One of the starkest changes that moving to Scotland has brought to my life involves the way I do grocery shopping.
I used to make a couple of trips to the store per week in addition to one large shopping trip to my neighborhood Sam’s club.
With my current kitchen and appliance sizes, buying in bulk is really not an option.
We have a large supermarket within a stone’s throw of our house, so I have been walking to the store almost daily for groceries.
I still plan my meals out about a week in advance, but I just pick up what I need each day.
One or two days’ groceries is about all I can carry.
Sometimes I push it and buy three days of groceries, but I’m always a bit sorry on the journey back home.
On weeks where I have lots of work to do from home, my daily trip to the store can often be my only outing so I vary it up by adding on a mile here and there. There’s a path through a forest along the River Don that I love in every season. These are late November shots.
A rare bit of sunshine on the path. This is high noon on an Aberdeen autumn day.
There are no leaves left on these trees now, but I still go this way many times each week to get to the store. To collect a bag of apples, a bag of oranges, a little milk, a loaf of bread, some pasta or some courgettes (zucchini).
I look for what’s on sale or what’s in season to use for tonight’s soup. Butternut squash for roasting or potatoes to serve with chili. Lately a box of mince pies or a bottle of mulled wine often find their way into my shopping bag.
There are many small treasures of this simple daily routine: the crunch of the leaves under my feet, the sounds of a new walking playlist in my ears and the latest offerings of my local market.
Because we always need to eat (and we eat a lot at the Chino House) I find myself walking to the store at all different times of the day and in all manner of weather.
I often wonder if I will try to keep up this habit at the end of our time in Scotland, but I have a hunch that this is a routine for this season in my life, in which case, I think I will try to appreciate it all the more.