Day 529 from Islay to Kennacraig in the fog, home to swap dogs!

I’ve just sat down! It’s 20.55 and it’s been a busy day.

We left the campsite at 8am this morning. Bhru was great through the night and only asked to go out at 6.30am which was great. We both slept so well!

It was raining when we woke up but super foggy by the time we left.

At Port Ellen they asked me to park right at the entrance to the ferry (which wasn’t there yet!) more reversing into spaces on front of everyone and making sure I didn’t reverse over the edge of the pier….. 🤣

The ferry is still not here but the foghorn was getting closer. Not gonna lie it was kinda terrifying….. and very, very loud!!

This is how close we were!! check what was unloaded while we waited?!?! We reckon new stills for Caol Isla distillery maybe?

Poor Bhru didn’t like the fog horn…. Whe also doesn’t like the sound of the ramp deploying…. Wee soul.

We were first on!!

I’m surprised that CalMac were still running in that fog but they were and it was the Finlaggan this time. What a posh ship!

It’s not every day a pupper gets to do this!

They’re all settled… I can go exploring!

The fog is lifting a bit but we sail out with the fog horn still blowing.

There’s barely a ripple at sea…. So calm.

Spotted passing on the fog.

I love this pic. Just stunning.

So we got into Kennacraig just before lunchtime. Our plan was to drive over to Claonaig and sail to Lochranza on Arran again. It’s 21.14 now and we would still not be home…. We would just be arriving back from Ardrossan.

We realised we hold make much better time by driving home from Kennacraig as it’s on the mainland.

This was the plan.

And this was what we actually did….

And saved ourselves about 6 hours!

So we got home at 3, had big cuddles with Calaidh and Freya. Calaidh ran out and jumped in the middle of the van as if to say never leave us alone again!!!

So we’re home for a night to sort everything out, repack and take Calaidh to Wales… or Welsh Wales as we call it 🤦🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️🤣.

Bhruic and Freya are going to the lovely kennels we have found but having spent the week with Bhru on her own I feel very sad about doing leaving them. They will be well looked after but it’s still hard. it feels very selfish of us but they’ve been so unhappy travelling recently that it seems like the sensible thing to do.

We popped into the pub for a drink once we had cleaned out the van and then into Claire and Graeme’s next door to see their new fire pit!! Our other neighbours Jim and Fiona were there too so lovely to catch up!

I’m behind the tree!!

It’s such a cool fire pit area and the lights are lovely.

So thanks so much to our in laws for moving in this week to look after Calaidh and Freya and to our neighbours for walking the dogs! We are very lucky to have such great support.

A long drive to Welsh Wales tomorrow but making the journey part of the holiday.

Stay safe everyone ⛴🌫🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

Day 528 a lovely lazy day with a recap on beautiful Jura 🚐⛴🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿☀️🏝 from yesterday

Oh what a night….. 🎶 🎶🎶🎶 do do do do do…… yeah it wasn’t as much fun as that tune might suggest.

Bhruic the model pupper developed a dodgy tum around oooooh maybe 12.22am precisely!!! So the night went something like this….

  • Lights out 10ish
  • 12.22am first trip out for pooper pupper
  • 1.21am back out again
  • 1.56am 3rd time lucky
  • 2.34am 4th 🤦🏻‍♀️
  • Sometime later a plane ✈️ flew right overhead bound for Islay Airport
  • 5.17am the neighbours start their engine and leave the site…. I spend the next few minutes trying to think why….. they’ll just be headed to Port Ellen for the 7am ferry…. I allow it.
  • 5.45am 5th time and not much happening’ now…
  • 6.30am my bloody phone alarm goes off 🤦🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️🤣
  • 6.40am it starts raining….
  • 7.34am back out with Bhru for a sniff around
  • 9.28am drop my toilet bag in the toilet 🚻 🤷🏻‍♀️🤦🏻‍♀️💥🥳🤣🤣🤣

I assure you I do not make this stuff up….

