As I begin my first blog for the lovely Ladies Countryside Community, I ask you to cast your minds back to March of this year; the weather was nice, we hid our winter jackets at the back of the wardrobe, and the thrill of a fun-filled summer beckoned. Enter lockdown.
Like so many of you, I had a wave of panic regarding lockdown; not only do I run my own business, which largely relies on trade stands over the summer, but I also had a full social calendar with a year of 30th birthdays (including my own). On top of that, like most people, I had come to take a constant supply of toilet roll for granted, so empty shelf after empty shelf became a little concerning in itself.
However, we as a species are renowned for adapting in the face of new challenges, so adapt we did.
Before I continue, here might be an apt place for me to pause and admit that perhaps the subject of this blog is slightly less interesting than it’s title suggests. When I mention falling in love, sadly, I’m not going to be writing a romantic tale of a whirlwind romance; my partner and I are eight years into our relationship, so we’ve been there, done that and are thankfully still wearing the t-shirt. What we did discover, thanks to lockdown, was a rekindled love for being outdoors and for the beautiful part of the country we live in.
We have the pleasure of living in the heart of the breathtaking Scottish Borders with a postcard-worthy view of the Eildon Hills from our living room window, and before lockdown, I am ashamed to admit that we didn’t take full advantage of our location. Therefore, suddenly finding ourselves with some free time on our hands, we used our once a day exercise allowance to explore our surrounding area extensively. We packed picnics, and we planned routes, and my boyfriend even swapped his usual Nike or Armani trainers for a proper pair of walking boots – I never thought I would see the day!
I don’t know how many times we used the sentence “everything is so close to us”, as we discovered walk after walk that gradually reduced our need to drive anywhere. We tackled the Eildons, The Three Brethren, Abbotsford house walks, Gala Hill, Langlee Forrest and The Grey Mares Tail (this one did require a car), to name a few. We also took time to walk around the town and point out our favourite houses and even found some exotic decor, including a life-size elephant smack-bang in the middle of someone’s garden. Our theory is that the husband most likely got it from “a bloke down the pub”, and perhaps his wife wasn’t best pleased.
On a “normal” year, I would spend my weekend’s touring with my business or eventing my horse, and Arran would be at the football, cheering on his team, pint in hand. Do we miss these things? Of course. But finding a not-so-hidden world of adventure on our doorstep has undoubtedly provided a fantastic (and very healthy, might I add) alternative.
Regional Reporter - Scotland
A short, artificially blonde, just-turned-30-year-old with a healthy mix of positivity and sarcasm. We are based in Tweedbank in the gorgeous Scottish Borders and I own and run my own equestrian performance brand. My two loves (excluding my long suffering non-horsey other half, of course) are horses and wine and during normal non-pandemic summers we spend most of our free weekends competing, mainly eventing, plus we have recently welcomed our first foster dog to our family. When I’m not on the back of a horse I’m probably walking, eating, drinking or watching trashy films on Netflix … usually a combination of the above!