I bought a couple of lambswool sweaters at the second hand shop just off the main drag, surprised by the coolness of the mornings (and also of the early afternoons, even in June).
I bought cider at the grocery store across the street for the fridge in the lounge, where we gathered for pre-dinner drinks, for those days when I couldn't face drinking sherry again.
The others browsed for cigarettes, Red Bull (and Red Bull derivatives), and beer.
But mostly, we made the trip to Bonnyrigg for the six computers with internet access in the library, because none of us could afford (figuratively and financially) to let go of the world, even for a month.
It was at one of these computers that I learned that David Raphael Scott was commissioning a poem from me for his commissioned choral music piece.
I spent the next few months working on that poem, agonizing over the difference, to me, between lyrics and lines of poetry.
Scott had requested five stanzas of approximately four lines each. I wound up giving him a piece that sprawled across three pages but also the page - and told him he should take from it what he could.
The result was Tranquility and Order (listen to it here), which had its world premiere at the 2006 Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra's New Music Festival.
I was able to attend several rehearsals of the piece, with Scott and alone, and sat in the third row for the performance.
And so, entering this piece, from the Guardian Unlimited (oh how I love the Guardian Unlimited!), was almost exactly like walking into that small village library with a Russian translator to one side and a Romanian poet to the other.
Here's an excerpt:
For a poet, nothing quite matches the complex feelings on hearing one's words set to music: delight or disappointment, furtive rage, swelling pride, open horror, a sense of being completely misunderstood or wildly undervalued - or perhaps some kaleidoscopic mix of all these elements.