But you know the best of it…. I am smiling inside. I’m laughing at the craziness of it all. Isn’t it funny how our mind works. I’ve been a nightmare on and off since we got here. A day in the sun yesterday and suddenly I’m calm. It’s due to rain here today so we’re planning a lazy day and gonna walk to Bruichladdich as it’s the only distillery we haven’t been in to years. The shop that is…. 🤣

So back to the magical day yesterday. It was a stunning sunrise.

Just breathtaking

We were up early and on the road before 10am. The Islay/Jura ferry runs back and forward all day I think. I had a slight moment of terror driving on to the ferry…. Oh my actual god…left a bit, right a bit, forward, slow down, keep coming. As my wonderful husband will tell you these words are like triggers to my anxious mind. How does he know you wonder?!? 🤦🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️💥💥💥

Port Askaig is beautiful.

Hard to imagine this wee guy takes all the traffic from Islay to Jura and back.

That hop across the water was a mere £25…. Captive market I guess.

😱
Abbie the camper van is sailing!!
Arriving in Feolin in Jura.

This sign is at the harbour…. How very true is this?!

Jura has a long single track road with passing places and the first place you come to is called Craighouse. (Course it is!) it’s the most beautiful wee place with palm trees and is home to the Jura Distillery.

Craighouse
Jura Distillery
Actual palm tree 🌴 outside the distillery
Loved the colour of the hills in the distance.

Of course we popped in to the distillery and Craig got a wee dram! Bhru got to come in too.

It’s a lovely wee shop. It was also scorching outside. Such a beautiful day.

There’s a wee pure white sandy beach and harbour
The trickle of this water was the only sound
A beautiful drive out of Craighouse

And then we found the Corran Sands…. A pure white sandy beach with crystal clear water that stretches for miles.

It’s so shallow that you can walk out it it and you just have to brave the very cold moment as you walk in. We played with Bhru for ages. She had a blast. I was gutted I’d left my swimsuit back at camp…… dammit!!

This is as deep as I go…. But pretty hills in the background!
Craig and Bhru almost marooned but not quite…. 🤣
It was very peaceful out here
Just paddling around

Right I think that might be enough photos of the beach. You get the gist. Tropical with baltic water!

We jumped back in the van and headed back on the road again but found ourselves almost at a dead end and by that time I was kinda done with the drama of driving everywhere. We still had a long drive back to the ferry albeit it in stunning surroundings.

So what did we do…. Stopped back at the beach. Of course we did.

So back along to Craighouse and on to the ferry. Look how steep the ramp is!!!!

Not sure this pic does it justice
CalMac is docked over in Port Askaig so we have to wait until she empties!
Here she comes… can hardly wait…. 🤦🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️🤣

I actually had a wee gulp of tears once we got on and we’re sailing away and again when I drove off at Port Askaig. Just a wee overwhelm but I’m bloody chuffed at me doing all that…. Don’t know why as I would have expected Craig to do it in the past and I’m not sure I would have congratulated him for it!

So just when you think we are done… next stop is Bunnahabhain Distillery.

Should say here Caol Isla is closed for renovations… actually did mention that the other day. It’s up this same way but we couldn’t even drive up to see it.

Very uncomfortable deck chair!!
Stunning views of the Paps of Jura

Then finally we got dinner from Peatzeria in Bowmore on the way back.

Islay Crab 🦀 and rocket 🚀 pizza 🍕

We sat out until sunset at 8pm. It was still hot until then.

From sunrise to sunset the perfect day

Until it got dark and pup monster started her poop fest. 🤦🏻‍♀️

So today we’ve had a much quieter day. No driving apart from moving the van on the campsite. We walked to Bruichladdich today a 5 mile round trip. It was meant to be torrential rain. Thankfully it’s hardly rained at all. We tried to come home a day early as today was meant to be so bad but we couldn’t move our booking as everything was full. I’m so glad we stayed. It’s been a lovely day to chill (after walking 5 miles of course!)

