I have now spent just over three years in Chancefield Wood, Falkland. It has snowed twice, with it clearing both times by midday. The hut is not cold because it has a wood stove. The main inconvenience in winter is the dark. At its worst the light is gone by before 4 pm and doesn’t reappear until almost 9 am. Of course in summer the opposite is the case.
Darkness is met by a combination of LED batteries, Kindle and a DVD machine for watching films. And a full night’s sleep. My health remains good. There is something to be said for not having central heating! Most days I’m out on my bike.
I have used the mornings of the last three years to write a memoir, mainly to dispose of the diaries and notes I have kept since schooldays. I distributed the 12 sections to 12 friends for comments. After dealing with these I gave the full text to five others. One of them, with my agreement, passed it to a publisher. I await a decision as to whether it has commercial worth or not. If not, I will be happy to get it printed for private distribution.
Some of the three years has been taken up with getting planning permission and doing the fundraising for the Homeless Jesus sculpture now installed behind St George’s Tron church. I was asked by the Canadian artist if I could facilitate this. There are now copies all over the world. The Glasgow one is the first in the UK. Planning permission was given by the City Council following a request from Glasgow Churches Together. The £25 000 cost was raised by donations from 25 individuals and groups.
The Thousand Huts Campaign continues to expand. More people are looking to explore the possibilities of owning or renting a hut in the countryside. This includes some landowners interested in the commercial potential. Here at Falkland it is hoped to begin establishing a group of huts in 2018 in the nearby Cash Wood (where Johnny Cash’s family came from).
During the year I got the chance to visit the Small Isles including Canna and Eigg. There is still the campervan but I have not been using it so much. I still visit my sister in Glasgow most weekends. This allows me to catch up with friends and relatives. I have to use that as my legal address. Fortunately most communication is now digital.
I hope you have the time and space to enjoy the Twelve Days of Christmas and I wish you well in 2018.