Sin City

It’s autumn proper at last and the ground is a swirling mass of orange, yellow and brown as the trees are gradually stripped of their dignity. The unseasonably warm Indian summer outstayed its welcome by a few weeks, and I am relieved to be back in cosy layers which conceal lumpy bumps and summer indulgences.

Autumn Crumble
Autumn Crumble

My favourite thing just now is walking the dog with my fresh-air denying almost-3-year-old. Crumble is a wonderful companion and her enthusiasm for the outdoors is gradually rubbing off on the youngest child who can now manage a gentle stroll round the estate with only minor meltdowns. We ditched the pram a while ago which felt like a huge milestone but it makes walking so much more interactive (if excruciatingly slow) as we stop frequently to poke around in ditches and undergrowth, searching for treasures.

Bramble season was short but lucrative and provided a great energy boost for a flagging child (5 minutes into the walk) but unfortunately very few made it into puddings and I failed miserably at collecting enough to make jam. Next year I will be more organised (I absolutely know I said that last year).

This is never going to happen
This is never going to happen

Conker season is now upon us and I am obsessed with scrambling around under horse chestnut trees, hunting out their spiky offerings and cracking them open to retrieve the shiny treasure inside. Having pockets stuffed full of conkers is immensely satisfying although I’m at a bit of a loss as to what to do with the hundreds I’ve collected. Pinterest offered up a few suggestions which I pinned enthusiastically, but the reality is that they will be chucked in a bowl and forgotten about until they are discovered, desiccated and shrivelled next year when it all begins again. It’s the circle of life.

I had to tear myself away from our autumnal haven recently to spend a glorious child-free 24 hours in Amsterdam with two art college friends. It was fabulous and the perfect place to wander around in the sun, chill out with beers in the park and catch up on our busy lives. I attempted to make ironing duvet covers and folding fitted sheets sound hectic but I’m not really in the same professional league as my two lovely chums. One works in film special effects in London while the other is a talented radio documentary producer in Dublin but we are united in our struggles to balance motherhood with sanity and inevitable guilt, regardless of our circumstances.

Happy ladies
Happy ladies

Having all been to Amsterdam before, we had no agenda other than catching up and drinking cocktails. We eschewed the usual tourist attractions – sex, drugs, Van Gogh – in favour of cosy bars and whiskey sours. Conversation veered between traumatic birth stories, marital gripes and the complex sub-plots on Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom as we nattered into the small hours, eventually stumbling into our plush Air B&B apartment for six hours of blissful uninterrupted sleep.

We managed to squeeze in a token gallery visit and the obligatory flower market the following day before heading back to the airport to go our separate ways. I love those girls and was sad to say goodbye but the excitement of seeing my other favourite girls kept me going on the long drive home.  That, a cheeky McDonalds pit stop and the Desert Island Discs archive on my iPod.

I was reconciled with the fact that the kids would be fast asleep in their cosy wee beds by the time I got home and was looking forward to a good nights sleep before an excitable reunion in the morning. Picture my utter horror unbridled joy when the little darlings launched themselves at me as I stepped through the door because they’d been too excited to go to bed. I really must go away more often.

Continue Reading

Lucky Duck

It’s now over a week since the referendum and although I’m relieved there won’t be a messy separation, it really didn’t feel like a victory. Not least because the Dish-faced Twat in charge PM seems to be reneging on his last minute desperate promises to give Scotland more power. Quelle surprise shriek the Yes-ers smugly as the rest of us look like gullible idiots. I’m so cross I might even make an effort to find out who my local MP is and write to her about this.

 

Dish-faced twat
Lying dish-faced twat

Up until now I’ve been a typical slack-tivist – furiously ‘liking’ and sharing Facebook posts which highlight issues that get my goat and signing e-petitions left, right and centre (but mostly left) before I’ve even had breakfast – but now there is a serious local issue that will effect our whole community which I am gearing up to protest about.

The local health board has just outlined their ‘vision for the future’ which basically involves slashing rural GP services so that people in remote communities need to take it turns to be ill on their given days. Ours will be Tuesday mornings and Thursday afternoons. Out with these times, we’ll have to make a 25 mile round trip, for many, using the reliable but very limited bus service which takes 30 minutes on a good day.

It would be devastating for this community and we will not go down without a fight. I am setting up an e-petition as soon as I’ve had breakfast.

