Jonathan and Denise >
After we bought Casa Los Fueros – our home in Navarra – almost a year ago, we knew we would not be able to stay there – or anywhere else in Spain – for more than three months in any six months, with a maximum of 182 days (ie one day less than six months) in total per year. Howevere that was academic, since we had – we have – so many commitments back home in Scotland. However, our holiday/tourist season in Uist is short, and the winters very long, so we had in mind to spend up to three months a year in Navarra – if a practicable means of doing so could be devised. Two months in Autumn, and then a four-week stay in February – before we start sowing and planting the garden. It’s that February trip that we now know is a forlorn hope – at least for this year. The thought of not seeing our family – and in particular of not seeing little Enaut, who is developing so fast! – makes us feel desperate. We must, though, remind ourselves of our good fortune to be able to visit at all, let alone have a lovely place of our own to stay for such a long time : just think of those families from the islands who saw their grown children sail away from the pier to start a new life in America or Canada, Australia or New Zealand, never to see them or hold them again, except to shed tears over the occasional letters. And never to see their grandchildren. And that that’s a story that even today is written anew by so many families of all people and nations of the world ; though of course these days they travel not with ink and paper to write home, but a smartphone. Just like Catherine, Ion and Enaut, the flame of kinship is kept alight these days through WhatsApp.
You’re wondering, aren’t you, what relevance the photo, of Foss Iona has to do with this. Absolutely nothing, other than the fact that caring for our animals and meeting their needs keeps us thinking in the present, and not dwelling too much on disappointments.