The Beveridge Times Issue 5

The Beveridges have MOVED to Inverness in the beautiful Highlands of Scotland.

It's not too long a story, but it's been a heck of a year. It all started back in January when I began thinking about my options for returning to work after child number 3 (Tally born April 04).

While on maternity leave my company, Jacobs, had acquired the Scottish based Babtie Group. Returning to work in Reading was a little unrealistic as my salary barely covered two in childcare but I could always dream I was worth a big pay rise! Callum was seriously not enjoying his employment as an IT expert in the tax world. So I enquired - What's the option for a transfer to Scotland?? A positive response and I was given a choice between Edinburgh or Glasgow. A quick look at house prices and commuting options and it clearly wasn't going to change our lives as much as we hoped. So - What about the Inverness office?? You're mad, people said�. But a quick visit to the area confirmed what we knew - it was an opportunity too good to pass on.

Four months later the house was sold and by June 2005 we had turned ours lives upside down, moving into rented accommodation in a city(!) where we knew only one individual. I now work full time and Callum stays home (we moved into our own place in September) and looks after our three girls. We still live as far away from family as before, just north of them rather than south. But every day I think we're blessed to be living in such a fantastic place. Our new house (much bigger than our similarly priced semi in Reading) is walking distance from school and work, we have great views, sea air, hill and forest walks galore, few traffic issues and smaller class sizes in the schools. It's also a bonus that Orkney is now available for weekend diving trips!

We've recently been to our first authentic ceilidh where ALL the fellas (except Callum) wore kilts. He'll have to admit defeat at some point. I have to say that men in kilts hold a certain attraction, or is that distraction, for me.

Callum is making good progress on his Burton kit car (yes, based on a 2CV) and it is looking like a car at last with chassis, wheels, body, engine, seat, steering wheel, brakes, gear box etc. He reckons it should be ready for the road in about March (not sure which year). I am looking forward to driving it around in the beautiful sunny weather we'll have. He certainly seems to be enjoying the househusband role far too well and currently has no thoughts of getting paid employment.

As for the girls - Shona is in her first year at school and is doing well aside from being regularly reprimanded for talking too much (no surprise there). The unfortunate thing is that as her reading is coming on so quickly I now have to be careful what we leave lying around. She has already had a good go at interpreting my 'santa' lists! Kelsie has five sessions a week at Peter Pan, a nearby playgroup. She loves it there and her recent report indicates that she is as overly confident in the playgroup as she is at home, but generally better behaved. Tally gets to go wherever the others need to be, but does go to a toddler session with Callum on a Thursday morning. She is very laid back about things and, aside from the occasional tantrum, just gets on with the job of playing. In addition, Shona and Kelsie have weekly swimming lessons which they are really enjoying and both are making steady progress.

We seem to be building a reasonable social network through work and children, but old friends are often in our thoughts and always very welcome.

Do come and visit us if you are up this way. We have a spare room and can be very accommodating. Did I mention how beautiful it is around here?? Easyjet, BMIbaby and BA fly into Inverness from various locations and prices can be as low as �10. The airport is set to expand over the next few years so more routes and operators are likely to become available.

With Very Best Wishes for Christmas and the New Year Love to all Helen, Callum, Shona, Kelsie and Tally

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(callum@bevs.org and helen@bevs.org)