24 September, 2010


In August, while Isla was in France, F and I went away for a few days on holiday. The original plan (his, I might add) was to take a tent and camp in the highlands for a few days. I was dubious about this, not being a tent kinda gal, but while I was checking out campsites on the web, I came across a website for the Loch Ness Caravan Park, which was offering Hobbit Houses. It’s like a barrel turned on its side, with a proper bed, a wee fridge and plugs for charging phones etc! Much more my style! Mentioned it to F and he duly got it booked.We went up during the second week of August, I’d arranged for a friend to come into the house and feed the cat every day. We decided to go in the Red Shed (the nickname for the Peugeot) as it used a lot less fuel than F’s car, and we were both insured to drive it so could share the driving. I went up to Edinburgh on the Friday night, and we headed off on the Saturday morning. Stopped for lunch near Perth – Perthshire is one of the most beautiful regions of Scotland, SO green and lovely! Made it to the campsite and found our wee Hobbit House, but were slightly disappointed as we didn’t have a loch view, it was obscured by bushes. We dumped our stuff, and went back into Fort Augustus (which we’d come through on the way) as it was the nearest place with shops and restaurants. We had the most delicious dinner – Balmoral Chicken – chicken breast on a bed of haggis with a rich and creamy honey, mustard and whisky sauce! It was totally delicious! I really must try making it at some point, and uploading the recipe if it works!The second day we decided to go up to Inverness to see Culloden and to try to find the Clava Cairns. We never did find the Cairns, and got hopelessly lost driving in circles around Inverness – honestly, they don’t believe in clearly signposting the way to their tourist attractions! We did, however, make it to Culloden. I’d been a few times before, but F had never been. I’d been there before in dreich sort of weather, and it can be quite an unsettling place to visit. You can feel the history all around you, and it can be quite bleak. That day however, the weather wasn’t too bad, and it just felt completely peaceful. It was lovely.We went back to the caravan site in the evening, to find a note on our door telling us to move along a couple of Hobbits. F had been to have a wee word with the boss that morning to have a bit of a moan about the lack of a loch view, and he said he’d do what he could for us. And lo and behold we got our loch view!We arrived to find a new bunch of people had moved in just for one night next door. They were sort of late 20’s, and were already sitting at the picnic table having already eaten and made a good start on a drunken evening. We quickly caught up, and had a really brilliant evening.Unfortunately, they left the next day, and we got the Weegie (Glaswegian) family from hell, who didn’t believe in talking to their children nicely when shouting would do the job so much better! Did wonders for our hangovers! We escaped to a very smart nearby hotel, where F mainlined pots of tea and I had diet coke, and we had a very nice dinner there too. We didn’t do a lot of exploring that day, but did drive quite a way along the loch so that I could take some pictures of Urqhuart Castle.The next day we went back into Fort Augustus and went on a boat trip up the loch. The weather wasn’t bad, and the boat trip was lovely.The plan then was to go back south into Perthshire to stay there and have a look at F’s clan castle. Well, we got down there, through some appalling weather. I’d have loved to have taken some gorgeous pictures of Glencoe as we drove through, but the rain was pelting down so hard that there was no way I was going to expose myself to it, let along my camera! F slept most of the way! He’s not the most exciting person for a road trip – he’s like a big kid, the car makes him go to sleep! Anyway, we got down to Aberfeldy, andcould find a hotel for love nor money. Well…that’s not entirely true. Money would have done it…and extortionate amount in fact. As we were only about an hour away from Edinburgh we decided just to get back there to F’s flat. We stopped off for dinner in Perth, when the car started to make a funny noise. We pulled up on the main street, and discovered we had a puncture. Looked for the jack…there wasn’t one! Luckily, F is a member of the RAC, so they came to change the wheel. In the meantime, we found a great little Chinese buffet style restaurant, just off the main street. I have to say, I was quite proud of the Red Shed – we did about 800 miles in it, and the only problem was a puncture. It did us proud!

We got back to Edinburgh and had a day or so to recover before we started our festivalling! I had never seen anyone famous, so we had a couple of shows booked. We saw Greg Davies (amazingly funny), Ardal O’Hanlon (brilliant), some skinny Australian dude called Sammy J, a freebie Ghanaian Scottish comedian and Axis of Awesome who were, in a word, awesome!! So, I got my fill of famous people! I also got winked at by a famous actor that I recognised, but still cannot for the life of me remember his name! Very irritating!

We had about 10 days off together and it was lovely, it was just a shame to have to come home and get back to work. I think we’ll have to go back up to Loch Ness at some point with Isla as she’d love it there.

Maybe next year…

Last 6 months in a nutshell

Right, well…hmmmm…if I have any blog readers left then my sincere apologies for not updating since April! Jeez, that’s half a year ago! I can only hope that I show up on your RSS thingummyjigs, otherwise no bugger’s ever going to read this again!

Life has had its ups and downs since then; mainly due to cars, as you’ll know if you’re friends with me on Facebook! I had a wee bit of an accident in the Corsa back in June, rendering it unuseable ever again.N
eeding a car I jumped at the first one available (M reg Peugeot 405 estate) which, in retrospect, was a mistake.The first hint of mistakenness was when the alternator decided to pack up, leaving me broken down, outside the Caledonian Hotel in the middle of Edinburgh! This was not a good couple of days! The car got fixed, and I stuck with it for a few months until I was reliably informed that it would be more worthwhile taking it to the scrappies rather than getting the MOT done! To be fair, I was going to try to flog it anyway, even if it had passed the MOT, because it was far too big for me. I have no need for an estate car, and the engine was too big too. So, car was duly delivered to scrapyard, who gave me £100 for it, and I now have a nice Astra on HP.I decided that it was ridiculous buying a cheap car which would die on me in a couple of months, and it was worth seeing if I’d be accepted for finance to get something decent. So, happy bunny now!

So the car troubles have been a large part of my life for about the last four or five months! There have been some ups though, as well as the downs! I’m still seeing F, and he and Isla get on really well together, which is a big relief! Isla went back to France for her summer holidays, and F and I went away for a few days up north, which I’ll talk about in a separate post.

The job is still going ok, I’m trying to see if I can get further in it, as I’m kind of bored with what I’m doing, so we’ll see if that pays off.

Well, that’s kind of up to date in a very small nutshell! I will try to be better at blogging, I’ve just kind of let it lapse recently!

Must try harder :-)