The Hazel Tree – now on the west coast!

The New Year has brought a fresh start for me, Colin and Purdey, and for The Hazel Tree. On 17th January we moved into our lovely new home on the west coast of Scotland. Removal day brought snowstorms and strong winds, but the 100-mile journey from West Lothian to Argyll went smoothly all the same.

Since then, we’ve been gradually trying to make sense of a mountain of boxes – seriously, we thought we’d slimmed down our possessions beforehand, but it seems we were just skimming the surface – while at the same time gazing out at the breathtaking view, stretching right out across the sea towards the Isle of Mull, with the smaller islands of Luing, Shuna and Torsa in between. The mountains on Mull have been covered with snow for most of our two weeks here; they are either visible or not, depending on the squalls that rattle in from the west, shaking and bending the tall trees around the house, sweeping through with a roar that is wild but strangely soothing.

Having spent the first 10 days or so pacing the inside of the house like a caged lion, Purdey has been let outside and allowed her freedom – not without some trepidation on my part, I have to say. Despite my fears, she’s finding her way around. She stands taut with excitement, listening and smelling as well as watching, all senses heightened, drinking in the new world that’s on her doorstep. To be honest, we are doing the same.

I can’t believe you’ve been here two weeks and not cleaned the windows.  Oh, please don’t put yourselves out.  I’ll do it!

We’re close to so many places that are dear to my heart – Kilmartin Glen with all its standing stones and burial cairns; the hilltop fort of Dunadd; little ruined chapels of Kilbride, Keills and Kilmory Knap; and of course the wonderful ancient woodlands of Taynish and Ballachuan. It really is a dream come true. It’s hard to believe at present, but the climate here is mild: we’ve already seen carpets of snowdrops, some early daffodils, and catkins of willow and hazel. Spring can’t be that far away. I’ll be starting to explore further afield as the weeks go by, and I’m looking forward to sharing my days with you.  In the meantime, here are a few recent photos.

Photos copyright © Colin & Jo Woolf

Comments

  1. That’s wonderful Jo, many congratulations and even more thanks for sharing your news and pictures. It all looks lovely!

  2. I’ll be making my first ever trip to the west coast of Scotland in May and your photos make me so glad that we’ve arranged to go. May you spend many happy years in your new home.

    • Thank you! 🙂 I’m delighted you’re coming to the west coast, and particularly in May which is a lovely month to visit. I’m sure you’ll love it!

  3. Douglas Murray says:

    It’s windy, cold and sleating here this morning…so I am distinctly envious of your so much more moderate climate. Look forward to your Inverness visit too.

    • Thank you, Douglas! Hail and sleet showers have been coming over here too, all day. Spectacular weather over the sea, though! Will I see you in Inverness? Looking forward to the talk! 🙂

  4. What a beautiful spot – I wish you many magical times there. Peter

  5. Glad the move went well. Love the view from the window (envy is the word)……now about reducing the number of ones possession’s and all those boxes that need unpacking. It is a well known fact that possessions and boxes always magically multiply in any move. Not only then but we have the same phenomena when we periodically clear out our loft…..it is a fact that despite a number of trips with fully laden car to the charity shop and the re-cycling centre (tip) when we get back what was left in the loft has multiplied 🙂 Ps Enjoying your book.

    • I said a very similar thing, David – I felt as if the house was making more stuff while we slept. Never mind, it will all find a home eventually! Glad to hear you’re enjoying the book! 🙂

  6. As a PS to the above…..out of curiosity what is the Broadband connection?

    • It’s about the same as it was in our old house! Not brilliant, but workable. There is some talk of fibre being installed but I don’t know when it will be.

      • We were really lucky….fibre was installed early on our road so we tend to forget just how slow a normal connection can be. It is only when we are away and struggle with mobile connections. But was impressed last year with the number of locations offering Free WiFi way up in the North West of Scotland

  7. Polite Scouser says:

    Wish you well and a great future in your new residence.
    Walter

  8. How exciting – happy new home! As soon as I saw you’d moved West, I guessed just where you might want to be. From your writing, that area has always sounded like your spiritual home, the ‘place of your heart’. So glad for you that you’ve found your spot. May it be blessed!

  9. Very best wishes to you in your new surroundings!

  10. It is a beautiful part of Scotland having been there a few times. I would love to visit again as the energies are magical, I’m sure they will help your creativity. I hope you enjoy your new home.

  11. John Collier says:

    Much happiness in your new home. Everything looks beautiful- what a view to wake up to in the morning. Enjoy!

  12. Edith Douglas says:

    Lovely place, lovely photos. Just what I needed to find coming in from cleaning slush from the driveway! Congratulations on a successful move.

    • Thank you, Edith! It feels like the perfect place for us. We had quite a lot of snow 2 weeks ago which left the roads slushy here, and I know that’s quite unusual for the coast. Really looking forward to the spring!

  13. This really does look like a magical spot! Have you tried any dowsing in the area? I’ve missed your blog but have been making up for it with your book. It’s really fascinating. Don’t agonize too much over the boxes, they will get sorted in time. What a wonderful experience your new home will be!

    • No dowsing yet, Pat, although it would be an interesting thing to try, especially around Kilmartin. I’m trying to be philosophical about the boxes! We were moving a home and a business, after all! Really glad to hear you’re enjoying the book. 🙂

  14. Norma Dowling says:

    Welcome to Argyll ! I’m waving to you from Mull! Sounds as if you will soon settle in happily in spite of the boxes 😉 We love Kilmartin and Dun Ad too. It is lovely to be close to the coast too isn’t it? Pushti welcomes Purdey. Norma Ted and Pushti

    • Thank you, Norma! I feel as if I should be able to see you! 😀 We already love the place and it’s feeling very home-like. Aah, Pushti sounds interesting! Cute, I’m sure! Purdey returns his/her warm regards!

  15. What a view, I bet it never looks the same twice. Those carpets of snowdrops are lovely, and how surprising to see daffodils already. The Gulf Stream must be working its magic. Many congratulations on a successful move, and best of luck with the boxes. I’m looking forward to your explorations around your new home in the months to come. It must be very exciting to be living there at last. I hope Argyll exceeds all expectations, and proves to be the ideal place for encouraging your creativity and inspiration.

    • Thank you very much, Lorna. You’re right about the view, it’s ever-changing and beguiling. I don’t quite know how we’ll get any work done! Despite being here two weeks, part of me still feels like I’m on holiday! Most of the remaining boxes are waiting for Colin’s studio and workshop to be sorted out. We’ll get there in the end!

  16. What a beautiful part of the world you get to wake up in! I hope you make many happy memories. 🙂

  17. Jo how wonderful that you can see Mull, hope you will be very happy in your new home, sounds like you are already and look forward to seeing some lovely photos, 🙂 Lynne

  18. I hope you get a huge amount of enjoyment and satisfaction in your new home! You spring there is much earlier than here!

  19. Oh Jo, so happy for you!

  20. Theresa Frank-Schengili says:

    The view from your house is awesome! I wish you a happy future and us tons of your inspiring photos 😊

  21. It seems to be a nice and peaceful place.

  22. Robert Turner says:

    Beautiful pictures ! It makes me long for spring ! ( 6 -10weeks yet )

  23. Congratulations on your move! That is a truly spectacular view. Looking forward to more of your gorgeous posts 🙂

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