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Rooms with a View

I had the delight of visiting an old and very dear friend for lunch today in Dollar. It must be at least 6 or 7 years since I was last in Dollar, and almost as long since I saw N, who had been, up until my move away, my Pilates teacher.

Having re-connected on Facebook within the last year, we have quickly established a happy, comfortable and supportive chit chat. Seeing her today was as if the intervening years were merely a heartbeat away.

N runs Singfit which I would love to attend, except that it is on Wednesday mornings in Glasgow. She has and has always had, an extraordinary amount of energy and that runs through her business and her 4 beautiful children.

Her house happily absorbed all 4 children plus an extra three who were visiting, and the views across the valley towards Dollarbeg are spectacular, and gave me a new appreciation of Dollar’s position in the valley.

Unfortunately when I lived in Dollar there were no views from our home, apart from the Academy at the front, which lies at the heart of the village, and the sloping almost unmanageable back garden, farm track and gorse bushes behind. As a result of this, I often felt penned in – tall pine trees and a 3metre high beech hedge to the South of our plot; Dollar Academy to the East, a mature hedgerow to the North and the steep garden to the West. Climbing up beyond Castle Campbell and onto Dollar Hill was the only sure way to get up and out of the doldrums at times and to get much needed head space.

I drove past our old home and was secretly happy to note that nothing had changed externally although I had heard that a new kitchen and been put in many years ago. Of course I didn’t explore further but was pleased to note that the flowering shrubs I had planted a decade or so ago were looking healthy.

Back Road in Dollar reminded me of some parts of Spain or Greece where plots have been bought, fenced off but no sign of building work is apparent. Contrasting with this are a disparate mix of attractively extended homes, ugly new builds and a traditional row of terraces, sharing shoulder space with a range of building styles from the 60s, 70s, and 80s.

Although we don’t have a view from our home in North Berwick, I can imagine the beach which is less than a 5 minute walk away and I can hear the waves crashing on stormy nights. Often that is enough to allow the muddle and busy-ness of life to have its escape route.

Rooms with a View – a poem

Imagine if you will

a big sky, a blue expanse

as far as the eye can see.

Clamber higher still

reach across the world –

over valleys, waterways, oceans and time.

Close your eyes and I will be there.

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