In other village news, the main event of the year took place this weekend and was a joyous occasion. For the past 18 years, a duck race has been held in the village to raise money for church funds. I should point out that the ducks are of the plastic variety, not the feathered ones. My visiting chums were a touch disappointed when they discovered their tenner was sponsoring a bath toy.

Just to clarify
Just to clarify

After a couple of hours of BBQd scallops and burgers, home-baking, coconut shy, sumo wrestling and face-painting (by ME!), everyone heads to the river, accompanied by the farmer’s daughter on the bagpipes, to watch the several-hundred little yellow ducks battle it out for first place. The prizes are significant with the lucky winner scooping £150 and runner up, £100. With over 300 ducks being sponsored, the odds of a prize are fairly remote so you can imagine my elation when it was announced that the first duck over the line belonged to my eldest daughter. Scooby-dooby Duck did her proud and although she has no idea about the value of £150 she was very, very chuffed to be first.

My initial plans for the cash were to split it between the two kids and sensibly stash it in their respective (diminutive) bank accounts. This was swiftly vetoed during a brief family conference during Frozen and we decided to blow the lot on a dolls house. I’m They’re very excited. It’s taller than the youngest child and has a working elevator. I They can’t wait to play with it and it should keep me them quiet for hours.

Continue Reading

You Can’t Hurry Love

Today is polling day and in the early hours of tomorrow we will know Scotland’s fate. My turmoil continued long after posting my ‘no’ vote two weeks ago but now I feel at peace and ready to accept either outcome. My biggest fear is that nothing changes if it’s a ‘No’ and everything changes if it’s a ‘Yes’. That and the prospect of back to back re-runs of Take the High Road*.

IMG_3768.JPG
The worlds biggest Wendy house.

Luckily there has been a big distraction to take my mind of the ‘Neverendum’ which involved another kind of union. We hosted a family wedding at the weekend which was a fabulous culmination of two years of planning, preparation and silent prayers for September sunshine. Having met 47 years ago, and been romantically involved for a fair few decades of that, the bride and groom had waited a long time for their perfect day, and by all accounts it was.

It was the kids’ first wedding since they missed their uncle’s big day due to vomiting and diarrhoea. There was no such luck this time as over-excitement predictably turned to extreme boredom three minutes into the church service, after I’d ran out of wine gums. They passed the next 57 minutes with a competitive game of ‘pew hurdles’ in a race to see who could get to Granny, two rows in front then back to uncle Kenny, three rows behind. The whispered apologies were a useful ice-breaker for the hundreds of relatives I was meeting for the first time.

It was very moving to witness this lovely couple exchange their vows and felt very poignant considering the length of their partnership. The mood was lightened considerably though during the singing of the register. The groom’s sense of humour tickled everyone as the dulcet tones of Elvis Presley sang out the lyrics, “Wise men say, only fools rush in…”. Laughter rippled around the little church and truly set the tone for the rest of the day – love and joy and celebration.

The sun shone all day and the marquee looked fabulous with its castle backdrop. It took a bit of getting used to as it was erected a week before the big day and was considerably larger than we anticipated, however it quickly became a giant play pen for puppy and children and I quite miss it now it’s gone. Things are slowing returning to normal although our house does resemble Elton John’s mansion due to the volume of leftover flowers we are happily fostering.

It was a such a privilege to make this amazing day possible (although admittedly Niall did most of the hard work while I de-thorned some roses and shovelled up some dog poo from the lawn) and there is a decidedly Boxing Day feel about the place now. The bride and groom departed today and the remaining guests leave tomorrow. There are no more distractions from the referendum results which are now just hours away so I’m going to neck the remaining wedding Chablis, cuddle the sleeping puppy and pray that we will all still be friends in the morning. See you on the other side.

*think Acorn Antiques meets Eldorado set in Auchtermuchty

Continue Reading

No Thanks

I am a HUGE fan of autumn and have been loving the changing colours and light of the past few weeks. Who knew that taking a dog out for a poo at 5.30am could be such a treat. We might not get the spectacular sunsets that the smug west coasters get, but our sunrises can be pretty special if you have the misfortune of being up at that heinous hour.

This is what 6am looks like. You're welcome.
This is what 6am looks like. You’re welcome.

