Thursday, 27 August 2015

The Final Stops On Our Grand Tour

So, it is about time I finished with these holiday posts and got back to the important stuff - like sewing and getting the girls back into school. Isn't it funny how we look forward to getting out of routine towards the end of the school year, and then can't wait for it all to kick back in again come the beginning of September? That being said. the girls were very civilised towards each other this summer which makes things so much easier. Really, really easier!

After leaving the Highlands we headed down to Dundee, where my brother and his wife has been spending a lot of time totally gutting and redoing a house in the countryside. The light is at the end of the tunnel for the renovations and they are going to have a beautiful home when the decorating is all done.

I love the kitchen character as there used to be a sawmill by the cottage and the hanging lights, green bendy light and the rough boards that will become part of the counter top are all from that former sawmill. And the view when you are having breakfast is fantastic.

I got a lovely walk in while the girls were off being entertained by their uncle. They live near an old estate where the main house burned down many years ago, but the ruins of the walled garden, stables and folly remain.

And the lane ways that cut through this former estate are lined with hedgerows that were heavy with raspberry plants in fruit. We went out in the late afternoon to do some picking (and eating). Whoever originally planted these plants had put in golden raspberries as well as the usual red. They are much the same, but sweeter, and less abundant so therefore more desirable - obviously.

And there you have it, a rarely seen photo of me. In fact, you can have two. Here's a family 'portrait' below, of us just being silly really.

We left the Dundee area and headed south to Newcastle for a couple of days. Time spent getting school shoes and the like, and enjoying a meal out with my stepsister. Then it was home again. This whole holiday was broken up by long drives. Four hours to mum's, six hours up to Sarah's, three hours into the Highlands, five and a half hours to my brother's, four hours back to mum's and four hours home again - with a detour to see Helen and Archie again.

I'm done with driving for a while, at least until the school run starts next week.


Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Quick Hello

Just to say we are home from our holidays. We had three terrific weeks, better weather than we could have dreamed of, and I didn't gain any weight. Success!!!

In those three weeks we didn't have wifi more often than not. The phone signal was even worse. Non-existent, or face pressed up against an upstairs window angling the phone just so, and then saying a prayer to the phone gods. Life without technology? It was fine. I read a lot. I walked a lot. I relaxed a lot. Just what a holiday is supposed to be.

I will get a post written tomorrow. And I'm slightly excited about it - because I have a computer of my own again. Seriously, almost eight months without a computer to call my own has been kind of crap. But I won't focus on that, just on the fact that I don't have to post from the iPad any more. Happy, happy me.


Saturday, 22 August 2015

A Little Bit Of Fabric Came Along For The Ride

I didn't bring any projects really. Just some fabrics to make a few hexies, and then I rudely nicked a bunch more hexie cuts from Sarah's stash. She smiled and said it was okay. Honest, she did! 

That raccoon on fire is from her stash. Who else but Sarah would have fabric with a raccoon on fire, after all?! 


Friday, 21 August 2015

Further North Again

Once the girls and I left the lovely Sarah and Molly Moo we headed further away from home again. This time into the Northwest Highlands. It was the first time I had been up here, if you don't count one port of call to Inverness back in my cruise ship days. 

On the west coast we found spectacular scenery, very winding roads and small coastal villages. 

We also found the cottage we had rented for a week, in a smaller community which I wouldn't even call a village. Right on the sea. 

The top photo is from the sitting room window, looking over the neighbour's garden and out to sea. The bottom photo is the road we took to get here. There's a lovely pebbly beach to walk on, a small book store/cafe, and peace and quiet. Oh, and about a million midges who didn't seem to like the taste of me but who ate the others alive! 

There is also the lovely @sewgoclimbing who, along with Mr Sewgoclimbing took us rock climbing. When I say us obviously I mean the girls. I was there to carry food, extra clothing, etc. And to cheer them on which I like to think I did spectacularly well. 

That's those that knew what they were doing, above. It was a beautiful day, sun streaming down. Who says it always rains in Scotland?! 

The girls loved the climbing. I loved that they loved it - if that makes sense. They've tried before but this was the hardest rocks they've ever tackled and as you can tell from the photos, they did it. Yay! 

Meanwhile, the non-midge magnet (me) went out for a long walk another day without the midge magnets. I love my family but there has to be something said to striding out on your own. Not once did I hear "How much further?!" 

I worked my way up from the shore into hill slopes covered in ferns and heather. The reward was the beautiful waterfall at the top end of the trail. Though I veered off on a tangent after to get some more gorgeous views. I could have happily just kept on walking but as there was no helicopter booked to lift me out of the wilderness once I'd had enough I did have to return to the cottage. Shame. 

And the last adventure I have to talk about it the girls twice spent time on a private climbing wall. They learned so much about technique even in this week it was amazing. Now I need to go home and see if there is a climbing wall near to us, that isn't over crowded, and too expensive. 

So, we came to Scotland fully prepared to be rained on every day, because they've not had the greatest of summer up here. But we were blessed with more nice weather than we could have expected. And we've had an absolutely marvellous time. We drove approximately 700 miles to get up here from the Middle of England. And it was worth every last mile. 


Thursday, 20 August 2015


Yesterday my baby became a teenager. I think I may be traumatised. Not that her behaviour changed over night or anything. I just have to wrap my head around the idea that my baby is a teenager. It seems like a big mental milestone to me. 

We spent the day outdoors, because Scotland continues to treat us well and it was 22C and sunny most of the day. Can't argue with that. 

We went to Handa Island which hosts a huge number of puffins at the right time of year. This is not the right time of year. They've all left now, but that didn't mean there weren't other birds, beautiful scenery and a fabulous walk there. 

Besides we brought our own puffin to make up for the lack of real ones. 

Then we had cake last night. It was a birthday. We had to have cake. Emily decorated her own cake. Not the way we traditionally do things but she sure did a good job. The lion theme was inspired by the jungle print candles we bought. 

Tomorrow I'll tell you where we are now. Because we went even further north.