Bhruic at Bruichladdich!!
Bruichladdich also make the Botanist Gin
The view outside the distillery
Met this guy….
Stunning hydrangeas
The Port Charlotte Hotel
Awwww looked who’s knackered now…. No wonder.

So that’s us caught back up. Tomorrow we’re travelling home in fog. Let’s see how that goes…. 🌫 🌫 🌫 ⛴ 🌫🌫🌫

Stay safe everyone ♥️♥️♥️

Day 527 a lovely day trip to Jura 🚐 ⛴ 🏝

I’m afraid this blog is gonna be a bit of a swizz….. I’m tired after a long but lovely day out from Islay to Jura in Scotland’s Inner Hebrides.

It’s been scorching hot today. We’re both brown as berries (burnt to a crisp is more like it but brown as berries more poetic!)

We’ve had a lovely day and I’ve managed to keep my anxiety at bay for the most part. (should say that negotiating your 5m camper van on and off a very small car ferry is something that would generate anxiety in almost anyone… not least the girl who looks for anxiety everywhere!!)

I have sooooo many photos that I’m gonna take the time to look through them properly and write about our adventures tomorrow.

Just a few to keep you going 🤷🏻‍♀️😆

Sunrise on Islay at 7am
Jura
Corran Sands

It was such a lovely day.

Stay safe everyone 🚐⛴☀️

Day 526 Laphroaig, Lagavulin and Ardbeg distilleries with a visit to Port Ellen and Bowmore…. And the sun shone!! ☀️ for a few hours 👍🏼

Another great nights sleep all cosied up in the van.

So we were up early this morning and there was evidence of some sunshine! This is the view from the campsite which is about the first time we’ve seen it.

Craig made Serrano ham, black pudding and tattie scones for breakfast.

Bhru likes the look of it!

Today’s travels…. Port Charlotte to Bruichladdich to Bridgend to Bowmore to Port Ellen to Lagavulin and back.

On our drive over this was the view across to Bowmore. I stopped in a lay-by!

First real stop of the day….

The photos don’t do it justice but it was so atmospheric. You can’t tell where the water stops and the mist begins.

First dram of the day for oor Craigie!

Now I realise I’m alcohol free and am growing to detest the stuff… it doesn’t stop my being over-awed by the brands. My dad loves a Laphroaig and it will always make me think of him. We walked into the shop and Toto by Africa was playing which always makes me think of him too…. Spooky.

The merchandise is lovely!

A truly stunning location. It’s warm but damp. Just like the whisky.

Next stop….

The merch here is VERY expensive.

Sorry Dad… didn’t get you one of these….

CHECK THE PRICE ON THIS!!!!!!

They are also selling Caol Isla as that distillery is closed just now for renovations. it’s just as expensive.

Next stop….

The sun is trying to come out!!
This is a lovely wee place

More importantly check out the Ardbeg Airstream which is a wee cafe. Their coffee was amazing!!

Another dram for the boy! 🥃

I may have got a very early birthday present…. got a lovely jacket.

God knows what this is…… 🤣

The Ardbeg beastie maybe?!

Then finally the sun started to come out. I got some stunning photos after this.

Port Ellen
This is the ferry we will be on on Friday

So many photos of the same place but it was so lovely to see the sun and feel the warmth.

A fuchsia hedge!

We didn’t go to it but here’s Port Ellen distillery.

Away at the end of the beach
Zoomed in!

All day I’ve been singing in my head “I wanna see the sunshine after the rain”…. 😆🤷🏻‍♀️🤣 and here it is!

Finally the last stop was Bowmore. Visits by appointment only…. We… of course…. did not have an appointment.

We stood like saddos outside 🤣
Love this wee hoosie!!!
The church at the top of the hill

I’ve been in much better headspace today. Is it that I’m only a fair weather camper?!? I’m trying to think about my triggers as they happy and breathe before reacting. It hadn’t always worked but a damn sight more than yesterday.

