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Rain snow or shine, the views are just divine

It's a lovely late summers day, and another visit to the Scottish highlands had me and Paul falling more and more in love with the place.

Over a coffee and a slice of cake we imagined how life would be if we moved to this magnificant place.

As time passed we realised that this was where we wanted to be, it brought with it a sense of tranquility and peace. We tentatively started our search and in late September 2022 we found a cottage perfectly placed on the malt whiskey trail only a short drive from Keith and an even shorter drive to the Strathisla distillery.

In October our offer was accepeted and by early November I was on my way with only the two dogs a few neccessities and Hamish the camper to start our Scottish dream. We knew that Paul would have to stay at our house in Cheshire for the time being in order to fully sort and prepare our stuff for transport up to our new forever home.

Leaving our Cheshire home was a little bitter sweet, I later found out that my short visit to Cheshire in December would be the last time I would see our old family home. But I was soon reassured when I returned back to the cottage and felt at home again, so although my time here has been short and living with only the bear minimum it already feels like home.

Focalpoint continues to run on in Cheshire with Paul Longley Junior (Titch) running the day to day and shop manager Paul Brewster (The Doc) to support and bring his knwoledge of wildlife and nature to the forefront of everything that Focalpoint does.

But what is the cottage like and why am I writing this blog? Well it turns out that our little slice of heaven is a haven for all types of wildlife. We have a burn that runs paralell to our garden that only trickles in summer but flows with some ferocity come the wetter winter months. The woodlands which surround the back of the cottage, the moorlands at the top of the lane and open fields at the front give wildlife the perfect habitat to take shelter and access fresh water.

With the winter setting in and temperatures plummeting already I set up a bird feeding station to try and attract some of the local residents. It was nothing short of staggering, the variety of species has been incredible. Blue tits, Great tits, Coal tits, Long tailed tits, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Green finch, Tree sparrow, Blackbird, Robin, Wren, Dunnock, Tree creeper, Great spotted woodpecker, they just keep coming.

I was speaking with good friend Paul Hackett who suggested we tried some trail cameras to see what else might be visiting our garden. The neighbours had already suggested that badgers frequently came into gardens snuffling for food, my new trail cameras confirmed that they do indeed snuffle round for food. To my amazement that wasn't the only thing that triggered the trail camera, I was skeptical at first but I wondered, could it be? A quick check with Mr Hackett and he confirmed indeed it was a woodcock.

The wildlife just seems to keep getting better and I feel like I can't keep up. My biggest surprise was one afternoon on the phone to hubby Paul about the move when out of the corner of my eye a small brown shadow caught my attention. I turned to look and there it was an otter scampering away, trying to take a photo whilst also being on the phone proved difficult so unfortunately I missed that one. A few moments later I explored the snow covered garden following its tracks down to the burn to see where it had emerged.

Seeing so much wildlife and being so immersed in nature has felt quite surreal and I can't wait to see what else we find exploring the local habitats of our new forever home.

For now I will leave this blog there, although I am sure I could ramble on and on about the walks and the local area for some time.

To all our customers I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and New Year.


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