Sorry for the silence, it's been a mix of being overwhelmed by the news, wedding planning, and poor connectivity. We've been up in Scotland for a few days with my mother and sister so that they could work out where everything was pre-wedding. We also took the dog, who absolutely had the time of her life. There were pheasants in the garden that she spent quality time staring at out of the window, hares sprang up beneath her feet (she's well past the age of being able to give serious chase, a dozen yards does it).
I cannot overstate how great it was to have fields with wide margins to walk around where you could let a dog off without worrying about meeting anybody else, disturbing nesting birds, busy roads, or trespassing. I wish this were common in England as well as Scotland.
The unexpected highlight of the trip was following a sign for a bookshop from the museum in Hawick (which was closed but is on my list to go to when we're back up there for the wedding), it took us around the corner and landed us in Cornucopia Magazine's office, bookshop, exhibition space. The bookshop is mostly Turkish related titles, with the surprise addition of Shetland-born Edinburgh-based poet, Christine De Luca's back catalogue, she'd been there for an event.
I'm genuinely excited by this find and looking forward to going back when we're back in the area pre-wedding. It was also a reminder to look beyond somewhat dilapidated high streets - there's a lot of interesting stuff going on in Hawick if you look for it (the Borders distillery is also worth checking out if you're in the area).