Keep a green tree in your heart…

December 15, 2008

We’re busily preparing to leave the island tomorrow for a couple of weeks; going first to Kendal, so Alan can spend some days at Lancaster and we can do some more packing in the house, then spending Christmas with our daughters and travelling round seeing friends and relations, and back to Kendal to load up the van to return for New Year.

We have a long list of things to come back with that we didn’t bring on the first trip and have needed (for example wire netting to stop Tansy disappearing under the hedge into the neighbouring gardens, the coal shovel, and the bush saw for firewood) and a much shorter list of things to buy (A5 paper, an airbed).

There are not many things I miss since coming here. (I’m not including the big things I would have missed anywhere – loved ones, well trodden paths, the quotidien familiarity of place.) But things that go along with being here, now – there are just a few…

I miss the doorstep milk delivery a lot, not so much for the convenience (we’re only a step from the shop) but for the regularity, for not having to remember, and most of all because of the glass bottles that are used and re-used. Buying milk in plastic invokes a little stress of guilt every time I do it. Especially because the second thing I miss is recycling. Cardboard and glass are recycled here, and ink cartridges, (and a few big things like fridges and car batteries). Not plastic or cans or paper. We’re still paying council tax on the other house till it sells so I have no qualms about going back with a few bagfuls to recycle there, which we’re doing this time, but we’ve only been here six weeks. I don’t think we could store up months’ worth of plastic milk bottles and empty tins in the long term!

Apart from those practical matters, all that I’ve really missed are trees, and especially woodland. There are very few trees here and no woods. I knew that of course, so I came prepared with images to help satisfy the inner dryad…

"Keep a green tree in your heart and perhaps the singing bird will come"
Chinese proverb









  1. I’m thinking our present to you maybe won’t arrive before you leave – should have thought about that, sorry! Happy travelling.

  2. Don’t think I could live happily without trees for long, or the recycling facilities. However, you have traded these for glorious beaches, even fresher air, peacefulness and space. You don’t know what you’ll miss till it’s gone….. Have a wonderful Christmas x

  3. interesting about the milk delivery as I could have milk delivered here on Lewis but could not at my flat in Bath,
    I thought I too was going to miss trees as I love them but in the nine years I have been on Harris and Lewis I have not, there are some trees in the Lews Castle grounds, I love and enjoy in a way I never dreamed the wide open space,
    Harris and Lewis have improved greatly with recyling in the nine years I have been here, it’s the cost of shipping it to the mainland that causes the problems,
    I love the lack of light pullution, walking home from a friends the other evening and seeing the beautiful startlit sky,

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