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Thurso memories – the day I first moved north.

Today as Facebook provided today’s batch of ‘memories’ I had to stop and smile.

It has been officially 2 years since I moved to Thurso. These are the first photos my Mum and I took as we took a stroll down the windy sea front. It was a gloriously sunny day, deceptively sunny as 2 years on the weather couldn’t be more grey.

It had been a long drive up from Glasgow. We’d made several stops and each one felt more and more remote. There is a line in the Lord of the Rings; Fellowship of the Ring that kept ringing in my ears. Frodo and Sam were wandering through the Shire on their way to casually destroy the one ring, as you do, and Sam just stops in a field. He looks up and Frodo and says:

Well Sam, I felt you. I’d never been this far north and had only a vague understanding that John O’Groats was at the far end of the country. I’d had to google Thurso in order to figure out where it was! Aviemore, I knew Aviemore but after that? Pfftt. I knew nothing.

We wandered the town and got our bearings. I was staying in a flat in the middle of the town and could see down the High Street; Nickle and Dime, the Factory Shop, various bakers and in the distance (read: 3 min walk) the pub. I won’t lie and say I wasn’t apprehensive about small town living, but I had lived a year in a factory district in the middle of nowhere China. If I could survive that I could survive this.

The first photo I took of Thurso Bay; August 2017.

Mum and I stood at the railings and we could see this land mass across the sea. You can see it in the top right hand corner of this photo. We had no idea what that was. Was that Scotland? Wasn’t this the end of the map? We stopped a man walking a dog with a polite ‘excuse me’ and asked about it.

‘That’s Orkney’

Well gee whizz. Now I really had seen it all. As far as I was concerned Orkney was some box off the side of the map! I had never considered it before and yet here it was looming at me from the edge of the world.

How little I knew then I’d meet a nice Orcadian* fella and sit 2 years later writing a blog post on his sofa about the day I moved North. Funny how life goes.

*I also had no idea the word Orcadian existed either. Everyday is a school day, eh?

Thurso Memories

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