The reds, the oranges and purples, it’s incredible. ‘I think this must be what it’s like in the desert. And every day.’ Then there are the curlews and the lapwings, the owls and the nightjars, and the ‘magical’ sunlight on the hills. They’d been together for four years but afterwards she went back to live with her parents, Richard, 54, and Helen, 49, on their farm just across the Scottish border in the town of Hawick.It was not long before she began to crave a new direction in her life.She tried again twice and got stuck in the snow each time. It’s still a work in progress — the house is messy, unpainted, not yet warm and homely — but at least everything now works, and Emma can sleep snugly at night. And what drives a friendly young woman to live in such isolation?
And when she steps out from behind the steering wheel, I do an embarrassingly obvious double take.
On my way to meet 24-year-old Emma Gray, I bump into the local postman. ‘Too much damage to our vans.’ I am soon to find out why.