FREEDOM. With fumbling thumbs, I excitedly type a text message in response to the heart-soaring news that we can once again travel more widely around Scotland for recreation.

It actually reads: "Freedom!!!!!!!" followed by an emoji of a car, an ice cream cone and a joyous shooting star, the emerging-from-lockdown equivalent of slathering on blue-and-white face paint like Mel Gibson in Braveheart.

In this case, there is no battlefield to charge over. Merely the easing of restrictions allowing us to gallop across the invisible lines marking the boundaries with other council areas.

I'm not daft. I know there are folk who have been travelling around to wherever they please for some weeks now. I've seen the photographs they post on social media and it sticks in the craw. There are always those who will think they are somehow exempt or too special to follow the rules.

Mark my words, these are the same people who eat all the best sweeties from the Quality Street at Christmas, then put the empty wrappers back in the tin.

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But, for those of us who have dug deep, slogged through loneliness and utter tedium with gritted teeth, doing our bit for the greater good by staying in the house like we were asked, never venturing further than the supermarket or the nearest park, our time has come.

We can finally throw off those geographical shackles. Rediscover old haunts. Dip our toes in the ocean. Breathe the fresh air on a remote hillside. Take a road trip. Are those the opening strains of Willie Nelson I hear?

That freedom feels exquisite. But where to go first? I have a list as long as my arm. I want to stride through the cathedral of trees at The Hermitage in Perthshire, eat freshly shucked oysters on the shores of Loch Fyne or whizz up the A82 past the Rannoch Rowan and through the majesty of Glen Coe.

I am desperate to clap eyes on the sea – any beach that isn't the tiny sliver of sand along the loch at Strathclyde Park – yet, curiously, feel the strongest pull in wanting to go home to West Lothian for the first time in many months.

It's a funny thing. I live in North Lanarkshire, which neighbours West Lothian (where I was born and grew up), yet since last autumn have never gone further than skimming the dividing line between the two local authority areas.

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I keep picturing that scene in The Truman Show where Jim Carrey's character crashes his boat against the edge of the movie set as he tries to escape an artificial existence. That sums up the claustrophobia of lockdown. How much all our worlds have shrunk.

Early in the morning, as I write, I see a V of geese flying north. It feels like a good omen. This weekend, I plan to sit on the back steps of my childhood home, look out across the fields and hear the tinkling of the burn at the bottom of the garden. That will do nicely for now.

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