It’s taken me ages to write this so I’m gonna stop here for now. Take Bhru to the beach for a bit.

Stay safe everyone 🥃🥃🥃

Day 525 a wee day trip in the South West of Islay 🚐

I fell asleep at 7.30pm last night….. out for the count until about 7am this morning. Musta needed it!

Check that cloud !

It stopped raining at some point through the night. The wind died down pretty early on which was good. Everything was still soaking this morning but much calmer.

I took Bhru down to the beach and it started to rain again so we went back to bed until 9.

The wee beach at the site

Coffee and bacon toasties for breakfast and set off for a wee trip round the south west part of Islay from where we’re staying in Port Charlotte.

The angelic Miss Bhruic ready for the off

Portnahaven was beautiful…. Oh and there’s a house for sale!

Lovely wee village
FOR SALE!!!
The back garden!
Check it’s location…. I mean wow.

So for a mere £70k this little beauty could be yours. We stood at the back and planned the garden. Such a quiet wee place.

The view from the war memorial

The tide was crazy here. The flow past the islands was incredibly fast. If you’d fallen in you’d have ended up in Mull I reckon 🤣

So from here we headed up a proper single track road for miles with only grass verge passing places. to be fair we met about 6 cars and a hole lotta sheep!

Coos right next to the road
And sheep. Had to stop for them to cross the roads quite often

Next stop Bruichladdich Distillery…. Which was closed. 🤦🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️🤣

So from here onto Kilchoman distillery. It was closed…. But we saw the sign!

Onto Machir Bay which is just stunningly beautiful. The photos don’t do it justice but it goes on for miles!

White soft sand and turquoise water
Blogger at work!
It’s really mild despite being a bit damp
Bhru is having a blast!!
Clever girl washing off all the sand!!

Then back down to the beautiful Port Charlotte for a wander and a trip to the local Spar….. now I would love to live in Port Charlotte!

So……. The honesty of my blog…. I’ve been a total nark all day. I can hear myself ringing in my ears and I hate it…..

I feel after all the hard work I’ve done to change to my new positive outlook, I’m still walloped back into reality at warp speed by things that are nothing, can be fixed and like the weather can change instantly. I’m so disappointed in myself. I don’t want to be this person and only I can change it. Knowing it is one thing and not allowing things to bother me is another.

Craig made pasta with red pesto, black pudding and chorizo for dinner tonight. We had a early dinner and the dishes are all done.

It was super tasty.

I think I might crochet for the rest of the evening. Instil some sense of calm in me. Big day tomorrow. Hoping to catch some distilleries which are open… 🤣😆🤣

Stay safe everyone ♥️♥️♥️

Day 524 Arran to Islay from stunning sunrise 🌅 to pouring rain….. 🌧🌧🌧🌧

I got up to head to the toilet blocks at 6am…. Thought then the sky looked stunning.

Sunrise did not disappoint. Absolutely stunning.

We actually took Abbie to Hawaii 🤣🤣🌴🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿
MORNING!!!!!!!

Oh my actual word. So glad I suggested we take Bhru down to the beach before we left.

Forgot to post this route map yesterday but yesterday was home to A-B-C and this morning we did C-D-E all before 8.30am!!

It was a lovely drive! There’s been a tiny smattering of rain so far and more is due later.

We’re sitting her now waiting on the CalaMac Catriona to sail from Lochranza on Arran back to the mainland.

Such clear water
Out testing the Catriona’s life raft…. They took if for a wee spin!
We bumped into one of the Overland Bound guys, Ewan in his brothers Ferrari (as you do!)

Abbie before Ferrari 🤣🤣🤣

Leaving Lochranza

I went to buy us all tickets as Ewan was on crutches and I got stuck in a huge queue. Then the didn’t take cash…. I had to get back to the van and try to rescue my bag… no mean feat as there’s no space to move on these ferries…. Let alone the fact that Abbie is pretty full…..