The sea is still inviting although the temperatures have dropped significantly. I thought I’d had my last swim weeks ago but seized the moment this week with a visiting southern friend who fancied a dip. His expletives could be heard for miles around as his testicles retreated faster than a Better Together campaigner in an egg factory when he submerged himself in the water and flailed around for all of a minute. Admittedly it was a little cooler than previous times but still utterly devine and the perfect remedy for a shattered insomniac.

Niall went for the subliminal approach to try and influence my decision.
Niall went for the subliminal approach to try and influence my decision.

I am still waking (or being woken) in the small hours and no amount of sheep counting or light referendum reading can lull me back to sleep. The Yes/No question continued to plague me until I finally cracked one morning after a pathetic four hour sleep. I tore the ballot paper from the envelope and defiantly etched my black cross in the ‘No’ box and sealed it all up before I had time to find the tippex. I don’t think I was impulsive. From the beginning I was firmly in the ‘No’ camp but was tempted by the passion and commitment of the ‘Yes’ folk and was very much buoyed along by promises of a fairer society, protection of our amazing NHS and improved child care options for working parents. News of Ukip gaining support and power also started to tip the scales to a ‘Yes’ from me but while my head was saying this could work, we can do this, my heart was screaming, please don’t go.

I am VERY proud to be Scottish but I can’t imagine not being part of the United Kingdom. A friend just summed it up perfectly for me on Facebook: “To me it comes down to being a fish and choosing whether you want your own pond or are happy to share the ocean.” I just think it’s better to share.

Who knows what will happen on the 18th, or indeed forever after, but it’s looking like there is only a baw hair* in it. I just hope the smugness will be kept to a minimum whatever the outcome and that the energy and debate will continue until the promises that were made by either side are kept.

* this is an official political term. Obvs.

3am Reading List

  • http://duncanstephen.co.uk/why-i-will-be-voting-no-thanks/
  • http://www.ellenarnison.com/2014/09/scottish-independence-referendum-things.html#sthash.6wjmkzXF.gbpl
  • http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/sep/07/alex-salmond-monetary-union-europe-eurozone-crisis
  • http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/http://www.scotsman.com/scottish-independence/hardship-alert-a-norwegians-take-on-scottish-independence/2014/aug/19/scottish-referendum-values-border-tories-election-scots-british-social-democratic
  • http://www.scotsman.com/scottish-independence/hardship-alert-a-norwegians-take-on-scottish-independence/
  • http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/sep/05/independence-referendum-debate-intoxicated-scotland
Continue Reading

Yes No Maybe

Fur baby
Fur baby

We are adjusting well to being a family of five. Crumble has settled in well and as predicted, has the run of the castle. No chesterfield remains unchewed and no antique rug has escaped piddle-free. Any flimsy rules we made about no dogs on the sofas or beds were broken by day two and there are nightly battles over who gets to cuddle the warm puppy whilst watching crap telly (or indeed twatting about with (anti) social media whilst eschewing actual conversation with significant other…). She is fabulous.

Carnage
Carnage

There have been numerous inevitable toy casualties. I was quite traumatised by the grim discovery of a severed hand on the playroom floor and the naked, mangled corpse of eagle-eyes action man close by. Fake Barbie (£3.50 – you get what you pay for) suffered a similar fate but I managed to reassemble her disembowelled body, although she may have lost the use of her left arm.

Shit just got real
Shit just got real

The puppy’s arrival has coincided with an unexpected and most unwelcome period of insomnia for me. I must stress it has nothing to do with our gorgeous baby fur-ball but I keep waking at silly hours (usually aided by the cries of a small child) and just can’t fall back to sleep. Aside from the obvious drawbacks (psychotic mood swings, looking like a bag of shite…), on the plus side it’s giving me ample extra time to mull over The Big Question that is being asked of Scotland. Not ‘Should Susan Boyle be banished for her opening ceremony performance?’* but the much more serious and potentially life/society/everything changing, ‘Do you agree that Scotland should be an independent country?’. We opted for a postal vote (just in case hell froze over and we weren’t in the country on the 18th of September) so my ballot paper is sitting in the kitchen, waiting for me to make my bloody mind up and tick a box.

This.
This.

