So it hasn't been the kindest of summers, as far as the weather goes. It feels a little churlish to gripe about showers and puddles when mother nature is slowly washing England into the sea one blocked drain at a time, but I reserve the right to expect more good days in six weeks than we've had. However maybe that just makes the sunny spells all the more valued.
My last post announced Jon and my plans to head north and visit the beautiful Sandwood Bay...so we did. A splendid time was had by both: the weather held up for us until late into the evening. The bay has little in the way of firewood but we found what appeared to be part of a wooden crate to burn - turned out it was made of solid, woodlike plastic which burnt very well, though perhaps was not the nicest thing to sit beside and inhale from. After family packs of Supernoodles, a couple of beers and a snifter of Laphroig we turned in, and next day were lucky enough to get a dry walk out and a most pleasant all day breakfast at Kinlochbervie's Fisherman's Mission - all the anus and eyelid you can eat for a fiver!
Our family week to Mull was everything we'd hoped it might be. The race from Tain to Oban via the Co-Op (then trying to stuff a week's worth of food into an already obscenely overpacked car) was a challenge, but once in the queue for the ferry I could relax and inspect the quality of the Oban port authority's seagull poo sweeping. Not bad, actually, but I could have done better.
Once on Mull we found our cottage and despite being a bit damp and smelling a bit like a wet dog we were pleased to call it home for the week. Walks, cycles, a visit to Iona and Tobermory kept us busy and Kit loved sticking his head into sandy puddles on the beach. Well, what are wellies for if not to fill with water? We lit the fire a few nights for no other good reason than it's fun to light fires and Lorna somehow took the Mull Scrabble title at three games to two. I managed to get lots of school stuff reading done - the benefit of no TV or internet cannot be over stressed here - and we wended our way home a week later feeling holidayed and happy.
Now back home my assignment is submitted, Kit is walking and babbling like never before and Lorna is...wait for this...getting a bicycle tomorrow! She ventured out three times on my mountain bike while on holiday. (Lorna is not the most experienced, or confident of cyclists. She can't change gear if there is a car near - well, if she can even see a car, actually - and only recently has been able to move her hand over to ring the bell. Before that she relied on a firm clearing of the throat to warn walkers to dive out of the way.) The first time, in Tain, it poured with rain so much that we hid under a tree until, realising it was never going to stop, limping home 20 minutes later in defeat. Our second run took us from Tain to Inver and all was going well until two low flying jets knocked Lorna into a ditch. You see...knowing how much she likes low flying jets, after the first one buzzed us I spotted the second one and shouted, "Lorna, stop". I knew she couldn't cycle and look at the same time, but unfortunately she thought I shouted, "Lorna, look" and proved I was right. One bruised shin later (it started off as a broken leg, but then got better) and I was off to get the car to ferry her back safely on four wheels. The third go was much more successful, on Iona, but we both agreed the mountain bike was not ideal for her so she's chosen one of these instead. Ding ding!
More on the bike front - Mike and I have been testing ourselves at the Glentress and Innerleithen trails. The Glentress red route was enough for me, but still we dared the black route at Innerleithen and lived to tell the tale.
So what now? Well, cramming as much as I can into the last week of the holidays, trying to get out on the motorbike (new rear tyre, woohoo!) and avoiding "back to school dreams", I guess.