Mid July I decided to take the children up to Scotland for an extended holiday, Paul couldn’t take that much annual leave (he flew up later), so I drove the 501 miles to Crieff where his parents live. I wasn’t sure if I could manage it but my Dad said I could, and Paul said your Dad is very cautious so if he thinks you can do then you’ll be fine. Our children are great travellers so there were no worries there and Cameron took on the responsibility of being the eldest male very seriously and was very helpful.
We stayed 2 nights in Crieff (trying not to treat them like a pit stop café) before going up to my parents. Our day in Crieff started with Granddad teaching Fraser how to play “The Entertainer” on the piano, then it was golf for the boys and for the girls (including Kirsty’s friend who lives next door to Harry & Mary) a walk and duck feeding. When we got back to the house it was a spot of lunch and relaxing in the garden. The girls picked raspberries from the garden and Grandma helped them make and bottle jam. They made cute labels and sold the jam to the neighbours and anyone else they could find. Even Grandma had to buy back a jar of her own jam. After dinner I took Kirsty and her friend to watch Harry run his dog training group (what a lovely group of people), which Kirsty really enjoyed being particularly taken with a friendly Golden retriever. She now wants a dog of course.
The day after arriving at Mum and Dad’s in Stornoway the children and their cousins attended a Celtic Festival workshop which covered music, Gaelic singing, animation and stories about the Isle of Lewis.
On the Monday following we packed up and went to stay in Eoropie, (in the Independent's top five great wetsuit adventures) and Stuart, Angela and the children came over and stayed at various times during the holiday, Paul arrived the following week. The freedom up there is amazing, with kids able to play from dawn to dusk with not a worry. They never knew they had so many cousins (2nd, 3rd etc). We had days at the beaches, play park, walking round the Butt of Lewis lighthouse, visiting family and friends. We were supposed to spend the last week in Stornoway but decided to stay in Eoropie until the day before we left for Crieff, as the kids were enjoying the freedom, friends and fresh-air so much. One evening in particular stays with me when Mum, Kirsty and I visited my Dad’s cousin (she’s feels more like an Aunt to me). Some of my cousins were also visiting that evening and we all stayed for fellowship which was such a blessing.
All too soon the holiday was over and it was time to make our way South again. We called in to see my Great Aunt in Inverness, Kirsty had made (with a little help from Granny) her a lavender cushion with her new sewing machine. Two further nights followed in Crieff which coincided with Paul’s birthday and we went to see Toy Story 3 at the cinema.
After only a couple of days back in Paignton our church’s week long Summer holiday club started, with Maisie again celebrating her birthday at the club. During the following week Cameron attended, and passed, a Bikeability level 2 course (2 hours every morning). There you have it 5 days later and it was the 1st of September.
We harvested most of the food from the garden, and are just waiting for the sweetcorn, butternut squash and Brussels sprouts.
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