Monday Holiday

From yesterday:

1) It’s an In-Service day today (which means no school!), and I tell the kids that we’re going to Edinburgh for the afternoon.  M jumps up and down and says “Yoo hoo! I haven’t been on the train in ages!”.

2) I take the kids to visit the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. Having had the opportunity to go round it at my own pace last week, I was able to go round it at the kids’ pace this week – they didn’t get bored, pointed out lots of interesting photos and paintings, and had fun choosing their own favourite painting for the BP Visitor’s Choice Portrait Award 🙂 .

3) The kids stay overnight with my parents, and K and I enjoy a rare evening off.

NB I mentioned a painting last week that I had particularly liked.  It was Silent Eyes by Antonio Titakis.

Snow, happy, and anticipation!

1) The rain clears, and the Ochils become visible for the first time in several days. In the sunlight I realise that the hills have been dusted with a fine sprinkling of snow – the first of winter!

2) A arrives at the car at lunchtime, full of smiles and happy. He’s had a good morning. 🙂

3) I’m off to pack!  We’re going away for the weekend, and I can’t wait!

Holiday at home: the last day.

1) I’m a little later than I normally like to be, but I finally made my Christmas mincemeat today. The aroma permeated the whole house – that warm spicy fruity smell which always reminds me of dark nights and cosy evenings spent with friends…

2) The kids spent a lovely afternoon running around the soft play having lots of fun, and getting very hot, playing with their friends. I spent a lovely afternoon watching them play, and catching up with their mum.  K spent a (lovely) afternoon… cleaning the bathrooms. (His choice, I feel constrained to add!)

3) Tomorrow the kids return to school, so this evening was spent going through school bags, making sure lunches were made, forms were filled in, homework was complete, uniforms were laid out in readiness… there’s some comfort in the return to routine.

Holiday at home: lunch with friends and a walk in the sunshine.

1) Friends come to visit for lunch. We talk a lot about knitting :-). Which was very good. Then we enjoy lunch of good hearty chicken, carrot and squash soup, freshly-baked Norwegian mountain bread, vintage cheddar cheese, and homemade plum chutney. It was also good.

2) We walk in the sunshine through Fairy Glen – a bit muddy in places, but a lovely walk alongside a rushing stream, under trees of autumn golds and reds, and even some sunshine overhead.

3) We were about to make a phone call, but they beat us to it 🙂 .

Being on holiday.

1)  K finishes work early, and we are officially on our “holiday from home”.  I guess one of the major advantages of not going away is no packing.  Another is being able to sleep in my own bed. I confess that I haven’t taken a holiday from doing the laundry, so I’m looking forward to not having piles of laundry on our “return”!

2) One of my most favourite things about being on holiday is being away from the computer 🙂 .

3) We start our holiday by going ten-pin bowling, followed by dinner out. Dinner was in the restaurant that I went out to for the very first meal I paid for myself – I must have been about 14 at the time, and went out with my Youth Fellowship group for dinner.


Order, free, and complete.

1) To restore some order to the house – my mind feels clearer already.

2) I wiped the weekly planner (located on a white board) clean of all last week’s activities… and I’ve left it blank!  It’s the October Holidays and, for reasons outwith our control, we were unable to plan our usual trip away this year.  There’s something rather nice about having a blank slate, and to be able to do what we feel like, when we feel like it. For a whole week 🙂 .

3) To complete a jigsaw puzzle. And to find time to knit.

Fun and games, tidy, and cardboard boxes.

Just a quiet summer holiday day at home…

1a) A and M have discovered the joys of playing Monopoly. I think they must have spent a good three hours playing today. Great fun…

1b) When they got bored of playing Monopoly, they were off on bike and scooter down to the park. Then they came back, and played Monopoly some more.

2) They tidy their room so well, that I can actually get in to vacuum their floor!

3) Right, they’re all packaged up and ready to go… Anyone want them?

I love that the kids aren’t too big to play with cardboard boxes (they were watching the Men’s 200m final in the Olympics, in case you are wondering!).

Away, day out, and evening in.

1) We had a wonderful weekend away in Aviemore – we relaxed, we caught up with family, we visited the Highland Folk Museum (which is well worth visiting if you are in the area), we climbed a mountain – Meall a’ Bhuachaille, we made a flying visit to Inverness and had a lovely drive over Slochd, and we went to The Potting Shed at Inshriach and ate fabulous Norwegian cake.

2) I spend most of the day with the Primary 7 kids – they head to secondary school after the summer holidays, and as a farewell from primary school, they get an Activity week, where they get to go and do all sorts of fun activities.  Today, I went along as a parent helper as their teachers took them Ten-Pin Bowling. Eighty kids made for a crazy time, but heaps of fun. Tomorrow we take them swimming.

3) A relaxed evening with friends.  It’s good to talk.

A weekend away with friends.

About our weekend away:

1) We’re all full of excitement as we journey north-west through the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park, then up past Crianlarich onto the remote Rannoch Moor, through the stark beauty of Glen Coe, and on towards Ballachulish on the shores of Loch Leven, before crossing Loch Linnhe on the Corran Ferry. A journey through a particular stunning part of Scotland.

2) We arrive, and the first thing the kids want to do is jump in the swimming pool. They swim twice a day for the remainder of our stay. We swim, and enjoy the sauna.

3) Saturday brings a challenging hill-walk to the summit of Garbh Bheinn. It’s a tough 885m walk, up steep mountain sides, with an equally steep descent down the other side. We’re so proud of Aidan and Megan – I wouldn’t have believed they could do it, and the views from the top – from the Isles of Mull, Rhum and Eigg, and on round to Skye, then the Highlands, and Fort William, and stunning views of Ben Nevis, Glen Coe, and Loch Leven. So beautiful.

4) Evenings filled with good food, good wine, good company and fun games.

5) The weather holds the entire time we are there.

6) On Sunday we explore a beach beside an Iron-Age fort on the shores of Loch Sunnart. We see flowers, and shells, and seaweed, and scramble up rocks, and skirt around fallen trees. We visit the Garbh Eilean wildlife hide and eat our lunch as we watch the seals playing on the rocks nearby.

7) The kids have a go at playing snooker, and Freda (a crazy game which involved much running around a snooker table), and have heaps of fun.

8) Monday brings a slightly busier day as we pack up, before heading to Loch Doilet north of Strontian, for a walk through the forest, a river crossing, and a wander back before the lovely drive back to join our friends in Strontian.

9) I glance out of my bedroom window, high under the eaves of the house, and spy a huge silver-pale moon hanging low in the sky, framed by the crags shadowing the shores of Loch Linnhe.

10) We catch the last ferry back, and then the roads are pretty clear as we drive home. A fantastic weekend.

On time, packing, and Finished Object Friday.

1) To get the kids to school on time, despite a somewhat hectic morning.

2) The air of excitement as we all get organised and pack. We’re going away for the weekend!

3) I’ve completed all three of the summer projects I chose from The Knitter’s Year (by Debbie Bliss), and it’s only the first of June. That means I’ve got a month to work on other projects before I begin on the Autumn projects.

Summer Project #3 Stripey Lacy Scarf

Knitted in Debbie Bliss Ecobaby in stone and white. This really was a fun and quick knit (and for those who are interested, there are 121 stripes – sixty in each half, and one to join the two halves together).

For more of today’s Finished Objects, check out Tami’s blog…  and if you’d like to read more of today’s Three Beautiful Things, head on over to Claire’s