I so envy my friends and family who are emphatic about their choice, which ever side they take. I have ricocheted between Yes and No like a hyperactive toddler and have no idea how I’ll feel either way on the 19th. I do know I have made some very bad decisions lately (jeggings. I don’t want to talk about it.) so will attempt to inform myself properly and not be swayed by Facebook propaganda or what Peter Capaldi thinks. (No idea.). I have dipped in and out of The White Paper which is all very jolly but doesn’t real answer the big questions (currency, economic growth, exiling John Barrowman) but then this patronising pile of guff from the Better Together campaign sent me fleeing to the Yes side.

I am sitting very uncomfortably on the fence but for the time being I’m clinging on tightly. I need a lot more sleep before I decide. Night, night.

(Oh balls. It’s 9am and I’ve promised them a trip to soft play. Aaaaaaarrrrrrrrggggghhhhhhhhh.)

*obvs. She forgot the words to Mull of Kintyre. Unforgivable.

Continue Reading

All Change

IMG_2974.JPG
Lots and lots of this

“It turns colder, that’s where it ends…”*

Summer, you did us proud again. We’ve loved every minute and have banked some fabulous memories to see us through the winter months. Thank you for the sun tans, the wild swims, for being too hot for the evil midges, for allowing us to be outside much more than inside and for showing all our (paying and non-paying) guests just how amazing our little edge of nowhere can be. Same again next year please.

IMG_3139.JPG
Plenty of this

I realise it might be little premature to close the door on summer but this is Scotland and there has been a distinct drop in temperature this last week and a definite yellow tinge to a few of the trees. I’m not packing away the ambre solaire just yet but I’m squeezing myself into ill-fitting jeans rather than too-tight shorts and have even required a raincoat a couple of times this week.

There is also a Big Milestone approaching which brings the holidays to a natural end – our oldest daughter is starting school this week. At four and half, she is six months younger than her two classmates so we had the choice of keeping her at nursery for another year. It was a tough decision but in such an intimate environment, where she already knows the names of the entire school (12 pupils!), it seemed to be the sensible option. Time will tell and any issues will no doubt be flung in my face when she’s a stroppy teenager – “I WASN’T READY!!!” *door slams*. I can just picture the scene…

It feels like a new era is beginning. We will no longer have the flexibility of popping “up the road” on a Friday morning, for a long weekend and as the school day starts half and hour earlier than nursery did, I’ll have to seriously adjust my morning ‘fannying about’ time and Get My Shit Together. School seems to be a whole different ball game from nursery. There is a compulsory uniform for instance. They were encouraged to wear it at nursery and the other five pupils willingly did, but not so our little rebellious madam who frequently pitched up sporting a ghastly Disney princess frock and one occasion, her leopard print onsie. I’m not looking forward to that daily battle but must admit to being secretly chuffed that she’s showing early signs of non-conformity. (I would be more chuffed if she chose to non-conform in something other than Disney though).

Totally eclipsing First Day At School excitement is of course, puppy excitement. Our third child substitute (it’s time to call a spade a spade) arrives TONIGHT! Ideally when both the children are asleep so they will wake up to the pitter patter of tiny paws. It’s not great timing in terms of trying to bundle Zoë off to school for her second day but it does mean that India will have a playmate in her absence.

IMG_1418.JPG
Home improvements

So it’s all change again at the castle but all for the better – notwithstanding the inevitable chewing of antique furniture and piddling on ancient rugs. Each generation has left a legacy of doggie damage somewhere in the house (a ripped portrait here, a gnawed table leg there) and I’m sure Crumble will also leave her mark. The children certainly have. Their chosen victim was the 150 year old rocking horse that graces our playroom. I stupidly left them unattended with poster paint for a few minutes and returned to find poor Dobbin had been given a makeover. I was fleetingly livid but calmed down quickly when I realised they were merely adding to Dobbin’s legend. These include stories of losing her mane and tail in mock battle and most famously of all, great grandpa’s brother posting marbles through the hole in her bottom, which still rattle to this day at a fast gallop.

 

*yep, Grease. Can’t remember my Shakespeare.

Continue Reading

Puppy Love

PUPPIES!!!
PUPPIES!!!

