ScotRail is changing its timetable and advises me to double-check my journey before travelling. The “Visit Outer Hebrides” email lists five reasons to visit in the autumn.


I sigh not because I can’t stop the ScotRail update emails from coming (although I’m usually rigorous about keeping outdated bits out of my Inbox)  nor because the Hebrides website includes “It’s stormier/windier!” in their list of autumnal enticements, making the whole thing just a tad suspect. I sigh because they speak of an earlier time. A happier time, in some respects. A time when I was looking at options and booking travel in Scotland.

Will I go to Scotland again? I don’t know. It’s a question of whether the complications and costs of travel driven by COVID-19 will outlast my mental and physical energy for international travel, declining steadily with my increasing age.


I sigh not because I’m sad or feeling hard done by, but because I’m feeling nostalgic. At my age and stage there is more behind than ahead. Way more. And these emails remind me of that.

I could get off these mailing lists if I chose. I don’t so choose. These gentle pings are not just a reminder of lovely trips in the past, they are a hope for more in the future — in person or in my imagination.

Oh, here’s another from a past-and-maybe-future life. The St. George Shuttle in Utah has a sale on for the holidays.  Now, isn’t that nice?

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4 Responses to Sigh

  1. The ravishing beauty of the birds in your banner photo would prompt an artist to invent stained glass if it had not already been invented. You surely have such a store of treasures from your travels that you could travel in situ for the rest of your life and still not have plumbed the depths of those riches. One glimpse of those birds takes my breath away. Gazing at them for a while resets the values that tarnish in my quotidian fusses.


    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Laurna – Many thanks. It was a glorious morning on a small boat in a blessedly calm big ocean.

  2. Tom Watson says:

    I’ve been saying “Sigh” a fair bit lately.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Tom – 🙂 A good thing, all things considered. It’s good to have things in our past to sigh over.

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