- Hairy Farmer Family.
- We saw a seal. And two red kites. And a stag. And hills covered in electric-pink heather. And the isles of Shuna, Jura, Mull and Islay all at once in the sunset. And waterfalls in full spate. And a hitherto unsuspected ruined castle near my Dad’s place. And the sea as smooth and still and slick as glass. And some cairns. And calves with astonishing eyelashes and a very very large Highland Bull and some amusing sheep. And some more castles, including Castle Anthrax (yes!). And 200-odd varieties of rhododendron. And we nearly ran over a red squirrel.
- The food! My word, but we struck lucky this trip! My word, but my trousers regret it! Tablet ice-cream! Fillet steak! Scallops! Cooked breakfasts!
- H’s terribly terribly organised B&B vetting paid off fabulously as well. All the B&Bs were good, and two were FABULOUS. With King-sized beds and sherry decanters and hosts of exceeding niceness.
Holiday low points:
- It rained. And rained. And rained. And rained. And then it rained some more. And again. And rained. And drizzled. And rained.
- H developed a stinking cold. Which, naturally, lifted as soon as we headed home again.
- H tried a flying leap over a deeply muddy patch of mud, landed on a cunningly hidden patch of further mud, and fell backwards into the mud he’d just leapt over. And his horrible wife sniggered herself silly. Luckily, only his pride and the sleeve of his jacket were hurt.
- And then karma bit his horrible wife on her ample bottom. Shortly afterwards we were walking along a rocky beach, and I was burbling away about the cleverness of limpets in grinding a little hollow for themselves so they could extra-stick extra-fast to the rocks, because karma likes irony, and wallop. Only, bloody OW, in my case, and yea verily, a thundercloud covered the full moon.
- Oh, and my period turned up exactly on Sunday, as I said it would, and then decided that as it was here anyway and had already spoilt my mood, it may as well hurt like the bloody blazes, sneer at all offerings of paracetamol, aspirin, and nurofen, and wake me up at 4 am every morning in some kind of existential protest at having to share an abdomen with a bladder. Gah.
- Every single garment I packed has mud on it somewhere.
- H’s grandmother had a stroke while we were away. It wasn’t a particularly bad one, but she is very frail anyway and not really able to bounce back from these things, and can’t eat, and won’t accept a feeding tube, so we are now on Elderly Relative Watch, and may spend the tail-end of our days off rushing about being useful and hospital visiting. Oh joy.
Holiday WTF moments:
- I think I mentioned we were spending a few days with my Paternal Relations in Glen Arse-End, Nowhere Peninsula. It is a very beautiful glen. And full of rain. And huge hairy dogs that smelt of wet dog. And, naturally, quite a selection of Paternal relations. Who are all a gigantic WTF moment each anyway. And my Dad drinks too much, smokes so much you could safely say he smoulders, is a good two stone underweight, and now, apparantly, has developed cardiac arrhythmia. Oh good. He announced that he was worried the doc might try to get him to give up drinking. I bit my tongue. Extremely hard.
- My Sister-in-Law excelled herself by trying to compare my situation to her daughter’s. (NB, SIL is 20 years older than me, so this does all make sense). Her daughter has two children under three, one miscarriage, and is now pregnant with her third. Apparantly, this is just like me. Indeed. Except for the very small detail that I have no children at all of any age and all that my belly contained at the time was tea, toast and bile. Which isn’t to say SIL’s daughter’s loss doesn’t suck horribly, because it does, but her situation is not the same as my situation. Comparing the two rather devalues both, don’t you think?
- My sister (yet another one, who usually doesn’t appear in these chronicles because she never really says anything stupid) gets to live in a cabin with a view of the loch and write novels for six months. I was so jealous I think I bit through the edge of the coffee table.
- If you are going on a walk in the Trossachs, which are mountains, you see, on a path marked ‘steep gradient’ and ‘narrow’ and ‘requires sturdy footware’, why would you attempt it in either a) five inch stiletto-heeled slouch-boots, b) Uggs, c) trainers with the laces undone and trailing about in an unnecessarily cool manner, or d) a large push-chair?
- In certain small towns in the North, teenagers are apparantly still hysterical with astonishment at the sight of a grown man with long hair. H was luckily oblivious to most of this, but I feel quite tigerish on his behalf.
- Risotto is not boiled rice with grated cheddar cheese on top. Just saying.
- A moth flew into my hair, pursued by a bat, which perched on my shoulder for a second while I went ‘eeeeeeeeeee’ exactly like a great girls’ blouse, and then it flew off again in disgust. And the silly thing is, I quite like bats.