My friend Mags has a son who grew up enchanted by tales of the Giant's Causeway. He loved the stories of Finn MacCool tricking the Scottish giant, Benandonner, sending him running back across the causeway to Scotland, casting its stones aside as he went. What Matthew really wanted to know though was where the other side was. "The other side of what?" Mags asked. "The other side of the Causeway. Where did it meet Scotland?" It was my mother who solved the riddle. "I've been there, Matthew," she said, leaning in to entrust valuable information to the seven year old. "It's on the island of Staffa. You can see the Scottish stones there. You'll need a boat."
For a long time now I have been thinking about Benandonner. For a long time now I have been feeling like Benandonner. I, you see, am about to run across to the other side myself. From our home at the Giant's Causeway to Fingal's Cave; well, to Glasgow at least!
I have had my feet on both sides of the Irish Sea for two years. Fred moved across to work with the Church of Scotland in May 2015, and only now have I been able to reconcile work and family demands to join him.
Of course my feet will still continue to cross the sea, but they'll mostly toast in front of the fire in Glasgow from now on.
From Irish beaches to Scottish shores; from Irish whiskey in my coffee, it will most likely be Scottish soon; walking with Lucy will be less along the Giant's Causeway and more over the hills of Loch Lomond.
Scottish work will, however, still be in catering. I need to concentrate first on establishing my employer's new Glasgow kitchen, but always with an eye to finding opportunities to share faredos' vision of fairly traded food with a wider, newer circle of friends. In fact, now that I come to think about how to explain faredos and its ethos to new folk, I realise that we are about even more than fair trade. It's that idea of using your LOAF: L for local produce, O for organic, A for animal-friendly, and F for fairly traded.
I am very excited! It has been a long enough old crossing, but soon Benandonner will be on the other side. New home, new job, new possibilities- and hopefully a new blog post too. Thank you for all your interest in and support of faredos thus far. A new tale is coming shortly!