Author: Lizzie Aitchison

Ardnamurchan. Barely populated except for the trees. Oak, birch, hazel, beech, larch. Rimmed by empty beaches of the palest sand looking west to islands sitting on a blue ocean. Rum, Eigg, Muck. Beyond them Skye, the Cuillin ridge unmistakeable against a far horizon. At Sanna Bay, with its sweeping golden strand, we sheltered below a small, cairn-topped hill where the grass falls away towards the sea and ate our lunch chased down with tea from the thermos. The islands spread themselves in front of us, smoothly sculpted by distance and light. Eyes right to the peaks of Moidart and Knoydart,...

Bank holiday. Lines out of Euston closed. Northbound hordes pile into Kings Cross, milling anxiously in the huge concourse. London brick meets tubular steel, a glorious canopy of white metal fanning across the roof. A mezzanine of toilets and Costa coffee – possibly in reverse order – with views to a man dressed as a bride drinking Carlsberg with his stag-mates, a child-woman in a pink frilly coat with an enormous bow at the back. The ordinary, the weird and the wonderful gathered here. And us - mother and daughter meet by Leon to head north. Trains line up, load up...

The sun has come out and I'm thinking of raincoats. Funny the things that suddenly take centre stage in your mind. I suppose it's the change of seasons, the change of wardrobe for the warmer months. That's had me footering around in my inheritance - some of it still hangs in my wardrobe. 'Footering' is a lovely old Scots word. When you put your mouth and lips around its sounds and syllables you can sense its meaning: fidget, fiddle or fumble. It's usually uttered with an accompanying shake of the head. In the clothing section of my inheritance were some...

Just like that. Disappeared. Decamped. Absconded. Fled. So many words. The thing is I wasn’t prepared for it to be so sudden, so I feel a need to say it again and again. I felt anxious that something horrid had befallen them. A fat cat occasionally prowls our garden, leaving its excrement barely hidden – very un-cat-like.  I thought they tidied up after themselves. There’s evidence a fox is using our back patch as part of its run. I’m sure I caught a glimpse of its bushy tail scrambling over the gate having used the lid of the garden recycling bin as...