Helen, Lesley and Freda the platform
We left the Black Isle on the 2nd of March, seen off from Inverness railway station by a good friend, Helen. I went to school with Helen's daughter, also Lesley, who now lives in Sydney with her Australian husband, Steve. Despite being determined to 'travel light' we still had a number of suitcases full of food treats and toileteries - mostly consumables to see us through the coming months.

Edie, Elspeth and Freda in Aberdeen
Before finally leaving the UK we spent a couple of days with Ali's parents, Alex and Elspeth, in Aberdeen. I caught up with a few friends at the University while Ali and Alex had a day skiing at the Lecht. Freda and Edie enjoyed playing with the newly-refurbished dolls' house and accompanied Granny to the hairdresser. Packing and unpacking gets practically easier but emotionally harder for me. What do we take, what do we leave behind? Although our bags contain clothes, food and books for home school - all of which are very useful - I still wonder if, one day, we could just take off with a monk's bag over our shoulder. We have given up so many of our materials possessions - either sold, given away or stored in an attic - but it's hard to give up all. In fact, Freda and Edie have decided to take Baby Annabell them this time. She's the largest toy they have but, having been stored at Craiglea for five years, it seems better she gets some use before they grow out of her. They take great delight in the faces of passers by, who can't work out if she's real or not.

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