I'm really enjoying being away from work, and being in Scotland. There's been a complete absence of pressure to do anything particular for the last few days that's been blissful. I've had time to knit a bit, read a bit, potter about a bit, and today I got to catch up with a very dear friend I hadn't seen for decades. I've also bought some books - so I'm feeling pretty good about life at the moment.
This week is also Shetland wool week, which I have not yet ever been to, despite this being the second time I've had the right week off. For the second time by the time I realised that the cost of travel was prohibitive. A shame (for me) because it looks like it's been a lot of fun, and the makers market at the end of the week sounds particularly tempting. The pictures I've been seeing on Instagram have also got me really interested in natural dyes. Maybe a project for the future.
I haven't seen much yarn in my travels, but I've seen a lot of tweed and find myself more and more intrigued by it. There was a sort of eureka moment when I correctly identified a Lovet mill fabric in Campbell's of Beauly, and began to see house styles emerge from different mills. There's clearly a lot to learn here, and in an ideal world it would be the sort of thing the V&A in Dundee would be exploring.
Meanwhile the book-shopping has been fun too. Something I notice more every time I get north of the border is how Scotland feels increasingly different to England. Books are one way that visibly manifests itself. Every bookshop has a Scottish section, which is nothing new, but the range of titles is ever more interesting. It means Scottish fiction, both classic and contemporary, is front and centre along with every other aspect of Scottish culture.
It makes walking into a Waterstones here very different from any branch in England, where local interest books are much more local. It means Scotland's favourite booklist looks like This. There are some great books on that list, and real variety. I don't know what an English one would look like but I'm betting not quite as varied or interesting. Maybe it's just that I'm getting a glimpse of what things look like when they're not so London centric.
When I've finished bookshopping and got back home I'll share the list of my spoils.