You can imagine “Mrs I Need To Take Photos” was spitting chips at being stuck indoors on a half hour ferry trip…. But I came out to this….

The Isle of Arran as we don’t normally see it.

Absolutely stunning and rugged looking. We like Arran a lot.

No approaching Claonaig back on the mainland.

Back to the map we’ve just done E-F-G!

This is the previous Islay ferry which has just left and we have 2.5 hours to wait on the next one…. But we knew that. The first ferry from Lochranza doesn’t get you in on time!

Bhru lovin a scramble on the rocks

Here comes the CalMac Hebridean Isles.

Check the two wee swans that paddled right up to the side of the ferry

It would appear the swans are fed first by a chef from a higher deck then another CalMac guy from one of the windows on the lower deck. These swans no exactly what they are doing!!!

We had to wait a few hours for the next ferry and it was nice just to hang around for a while.

How stunning is this. Not a breath!

Leaving Kennacraig
Port Askaig bound

The cafeteria guys were having a bet on who could sell the most Captain CalMac teddies and in walks “Mrs Never Can Resist a Teddy and Wanted One for Years”….. 🧑🏻‍✈️🧸⛴🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🤷🏻‍♀️

Yes mum….. I will be 50 soon… I know!

Passing the Isle of Gigha.

Bhru’s settled down a bit now. She’s not sure of this ferry malarkey….

One of the Paps of Jura.

A lighthouse on Islay.

Sailing into Port Askaig….

And this is where the fairytale takes a turn…… just as we arrive into Port Charlotte, a half hour from Port Askaig… PC is lovely by the way. The heavens open. We’ve had 4 weeks of wall to wall sunshine and the minute we get our tent out next to the van it’s lashing down.

Now we’re already really tired and hungry and that’s not the best time to start pitching camp at the best of times. The wind has picked up and the rain is bouncing off the ground. the tent is blowing in all directions. What was a very easy assemble is now a nightmare.

The awning connector for the tent doesn’t fit in my new fancy smancy awning rail…which means that we don’t have a dry connection from the van to the tent. The diesel heater has an error code (trying to work through that now…) we didn’t get to a supermarket and I was way to hangry to cook. AND I CANT EVEN HAVE A DRINK!!!!

So we did get takeaway from the campsite which we are very lucky as not many sites have a lovely restaurant on them…. Now we’ve eaten and I guess we are proper tired.

It’s really hard to be positive at times like this but it’s just weather, these are just minor issues, just sent to test our patience.

AND THEY ARE TESTING MINE!!!!!!!!

I made myself fake smile there and it feels so much nicer to smile than to be angry.

Don’t panic. Craig and I are still married. ♥️😆😘

Stay safe everyone ♥️🌧♥️

Day 523 back on the road 🚐🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿☀️😎🏝

Todays the day we go on holiday! Yay! Poor Craigs still at work. Pretty much the minute he finishes we are off…. I’m still cleaning, tidying, weeding all those essentials that need doing before a holiday????!! 🤣🤣

I currently have Abbie hooked back up for aircon re-gas as it ran out last week. Just give us a wee cool if it’s super hot. Here’s hoping!

I feel like I need this machine in my life….

So this is the first holiday that we have sadly had to be a bit selective with the puppers. The last few trips away they’ve not been well so we are tying one at a time. Don’t panic we’re not leaving the others home alone but my lovely in-laws are coming to look after them. Took a pic of them together last night.

I did have some chunks of pâté for them 🥳🤣

So Bhruic is the lucky one today. Calaidh and Freya will love getting lots of cuddles from Gran and Gramps!

Home and took Calaidh out and then Bhru and Freya.

Stripey field!
When they run fast this is moment that Bhru tells Freya it’s time to stop, makes me laugh every time!

