When I first abandoned my established, comfortable life in a leap towards unpredicatable instability, few people had heard the word ‘blog’. Not everyone had an e-mail address and a computer was a luxury rather than a necessity. As I left my old life behind I bought my first laptop, on offer in Tesco, for £299. An early Acer with the almost no storage or memory, the top part now precariously hanging on by one tiny wire, this laptop is inexplicably still working, while several ‘upgrades’ have since been and gone.
I first left ‘home’ (Achiltibuie, and Scotland) in 2006 and so much has happened – not only in my own life, but in the world, generally – since then that it can sometimes feel like a lifetime ago. Yet in other ways, it seems like only yesterday.
Of course, close friends and family knew where I was, and why. But I knew there would be people, friends with whom I only corresponded by physical letter; gallery customers who faithfully appeared year after year yet may have been unaware, and long-lost friends taking advantage of the new technological age in order to reconnect, who would not have known how to reach me. I created the Mary-King website as a place where I could have all my businesses and ventures under one ‘roof’, and I started the ‘blog’ so that people I was not usually in regular contact with could find me, and keep up with where I was and what I was doing.
In the early days there was triumph and disaster amongst the adventure and exploration, yet I rarely managed to do much reporting. Now I find I have been ‘grounded’ for a little longer than predicted; I have somehow become a home owner; I have reappeared onto familiar turf. I even created a new gallery, briefly. I escaped again, twice. I returned, twice. I struggled, I plotted. I rethought, redesigned and recreated whilst waiting for the opportunity to move forward once more. I am now committed to providing regular updates, but have felt the need to question their relevance, since anyone who is interested is now able to find me. What started as simply ‘checking in’ has become more of a diary; a catalogue of my activities as well as my plans; somewhere to organise my random thoughts. To share memories, opinions, experiences and dreams.
Now I am relishing the opportunity to practise writing, which I might otherwise not be so disciplined about. Let’s say this section has developed from ‘what I’m doing now’ into ‘what I’m doing, thinking, musing about, concerned with and dreaming of ‘. I hope in the future I’ll be able to include ‘where I am at the moment’. But for now, I’m right here. Despite the rain, the storms and the short, dark days it is not the worst place to be. On February 1st (for what would have been my Mum’s 105th birthday), under blue skies, I trudged up Stac Pollaidh in the snow.
As I write, it is bitterly cold and icy outside, but the snowdrops are pushing through. And with characteristic positivity I’ll add that (perhaps) it’s easier to write from a kitchen table than a hot, sandy beach.