We are expecting! A puppy! In less than two weeks. I am beside myself. The baby, I mean puppy, was born six weeks ago and is part of a record-breaking litter. The amazing mummy dog, Annie, gave birth to a staggering FIFTEEN puppies and all are healthy and thriving. They quickly became a media sensation and have been all over the national press. The best thing is that they are local so we were able to meet the baby puppy for the first time last week. Having had my heart set on a chocolate pup to match my canine nephew, Pudding, I had to alter my expectations when we learned that the only brown girl had been chosen already. It wasn’t dissimilar to the feelings we had at a gender scan for our second daughter. There was split second disappointment that she wasn’t a boy followed by unbounded joy and euphoria that she was a healthy baby. (And also secret delight that we would save a fortune in baby clothes).

We had two puppies to choose from which seemed inconceivable – how do you pick one impossibly cute thing over another? They were both sleeping initially, nestling in the arms of their owner, like little black velvet bean bags. One woke up before her sister and was handed to me for a cuddle. She nibbled and wriggled and snuggled and we knew we’d found our Crumble. I felt a surge of something I hadn’t experienced since my littlest was bundled up and thrust upon me on that operating table two and half years ago. It was love at first sniff of her tiny, furry head. And that’s exactly how if felt when I held the puppy.

Crumble!
Crumble!

The countdown is on and we are doing our best to prepare the children for the new arrival. Hopefully they are old enough to understand that Crumble isn’t a toy and mustn’t be hauled around or prodded or fed Jaffa cakes. Likewise, I’ll have to be careful not to show favouritism to our fur-baby and will try to treat them all equally. I’m prepared for a few nights of disturbed sleep as Crumble gets used to being away from her mummy but will try to be firm and not pander to her pleading whimpers. My track record at this isn’t great though and we still have a nearly three year old who doesn’t sleep through and a four and a half year old who won’t go to bed. Sometimes I feel like I’m failing all over the place.

We have been using the puppy as an emotional blackmail tool to try and change behaviour for a few weeks now and have successfully manipulated the youngest into doing ‘number twos’ in the toilet (it’s been a messy summer…) as well as coaxing her back into the bath after a three month sabbatical following the development of an irrational fear of being sucked down the plug hole. Over the next two weeks the bribery stakes will be upped and we’ll attempt to crack the nighttime situation – no sleep, no puppy will be our mantra and hopefully they are still young enough not to smell the bullshit. There is NO WAY we are not getting that puppy.

Eleven more (broken) sleeps!

Continue Reading

Desperate Housewife

I’ve been feeling pretty pleased with myself lately as I finally seem to be getting the hang of living in a castle, hundreds of miles from the nearest Primark, with two despot ‘tweenagers’ and a workaholic husband. There is a happy rhythm to our lives at the moment and we seem to be bumbling along quite nicely. It helps that the schools are off so there isn’t the usual frantic last minute rush in the morning, hunting for shoes, stuffed sheep and random items for show and tell – pine cones, shells, dental floss etc. This is despite the day generally starting at 6am so by the time we’re running 10 minutes late for the nursery run, I’ve been up for over three hours.
My time management has definitely improved and I seem to be most productive in the early hours, when sane people with considerate children are still tucked up in bed. On a good day, by 9am, I have often ironed a load of bed linen, made a pot of soup, completed a 20 minute fitness dvd and made a few cushion covers.

You can never have enough.
You can never have enough.

My latest fad is soft furnishings, ever since a talented friend showed me how to work the ancient sewing machine my MiL left behind. There is a ready supply of material all over this house which is begging to be upcycled so It’s a cheap hobby at the moment and I can furnish the holiday cottages with my finished creations, once I’ve filled up the castle.

I’ve also rediscovered crochet recently after a long break due to bad associations. I made a ripple blanket for a family baby whilst watching the box set of Breaking Bad and the whole experience left me traumatised. I loved making the blanket but that overrated, soulless series left me cold and unable to pick up a hook for months. Thank God for Homeland 3 which arrived via a friend last week and which we are binge watching at a rate of three episodes a night. I’ve made 16 granny squares (another cushion, there is still space on the Chesterfield) and am half-way through a hat.

'Nuff said.
Nuff said.

If I was ever worried about morphing into a ghastly Martha Stewart/Bree Van Der Kamp hybrid, there are plenty of days when things don’t go according plan. This week alone I have unwittingly flashed the stonemason from the bedroom, pranged my MiL’s car in Tesco car park and served coffee to an important client of Niall’s in the “I’m a twat” mug.