So an eventful morning among all of that, had to deal with our saniflow toilet. We live in the country humans have a septic tank and one of our toilets is a saniflow….Now not gonna lie we’ve had issues with it recently in that it it sounds like it’s grinding away trying to churn away fluids…. It’s been doing this on and off for months…. And it’s always been a bit “foosty” shall we say.

I had a shower and then this happened.

Please note that I spared you and took a photo of the sink!!!
Had to run to the Co-op to pick this up. £20 just like that!

Anyway…. We finally got away at 3.23pm precisely. I feel angry and irritated at the amount of things that get thrown in at the last minute. but once we get to Ardrossan harbour I’m smiling.

We’re off!
CalMac’s Isle of Arran Ferry
Poor Bhru is not sure at all!
The sea is like a millpond
Isle of Arran looking mean and moody
Handbrake turn in Brodick!!
Brodick pier

We stopped for Fish and Chips at Hooked and Cooked at the ferry terminal. Sadly there were not the best but we ate them with this view…… in Lamlash!

Lovely view

I here we are set up at Seal Shore campsite on the south of Arran. It is a beautiful site.

Palm trees 🌴?!?!?

We are right on the beach!

Stunning skies
The rocks are amazing

We have an early start in the morning so enjoying sitting outside in the silence tonight… it’s lovely.

Stay safe everyone 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🌴🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

Day 522 dog walk, cleaning, lunch with Auntie Jac and more cleaning!!! 🧹🧽🧼🧺

Jeez I’m tired today…. I woke at 6 and was annoyed I hadn’t gone to the Fit Body Farm as I was wide awake despite being so tired. I got up and was out with the dogs just after 7am.

It’s a bit of a misty morning…. Almost a bit damp in the air.

The girls had fun in the burn
And a huge run about the fields
Saw this guy! 🐮

My anxiety was all over the place…. I was overthinking so many things this morning and making myself feel awful. The chatter was rambling on in my head about how I’m the dog behaviourists wife that can’t control her dogs… blah blah…. Real negative self chatter.

I’ve been listening to Eckhart Tolle and Oprah Winfrey’s podcast on Eckhart’s book a New Earth 🌍 and he says to focus on the now. The chatter comes from the past which I cannot change and the future which I cannot predict. All we have is the now.

I realised that the negative talk was running away and stopped to look at a wildflower. Right… let’s be clear here, I know you might think I’m nuttier than a fruitcake but it really worked. Concentration on the flower stopped the ramblings…

He says to “be with the negative emotion”… to “sit with it” …. I stood with it instead and tried to understand where it was coming from.

In truth I think I’m just tired. I have a lot to do today but I’m tired. And that is ok.

Home, coffee, cheese on toast and a list written and I feel better.

Think about this one. I thought it was really powerful

So the morning cleaning the bedroom and sorting through camping stuff until Auntie Jac arrived about 11.30! We went to Mocha Hal’s for lunch…. And ate too much!

Tried to get another selfie with Auntie Jac taking it but she launched my phone up into the air and onto the floor so we just stuck with this pic 🙈🤣

Had a lovely wee catch up. Been too long! ♥️

Back to the cleaning after she left. Hoovered the stairs, the dogs room and the upstairs bedroom and the did Gateside Memorial Hall accounts.

It’s 16.45 and and I shattered now so a wee Nana nap until Craig gets home I think!

I got a whole hour!!!! Bliss.

I’ve actually put the heating on tonight which is not the best idea given that we are sleeping outside for the next 10-14 nights….. should be acclimatising not turning the heat up.

Craigs home, the vans packed and we are the most organised we have been in ages…. I think it’s because I had Shelagh work her wonders in Kinesiology this week….. stress?! Camping?!? moi?!? Not any more…. 🤷🏻‍♀️🤣♥️

Last nights sleep in our own bed.

Please pray for some sunshine…. 🌅☀️😎

Stay safe everyone ☀️☀️☀️

Day 521 holidays are coming’ (summer not 🎄 look 👀 like the Diet Coke advert!) 👙😎🩴

Maybe the adrenaline stopped pumping a wee bit today. Last day at work until 20th September and I was a bit antsy all day trying to get finished up and just constantly finding more to do.

