Tuesday 30 August 2011

Holiday time

We've had a great extended holiday with N and J near Banff- DH's uncle and aunt. We had planned to be there a week, but with things not working out at Echo's, we stayed a little longer. We managed to fit in some carving- I made a spatula and a cooking spoon ( the best I've made so far, so we left that as a gift) and DH made a few eating spoons ( ditto- his best so far left for them). We were able to relax, do things at our own pace and not be obliged to work! We couldn't help it though, after a few days we were itching to help with their woodland. They have 30 acres, and had some thinning done last winter. They can thin without license, and although much of the thinnings is left for wildlife, some was being extracted by hand for firewood. With bad backs etc, this was getting a bit hard for N&J, so we were happy to help and have a go using timber tongs for a few hours some days. I really enjoyed that we could just do as much as we wanted- no obligations- and really enjoy what we were doing. We managed to find some carving wood- some sneaky sycamore was either felled and starting to put roots out, or still had a tiny bit of  bark to attach it to the stump, so was still growing and green. Dh said we couldn't bring it all, but he found some room for a bit of apple J asked him to prune while he had his chainsaw out.
N and J also very kindly let us use their caravan while we sorted out all our kit from the mud- giving us oppertunity to unpack the van and have a bit of a sort-through as well. We all happily squeezed into a 2-berth 40 (ish) year old caravan, and it has us really looking forward to a caravan of our own (with enough beds for us all!). We had about 3 nights in there, and especially enjoyed sitting at a table (without an audience for the girls to play up to/other people around for them to watch).
Moving back into our tent was like coming home though, and we appreciated the  nice short grass, level ground and generally fabulous camping place N & J have for us- even a couple of nicely spaced trees nearby so DH's hammock got an airing ( for the girls to play in, of course!).

I managed to finally fasten together some of the squares I've been crocheting. No plan or design, just squares Big One picked out of the book for me to crochet, in the yarn mother-in-law gave me ( along with book, hook and scissors!) for Christmas. One dolly size snuggle blanket. I've even adapted the design of a couple of squares to do what I want! I'm not too keen on the counting bit of following patterns- I still find it hard to figure out what constitutes a row, but squares seem a nice forgiving way to get on, and I like small things to do and complete, rather than a huge project that I forget where I'm at with- while we're travelling at least! Pic appeared in a previous post.
Previous posts have beach and McDuff aquarium pics, so I won't say much more, except we really had a great time.
Its taken me so long to finish this post, we've had another holiday, this time near Loch Ness. We stayed in Cannich, a lovely campsite but a bit midgy and very damp. The Loch Ness exhibition was really great, and the visit to the Isle of Skye was beautiful, though a long drive. A friend from back home made a 20 mile detour to visit us, and it was really, really lovely seeing them- just too short a visit!
We'll definately be holidaying up the west coast again. Ben Nevis on the drive down was shrouded in clouds, and Fort William looked worth another visit ( seeing as we just drove through). We almost met up with Wondering Wanderers, but they had to work so we'll manage that another time.
The Premier Inn that was our home last night is the newest we've been to- an even larger room than normal ( not that usual rooms are small), air conditioning, and smaller wardrobey shelves thing that's great for the girls to play in. We weren't sure about buying a meal, but when the pub had an all-you-can-eat chinese buffet, well, we did and it was a nice change.
Right, must get packed up so we can get to our next campsite for midday, and then enjoy grandparents visiting this afternoon.
We're realising our time on the road is coming to an end, but we've still got a bit more fun to have first!

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