Pitchfork: What are some of your early memories of loving nature?
PM: I lived on the edge of Liverpool in a new housing estate, ’cause my mother was a midwife. I could walk for about half an hour and suddenly I would be in deep countryside. I used to take a lot of walks on my own and I had a little pocket book called The Observer’s Book of Birds. I still have a copy, actually. I would walk around and, if I saw a bird, I’d look it up: “Oh wow, it’s a skylark!” I loved that. I realized marvelling at nature was a deep pleasure of mine.
The funny thing is, when I first bought the house in Scotland, that pleasure didn’t occur to me. But when I met Linda, she said, “I heard you got a place in Scotland, can we go there?” And I said, “Yeah, sure.” So we just went up and she said, “Ah, I love it.” That’s when I reconnected with it.