Of course it was all in my head as I could have had the day off today. I’ve done quite a few extra hours and when I’m told I can take it back as a day or be paid I hear myself saying “well I’m really busy up until the holidays so I’ll try to finish up earlier but I need to make sure that I get everything done”.

As I hear that back in my head it’s almost with a posh voice.

What I actually think to myself is very different to what I say… “I’ll take Thursday off then and finish up a day earlier”. Then I get annoyed that no-one knew that and I feel like I have to be in….

I think I should give all the hours because I’m grateful for the job. It’s a trigger from the olden days where I’d never have been offered the time back because it was expected. Also justifying my position as I’m waaaaaaaaay too busy to consider an extra day off….. 😬

What a riot eh?!? So I had to go in to do a handover. The day drew out and I thought I’d go at lunch, then set 2pm and finally left at 2.53pm after hours of moaning that I just needed to get away.

For the men reading this have pity on your other halves as honestly we got the overthinking raw deal. Big time.

So…. I’m on holiday now. Out of office is on and the phone is switched off. Check me.

I did get a Fiamma awning fitted to the van today.

Love it!

Should say that I managed to squeeze a kinesiology session yesterday before I go on holiday. I was perfectly balanced when I went in which I’m always really chuffed with….

Shelagh worked her magic as usual . We did work on anger and irritability. I’m looking forward to not screaming at Craig when I can’t find something when we’re away. 🤦🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️😆

So back to today and I got home from work and took Calaidh for a walk and talked to the kennels we are using next week. It’s a beautiful afternoon and actually quite hot.

Back home….. still on the phone to the kennels and took Bhru and Freya for a walk….. it was a long call but we filled in all the paperwork that was needed…. As I walked!

One wee thistle left
The girls having fun

For the locals…. the field on the left next to “Margaret’s field” has now been ploughed….. I’ve never seen that ploughed. Countryside changes… how will we get to the golf course now?!? 😱

I’m still loving this berry bush and don’t remember ever seeing it before this year

Then Claire asked me if I’d like to go for dinner which was so nice of her. We had spaghetti bolognese (Claire’s speciality… with pasta Craig, before you ask…🤣) and garlic bread. It was so tasty and we sat out in the sun to enjoy it.

I was back in for 6.30 and decided to use the evening to break the back of the housework. What a great idea rather than leaving it till the morning. It feels like a huge achievement. It’s been bothering me as the house had got pretty bad. I had to empty the hoover 4 times.

I should say here I have the Shark for animals. Don’t waste your money if you are considering it. It’s obviously made for people who are hoovering up after 3 hamsters 🐹 🐹🐹 worth considering if you only have 3 hamsters mind you.

I still have 3 rooms to do but that’s way better than them all!

I’m sitting out here now. Apparently the sunset was mega tonight. I missed it but I’m enjoying the twilight.

It’s pretty cool in the evenings now… have to take warm stuff for holiday! Packing commences tomorrow!

Stay safe everyone ♥️♥️♥️

Day 519 & 520 an evening out in Edinburgh with old friends ♥️♥️♥️ and a Largs sunset with ice-cream 🌅 🍦

Wow how did that happen?!? Is anyone with me and still stuck in January 2020?!?!?

I have so much to talk about tonight but it’s already 18.40 and I need to chill at some point so I’ll keep the ramblings short and sweet (here comes war and peace….)

I had the best night last night. A trip out to Edinburgh…. On a school night too!!

I saw my wee brother for the first time since 2019.

Here we are on the way into Edinburgh on the train!!

I met my lovely friend, Helen for the first time since 28th November 2010.

She had not changed one tiny wee bit!!!

I met her partner Mike for the first time and he was very lovely so passed the test and is a very acceptable partner for her! 😬😆

I was on a train for the first time since 2019. 🚝💺

I was in Edinburgh for the first time since 2019.

