fife and aberdeenshire

The boys would fetch me from the bakery sometime in the late morning to take me on adventures in the Highlands. Hikes along the coast of Fife, drives deep into the Highlands, plenty of pubs.

One morning, with my head still bearing a halo of flour, we set off to Cairngorms National Park and Aberdeenshire on the northeast coast. I had been working since five that morning and fell asleep quickly on the car. I awoke to the sound of giggles and opened my eyes to Quentin trying to take a picture of me asleep. Before I was even able to protest, he pointed outside and I just gasped. Giant hills of pure white snow surrounded us. Blindingly bright. Paris is always temperate; snow only every dusts the city once a season, at most. I hadn't seen snow since Hamilton, nearly a year ago.

I practically ran to the snow when I got off the car at Glenshee. We're climbing up great big hills of hardened snow, falling thigh deep into the giant snow drifts when the surface breaks. I shriek in surprise. Ice cold wet in my socks. From the top, a valley of pure snow spread out below us like clouds. Racing back down the hill to the car, running, slipping, falling, laughing as Quentin catches up to me and kisses me, both of us breathless and freezing. Thomas rolls his eyes at all of it.

Stonehaven, walking along the bay and exploring the small town. Low hanging clouds lined with a brilliant gold. A deep fried Mars Bar shared between us. liquid chocolate and caramel scorching the roof of my mouth.

Rushing to get to Dunnottar Castle to catch the sunset. When we show up, the castle ruins are absolutely aflame, glowing orange and gold, perched on top of a rocky headland. There's a steep path down towards the water that we take that leads us to the shore. We're surrounded by these great Scottish cliffs. Craggly, steep things, softened by a yellow-green dusting of dry winter grass. They drop right into the North Sea, impossibly wild and blue.