Two trips north of the border to see my Nana in Montrose: September 2011 and October 2012.
It’s a peaceful place. When I was there in October the trees were already bare and snow fell overnight and lay on the ground until late in the morning, when the sun eventually climbed high enough to melt it. Nature seems much more abundant there. Once you’re out in the surrounding countryside there are pheasants and grouse and deer roaming around and even in the town you can see and hear flocks of geese overhead at sunset. I’m always struck by the colours of everything: the greeness of the trees and the blue-grey of the sky. The painted railings and doors in seaside turquoise. Even the houses, made of big slabs of stone, greyish brown or brownish red, which are so different from the bricks-and-mortar or mock tudor affairs that line the streets around here.
My Nana’s house is a record of a lifetime. Innumerable books on every subject and magazines ranging from Vogue to National Geographic fill boxes and shelves. There are cupboards of glasses and plates and kitchenware. Whole drawers full of reels of thread, buttons, recipes meticulously copied onto cards, colouring pencils, long forgotten geometry sets, plastic film canisters and gloves. Somewhere there are the tools necessary for an admirable range of self-sufficient activities from growing vegetables and brewing sherry to making and mending clothes. There are photographs documenting four childhoods, adolescences and marriages, and the arrival of seven grandchildren and five [!] great-grandchildren. There are recipe books, knitting needles, crochet hooks, sewing notions, and a great collection of manuals, instructional magazines and patterns. Perhaps there is nothing of conventional value but it to me it is evidence of a life well spent: Cooking, baking, making, mending, growing. All the important things.
Montrose & Angus, a set on Flickr