I ate a meal in a restaurant that wasn’t the pub next door for the first time since 2019.

I saw the Forth Road x 2 and Rail Bridges for the first time since 2019.

I had a night out after a full day at work and enjoyed every minute of it for the first time since maybe 2012….. I guess that is the bit to be proud of.

So Helen and I grew up together and became good friends at our church Youth Group. She can correct me but that would have been around 1986 or so I guess?

It was sooooooooo lovely to catch up last night. We’ve left it way too long as usual but I had the best time and was over-awed by everything….. my brothers new back garden, the train, Edinburgh, the dinner and most of all the company and chat.

Should say here that the drive over was quite overwhelming. I was tired, worried about the late night and a bit freaked out about the traffic. I needn’t have worried. I breathed through any anxiety and got past it.

The Forth Rail bridge from Dalmeny station
Waverley station where the Avengers was filmed
The view over Waverley Bridge

The food was delicious.

Sticky toffee pudding!!!
Kenny, Helen and Mike outside the Devil’s Advocate in Advocates Close just off the Royal Mile
Big head!!
Looking up Cockburn Street
Bottom of Cockburn Street
Princes St Gardens looking over to the Castle and the Royal Mile
A blurry Edinburgh Castle
The back of the Royal Mile
Sir Walter Scott’s Monument

We then went to Helen and Mike’s Hotel and she and I had virgin Mojito’s. Poor Kenny caught in the pic!!

So she who is in bed by 10 at the latest most nights left Edinburgh on a train at 9.48pm and did not turn into a pumpkin.

I had a quick chat with my lovely sis-in-law and they came out to see Abz. Gill said the loveliest thing to me that she thought my story was a bit like a fairytale where I got the van converted and then landed my ideal job and she really hit the nail on the head.

I’m at so lucky to have been on this journey to get to where I am today. To have a job that doesn’t feel like work….to be able to stay out late and not freak out about work the next morning…

I left at 10.30pm to drive the hour and 10 home but couldn’t resist a quick stop past the Forth Bridges.

It was sooooo calm. So quiet and so beautiful and so 10.40 at night!!

The Forth Rail Bridge
The 2 Forth Road Bridges

So then back in Abz and headed for home. Tiptoed into bed at midnight. Check me.

I bound out of bed at 6.30am still running on some kind of adrenaline. I stopped to take photos on the way to work…. I mean honestly?!?!

I pass this river every morning and decided to stop as it was so beautiful this morning.

Work was busy and it was a beautiful day. Not a cloud in the sky all day. And hot. Bliss though sadly in jeans and a big black T-shirt!

The sad news to report in the Abz lost air con power on the way to Dalry tonight….. she was only gassed on Saturday so there must be a leak. I popped in to the gassing shop and he say he thinks I should get a new compressor but won’t manage in time for holiday. I’ve to pop in on Saturday morning and he’ll gas it up again to give us something for the start of the holiday.

So I’m home. As I said! Writing the blog when Claire hollers from the garden next door…. “Julie!!!!! Are you there?!?” I shout I’m up the back and we meet half way….. she says I’m allowed to say no but would I like to go to Largs for ice cream….. errrr yeah!!!

This was the view when we arrived
Claire 💕💜💕
The Largs to Cumbrae ferry

We went for a walk up the esplanade past the bouncing shows which I saw on Saturday.

Sunset sunglasses 😎
Largs
Not long to go
And it’s gone
Caught in the act!
The ferry coming back from Cumbrae
This was the view when we left

So I am super proud of everything I’ve done in this last few days. I am still wide awake and enjoying every minute of everything I’m doing. I’m managing a busy job, I’m organised, in control, I make mistakes but that’s ok. I am just appreciating everything in the moment. Learn to appreciate the present moment and not be stuck in my past or worried about our future.

It’s 9.44pm now and I guess I really should get to bed.

Stay safe everyone 🌅🌅🌅