Apologies for my ridiculously long absence. Things have been getting on top of me a bit and I had to take a bit of a break. Work suddenly got very busy (we had a trial) and home life has also been totally chaotic as we have now moved into our house and there are still about a million things to do and no time to do them at the moment! R has also been working incredibly long hours (and weekends) for the last 2 months which means he hasn’t been able to help me with the house and I have barely seen him! This is not good for general happiness!! On top of that, all our weekends when R hasn’t been working have been a whirl of weddings, visits, trips away and lots of other stuff that we had booked before we bought our house. So, all in all, stressful times. I’ve been close to tears (who am I kidding, in tears) on several occasions when it all felt a bit too much. But I think (hope!) we are coming out the other end. I am trying to be calm (my mother’s constant advice to me) and patient and accept that things will all take their own merry time (this is difficult for me!). Above all, I’m trying not to let it cause arguments between me and R as without him I’d be a total mess about 99.9% of the time!
Anyway, back in June (eek, how time has flown!), we spent a wonderful week in the Highlands of Scotland. It was truly bonny, oh my. I’d been once before when I was little but hadn’t really appreciated how incredibly beautiful it is up there. And empty! Miles and miles of unbroken mountains and lochs, rapidly changing skies and all manner of flowers, birds and animals.
We flew to Inverness and then hired a car to drive up to a little village called Badcall, near Scourie which felt like it was at the end of the earth. Mum and Dad had hired a house for all of us and we had to buy supplies for the whole week in Inverness because once you start heading north, amenities pretty much disappear.
This was the view from the house where we stayed. I quite liked it when it was all misty and atmospheric.
But it was more spectacular when the sun shone!
And even lovelier still when the sun was setting.
The first day was rainy but I didn't mind as it meant I got to try out my new yellow raincoat which everyone laughed at me for wearing.
Can the owner of this beautiful little duck-egg blue house please give it to me? I think I would be very happy there.
After the first day, the sun came out for the rest of the week and so we were able to explore properly. We did lots of walks along the coast.
We went almost to the most northern tip of Scotland. There wasn't a person in sight! But there was a rather lovely fishing boat.
We spent a lot of time trying to identify flora and fauna. Apparently the purpley ones are wild orchids.
We did lots of bird watching. We saw cormorants, skuas, terns, oyster catchers and guillemots and probably lots of other birds we couldn't name!
One day we did a long walk to Sandwood Bay, according to some, is the most beautiful beach in the UK. I think it just might be. It is a mile long stretch of white sand and ferocious waves flanked by the most incredible dunes. It's owned by the John Muir Trust so is protected and because it's so remote, it's virtually empty all year round.
It was a little bit windy!
The boys went in the sea. We dutifully held their towels.
And then we all had to have a wee dram to prepare us for the long walk back, and to keep out the chills!
And after long days outside, we
had lovely evenings with the log fire burning, cooking and eating and drinking too much and whiling away the long daylight hours watching the sky and the view change outside.
And of course, evenings at the pub, sampling the local ales!
We spent lazy days at the beach, playing boggle and reading and drifting off with the sun and wind on our faces.
We spotted jelly fish and seals and crabs and collected shells and stones and feathers (well I did anyway). And we kept our eyes peeled for red deer among the bracken. And we also found a slow worm!
It was so good to catch up with everyone, especially my two littly sisters. Going on long walks gives you plenty of opportunity for lengthy chats.
Towards the end of the week we climbed Suilven which was exhausting but wonderful.
It was a bit of a scramble to get to the top, and there was a fair bit of wailing and moaning and panicking about edges.
But the view from the top was worth it.
The walk home was the hardest part.....
But I did manage to take some photos, just as the sun was bathing everything in soft evening light.
It is one of the most beautiful places I have every been. A place to rest and be quiet and remember how beautiful nature is. To recharge and relax.
Here's to Scotland 2015!