From the Cottage-by-the-sea

by Anna Blanch on June 2, 2011

Home goannatree anna blanch

I’m a little curious when it comes to places and homes. On the one hand, I love the opportunity to make a house into a home. It’s an extraordinary thing to see rooms and floors and bare walls transform into a home. Yet, i’m also a creature of habit who feels my history acutely. I love the history and tradition that comes with knowing who I am and where I’m from.

This week marks 12 months since I moved into the cottage-by-the-sea.

I speak of the place with such airs that a few visitors are initially taken back when my description and name don’t match their own preconceptions.

It is in fact a ground floor apartment with views of the north sea from the kitchen and living room. I’m not completely remiss in referring to it as a cottage given the local name for my kind of residence is in fact “cottage flat.” It isn’t the stand alone cottage on a windswept Scottish moor. But, it will always remain for me the more colourful, cottage-by-the-sea. I look out every day at the north sea and its moods. I watch haars roll in with little notice and see the clouds and fog obscure the view beyond the firth of Tay. On other days I see the length of West Sands (where they filmed Chariots of Fire) clearly. Within two blocks, there is East Sands in one direction, in another there are fields and running trails, in another a park, and yet another, I’m on the edge of the Kinnesburn, only a stones throw from the town centre of St Andrews and the walls of the old burgh.

It is the cottage-by-the-sea.

Because that is what I prayed for. And names are important.

In my heart of hearts I wanted a place overlooking the ocean, with a great kitchen and enough space so I could welcome friends and family. Where I could cook good food and show hospitality, sharing what I have. I wanted to make a home here. If ever I am to cross the line between expatriate to immigrant, I needed a home.

I needed a cottage-by-the-sea.

It has been such a blessing. It has become so much more than I expected or hoped.It is a place to contemplate, to create. To rest and reflect and be restored. I am fortunate indeed. Because home is about the people whose laughter fills its space, whose food smells so wonderful, who challenge each other and laugh and cry together.

Would you believe I’ve only just started putting art on the walls?

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