The other day, I found myself using a phrase that my parents used quite often when I was a child. "Auri," I said in an ominous tone. "You're up to something."
It is both joyful and terrifying to watch a miniature you grow up before your eyes. There are things that Auri does that she cannot possibly have known that I did when I was a child, and her impossibly infectious grin when she knows she's doing something cheeky could be straight out of a family photo album (though actually, at times, she looks more like my sisters - Holly and Judith, in particular - rather than me).
It's been many moons since my parents have used that phrase in my hearing, but it fits quite well at the moment. I'm up to something.
This is simply a brief update to check in and let you all know that we're all grand here in the Highlands. Euan, as he is on the Shielding list, had his first vaccination the other day (AstraZeneca) and is booked in for his second in mid-April. Auri (who turned two a couple of weeks ago) is still at home until the nurseries reopen, and her development appears to be charging on at a delightfully alarming rate. It amazes me how much information she can absorb, and watching her decide how best to communicate her latest statement or wish is just wonderful. Her and Scapa are still the very best of friends, with Scapa patiently putting up with (and quite possibly appreciating) being pounced on by a two-year old at random moments when she's enjoying a post-walk nap. Auri will frequently launch herself onto her four-legged sister in order to display her love. Over the last few weeks, we have caught Auri helping herself to Scapa's kibble from the larder (she can now open the door and she got in before we realised what she was doing), drinking from Scapa's water bowl, and even, at one point, eating grass outside. I would blame all these things on Scapa, but I suspect at least one or two of them are as a result of an offensively jolly and painfully colourful show that Auri had been watching where everyone was pretending to eat like animals. Children's television has a lot to answer for.
As per the title of this update, I am in the process of rationalising and updating all things web. This includes rehousing nearly everything on my website (which, itself, needs a serious spring clean). I was originally going to wait until spring to share all these updates, but it felt a little rude not to check in with you all and say hello (I haven't even wished you all a Merry New Year, and for that I apologise: I hope you and yours are all well and thriving as much as you can be in these early-ish days of 2021!).
As part of this digital streamlining (and there are many reasons behind this, none of which I'm going to go into here - but ownership, continuity and environmental sustainability all feature), I will be deleting my Substack account and running any future updates from my website. Depending on when you read this update via email, I may already have vanished from this corner of the web. Subscribers can simply reply to this email at any time to be able to contact me directly, however, and ask for any updates that they so desire - and that's the other reason I wanted to post something today. I realise I've not been on Twitter too much this year, but please don't let that stop you from getting in touch via other means! I'm still around and, because I'm withdrawing to some extent from certain platforms, I should actually have more time to be able to respond to messages (in theory - you know how it is these days).
I am practically bursting with ideas of things I want to do but, for the first time, I am tempering my desire to progress certain projects with an honest review of previous ideas and missing-in-action projects. Rather than be disappointed at certain things that I never followed up, I have actually found this to be quite cathartic: the relief of letting go of certain ideas that, when I thought about it, I realised belonged to a Lydia of yore as opposed to this one.
Wait a minute, I wasn't going to start going into all these details! This is what happens when I have energy again and my mind starts fizzing and spitting with ideas, and these flames are fanned by my love of communicating (I have realised over the years how much I simply love people and sharing conversations with them - so, again, please do get in touch!).
So, farewell, Substack. I actually thoroughly endorse the platform for many reasons, but my path is going in a different direction at present.
Keep in touch, friends!
‘til next time,
6th February 2021
Croy, Highlands, Scotland