Posts Tagged ‘Scotland’

Christmas – twice over

Our first Christmas, at the correct point in the calendar, was at home with Nan & Grandad. On Christmas Eve, we visited the Bridgewater Hall for the sing-along carol concert. The kids were as content as they have ever been at this annual trip, enjoying the music and finding the singing amusing not annoying or embarrassing.

Christmas Day and Boxing Day passed in a pleasant fuzz of family chat, presents, food and drink. Gabe particularly enjoyed playing Jenga, which captivated Nan. Robin was delighted with his bike, and so we rode around the neighbourhood in the dark on Christmas evening (the bike’s brakes having been made safe during daylight by Grandad). Eliza sauntered in and out, her social circle never more than a few clicks distant.

Our second Christmas, happened four days later, at Grandpa’s, with Auntie S, Uncle S and cousin F. While in Scotland, Robin accompanied me on walks across the sand at low-tide, laying out the plans he has devised for his future: living in Edinburgh or Glasgow, teaching. Gabe joined Uncle S and me at the pub one evening, keeping the conversation always lively and keeping up his end with a pint and a half. Eliza was the moving force of an attempted indoor decathlon after our Christmas dinner, until we all flaked out. Most memorably she won the ‘standing on one leg’ contest, fighting off fierce competition.

Gabe, Eliza and Robin – I hadn’t spent so much time with them in months and they were a delight, making parents and I think grandparents, very proud.

Loch Tummel

A holiday by a loch had water as its theme.

We hired a kayak on Loch Tay and for an hour paddled about in choppy waters, staying close to the boat club, but getting a feel for a new activity. We all went commando for the rest of the day as our splashing had soaked the clothing we left on under our wetsuits.

Rain poured down for most of one day, a whole night and some of another. It beat on the roof of the caravan, exaggerating its strength, but the puddles, sodden grass, height of the loch and speed of the rivers were true measures of how wet it was. In the grass beside the caravan, Eliza found tiny black and brown frogs, the size of a fingernail.

We completed three walks and while the ground was muddy, and the flora dripping, we never got soaked. An hour-long woodland walk was extended over two hours as we played by a rushing stream, floating bark and, more successfully, pine cones, cheering when one evaded a log or branch and swept further downstream.

Eliza, Robin and I visited the campsite’s pool during its party time session. Eliza and Robin played like a pair of otter pups: twisting, diving, splashing, climbing and squealing with fun.

With so much water about, its absence was the feature that fascinated Gabe, Eliza and Robin when we found a ‘green toilet’ in a forest. It was a compost loo, with wood shavings provided to cover any deposits.