Ok, I’ll admit it! I’ve been rubbish about blogging whilst I’ve been away. Absolutely awful in fact. I set out with every intention of sustaining momentum but to be honest there were far too many distractions and time seemed to literally evaporate. Also wifi wasn’t exactly prevalent either. But excuses aside, I didn’t want to let the summer slip away without having made an effort to catch up and note down all the wonderful things that happened. So ‘Retrospective Summertime Gladness’ is henceforth a thing. Because I’m a little reluctant to fully accept that summer is really over.
I’m writing this at 00:40, from the comfiest bed I think I’ve ever slept in. I’m sprawled across the soft, cloud like, marshmallow, soufflé mattress in the starfish position, jutting my legs out from side to side as if making a snow angel. For the past few days I’ve been at Oli’s parents B&B in Scotland and I’ve been having an absolute ball. It’s been a real treat spending time with his lovely family and being a live witness to his utter joy at being home for a while. It’s been a wonderful, albeit slightly chilly holiday so far, so let me fill you in!
Monday began with a delicious cooked breakfast (complete with haggis – when in Scotland eh? – and black pudding) courtesy of Oli’s Mum. With our bodies supercharged we went for a stroll with the intention of hiring little rowing boats to take out on the river. But the heavens opened and put pay to that nautical plan. We sheltered in a cafe and played games until we believed the rain had passed but it was then that the sky’s water canons were turned on. We got absolutely drenched, in fact I don’t think I could have been any wetter if I’d showered fully clothed. The rest of the day involved PJ bottoms, duvets in front of the telly, an extremely tasty roast and a family game of Settlers. Oh and copious cups of tea and many slices of homemade tiffin.
Tuesday was a family trip to Edinburgh, for a gander at the Fringe Festival. Annoyingly, we hadn’t thought to book any shows ahead of time, which I would definitely advise you do if you’re planning on going, just to avoid disappointment and wandering around like a gooseberry. First things first we went for lunch, opting for individual dishes from the Fringe’s food trucks; I went for a cheese and bacon burger, unable to resist the gourmet burgery (this is a word right?) smell emanating from the van. I wasn’t disappointed as it tasted divine. Mind you, so it should for £7, and that was without any chips! A round of teas later, the seven of us separated (for ease of getting into sold-out shows) Oli, his Mum and I marched off to St Andrews square to seek any remaining tickets for the musical Sunshine on Leith. We weren’t expecting to actually get tickets as we’d seen that it had sold out BUT some crazyhow, there were THREE tickets left. It couldn’t have been more perfect. We even had time for a cheeky gin and tonic before it started. The musical itself was brilliant and quintessentially Scottish, I loved it and am determined to see the film when I get home.
Wednesday was climb-a-mountain day. I was determined to make it to the top but man was it hard work. I think if it hadn’t been for Oli’s encouragement then I would have definitely given up and rolled back down the mountain pronto. It was incredibly steep, the sort of path reserved for the most experienced of mountain goats. But getting to the top was breathtaking and the views were spectacular, vast and unending. I was chuffed to say the least. On arriving back on flat and low ground we pretty much ate all the calories we’d just burnt off and it was glorious. In the evening, the theatre trio as I now like to call us (Oli, his Mum and I) headed to the local theatre to watch The Lady in the Van by Alan Bennet. It was a very interesting and witty play about a woman who literally lived in a van; she was old, smelt bad and ended up parking her van in Alan Bennets garden for 15 years. Her mad and eccentric ways certainly gave him something to write about.
Thursday started with a wander around Pitlochry, looking in all the shops and buying a few gifts. At the station there was a little second hand bookshop and what a lovely place to have one. A long journey is the perfect excuse for a new novel. Once I’d perused the shelves we hopped in the car and drove to Glamis Castle; the childhood home of the Queen Mother. It was huge and disney-esque with lots of turrets and a big gold clock in the centre. The weather was glorious, the sun beating down on us as we mooched around the gorgeous gardens. We had a lovely lunch in the castle restaurant and an in depth and very interesting tour of the actual castle. We returned home to a family BBQ, although eating Al fresco was short lived due to an undeniable chill in the air as the sun set, so we retreated into the warmth of the house and dallied away the evening in front of the fire, partaking in several board games.
All too soon it was time to venture home. I really wished we could have stayed for longer, but I suppose all good things must come to an end. Until next time Pitlochry!