 

Continue Reading

Iron Lady

Happy feet
Happy feet

As usual our Tiree holiday was over before we knew it and suddenly we were doing tearful farewells at the pier and battling the post-holiday blues on the ferry home.

It was wonderful week, with all the obligatory Tiree activities and (more importantly) inactivities, ticked off. Beach walks, evening swims, crab hunting, sunset boules matches (VERY competitive. Girls v boys. We lost. Mum is still not speaking to me.), rainy day (just one) pottery painting (the worlds most expensive egg cups), trashy crime fiction on the beach, three crochet projects on the go, Nutella with EVERYTHING, ridiculous clothing combination (shorts, fleece, gillet/jeans, walking sandals, vest top). I could easily spend a fortnight there and am insanely jealous of my parents who stay for three weeks.

I really can’t imagine going anywhere else on holiday although Niall has tentatively suggested we perhaps go somewhere different next year. I’m hoping he’ll forget this nonsensical idea but I feigned enthusiasm to buy myself some time. (SHETLAND was even mentioned! We may as well go to New Zealand…).

Luckily the sun is still shining and we still have a beach within spitting distance so I’m warding off the PHBs and throwing myself back into my role as subordinate housekeeper. I have taken on even more responsibility lately so I need to stay focused. As well as my usual change-over tasks and laundry activities, it has now fallen upon me to iron all the bed linen. Through a sad chain of events (dear Margot’s sudden passing and poor Barbara’s deteriorating arthritis) this heinous task is now part of my increasing workload. Never one to play the martyr*, I have thrown myself into this extra duty and have weirdly found myself almost enjoying it. This is no doubt helped by the ancient press we have acquired to speed things up. It is in stiff competition with the Aga for giving me third-degree burns but I’m gradually getting the hang of it and can get half a load done during a podcast of Desert Island Discs.

I draw the line.
I draw the line.

It’s weirdly therapeutic and although I’ve only got a few finger prints left on one hand and some scars for life on the other, it is immensely satisfying seeing the finished stack of pressed linen. I’m careful not to outwardly express too much enthusiasm though as it’s a slippery slope to family laundry and before I know it I’ll be grudgingly ironing my husband’s shirts and trousers. I’m afraid I’m just not that kind of girl.

*shut up Louboo and Sazza**
**My sisters. They know too much

Continue Reading

Summer Loving

LIterally TENS of people on the beach
LIterally TENS of people on the beach

Hello summer! It’s been hot, hot, hot (Low twenties. It’s all relative.) for what feels like ages so we’ve been making good use of our beautiful local beaches. Playgroup has twice abandoned the village hall in favour of the beach which has been fabulous and so much more relaxing for us wrung-out mothers. The kids seem to get along so much better outside and although  there are odd moments of violence and aggression, generally they are all the best of friends which is so vital, being such a wee community.

We recently lost a lovely pal who moved back to civilisation and this had a huge impact on our little group. She was a brilliant person to know and inspired us all to be better parents and also, miraculously, take up exercise! I found the latter easier than the former but I’m really trying to do things differently, be more patient and generally not lose my shit so often. Like right now, for example.  I am trying to steal a few moments to write my blog but my despot two-and-half year old is going bat-shit crazy because giant Paddington Bear is quite clearly too big for Action Man’s tank and she is demanding I rectify this futile situation immediately. The old me (yesterday) might have matched her glass-shattering decibels with a few expletives and thrown said toys dramatically out of the room but I managed to rise above it, create a distraction and restore calm. No shrieking, no swearing. Go me. Hopefully I’ve changed in time to save me a fortune in therapy fees later on. (Theirs, not mine – I want ALL the therapy).

Swims in the sea are also helping my mental health and we have fallen into a lovely routine of popping down to our little beach at around 4pm for a dip and a paddle. It is blissful and wonderful to watch the children gaining confidence in the water. Being non-swimmers just isn’t an option for them, living where we do. They should get plenty practice this week as we are off on our annual holiday to Tiree for more of the same. I can’t wait to be there again, my remote home from (my remote) home. The gruelling journey began at 3.30am this morning but we are now safely aboard the Clansman, happily stuffed with the mandatory CalMac breakfast and succeeding at ignoring the children as they pester random strangers and torment unassuming doggies. I am also ignoring the fact that it is currently pissing down and visibility is pretty much zero. It will be fine once we get there – the sun ALWAYS shines on Tiree.

Continue Reading