. Yes butchers and bakers aren’t my idea of great shopping but if I said the best part of the holiday wasn’t sitting in a gallery cafe with a frappe latte (yes I found a cafe in the middle of nowhere that does frappe lattes) I would be lying…

Now I really do understand that classic phrase…you can take the girl out the city but you definitely can’t take the city out of the girl!

Siobhan McDade


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