On Saturday we set off from home at 3.30 in the morning heading south on the 561 mile trip to stay with family. I sat in the front seat armed with a Kindle, Kindle Fire, Kobo, Samsung Galaxy and my mobile phone. I was not getting bored on the twelve hour journey. The kids were in the back with dvd players and sticker books, blankets and pillows.
I love to visit my family, but really dont like the long drive to get there. I took the wheel near the start of our trip as I knew the further south we headed, the busier the roads would get and after living in North Scotland for the last ten years, I have gotten used to the quieter roads.
We had a few stops at road side services and I had packed enough sandwiches for eight people so we could have a snack when we stopped. Fuel prices were horrendous in the motorway service stations, but we had no choice but to pay.
Bart waited until we were almost to the Borders of Scotland before we heard the first “Are we nearly there yet?” But on the whole, we were making good time.
After another failed game of Candy Crush I lifted my head as we passed a road sign. Milton Keynes next turn off. Huh? Why was there a sign for Milton Keynes? I then saw another further on. Luton 19 miles. Oh damn. We were heading the wrong way. Instead of going towards Bristol and the south west, we were on track for London!
After pulling into the next services, the purchase of a road map (yes we left ours at home) and setting up the ancient satnav, we set off again in the correct direction.
The detour added about an hour to our journey, which wasn’t too bad, but I was so glad to finally reach our destination.
The two weeks Easter holidays have sped by. Jay headed off to work and the girls returned to school this morning. Jay caught his ride at 7am, AJ was dropped off for the bus at 8.45, then Bart and I walked the dog before playgroup started and 9.30.
Now I am here at home all by myself… apart from the Willow the dog, Sparky the cat, Nibbles the rabbit and Daisy, Harry, Annie and Peppa the hamsters.
There is no CBeebies on the TV. No kids telling tales and fighting.
I am enjoying the peace.
I do miss the crazy though… but only a little bit.
On Friday Jay, the girls and I went to a wee toot’s second birthday party. AJ and Bart were very excited because they love to visit our friends and also they knew there was a new member of the family… a bunny. On arriving at our destination we found not one but two bunnies had been adopted by the family. One of them I had previously spotted in the rescue part of the local pet shop the weekend before. At that time no amount of eyelash batting and lovey dovey smiles had gotten my husband to agree to taking the little cutie home with us, so I was delighted (and shocked) to find it hopping around a cage at our friends house.
I have loved the idea of a house bunny since watching Felicity Kendal in Carla Lane‘s The Mistress back in the 80’s and then seeing such a cute little lion head rabbit, hopping around our friends kitchen really made me want one.
So today in the car I started my campaign. I was the one who would clean it out, I had the perfect spot for it, look how cute our friends bunny was, the girls would love a bunny. Then AJ chimed in, “Please Daddy, we really want a bunny, don’t be mean, we’ve never had a bunny, Daddy is a meanie, Daddy is a meanie”
So Jay decided this was his moment. He wants a tractor and I have been saying no for quite a while now. (I have no idea why he wants one – boy toys!) So we struck a deal. If he saves up the money he can buy a tractor and in return we did a U-turn to head to the pet store to look at rabbits. Ha! Just look.. like that was gonna happen.
We headed into the store and I was immediately struck by how cute the guinea pigs were… but lets not even attempt to go there. Anyway, there were only two bunnies in the shop. One was quite cute with mottled coloured fur, the other was white with pink eyes, but neither shouted take me home. So we wandered to the back of the store where the animals were that needed re-homing, and there he was. A gorgeous eight month old white and grey bunny with dark eyes and lop ears.
The girls knelt in front of his cage and he hopped over to say hello. Bart was in love. After choosing a cage, chatting with an assistant about his needs and giving a donation to their charity, we were heading home with a bunny. His name was Rabbit-ito which we did not like, so after much discussion we decided on Oliver, but when we got home and he settled in his cage Bart decided Nibbles was a better name for him. She was right.
So I guess I better change my profile to:
I am living in the North of Scotland with my husband, two daughters, a dog, a cat, four hamsters… and a rabbit.
p.s. Jay is having a wonderful time looking at tractors for sale!
The house we live in has its own water supply which is great. Fresh water plus a large reduction of the council tax. The water runs down from the hills into a burn which is filtered then supplies the house. Only problem is when we have heavy rain or the snow melts the burn fills and washes peat with it, so our water turns brown. The girls find it funny because Jay says they are bathing in whisky.
AJ is at the stage where everything is “how”. How do you make milk? How do you make grapes? How do you make sheep? (Yes we have had “How do you make babies?” which I was suitably vague about.) So when in the bath she asks “How do you make whisky?” Jay’s eyes lit up.
You see we live in the middle of the whisky trail. If you hang out of the upstairs window and look to your right, the roof of The Macallan is just about visible. The girls school and playgroup is almost next door to Cardhu Distillery, home of Johnnie Walker. Nearby we have The Glen Rothes, The Glenlivet and Glenfarclas. So instead of explaining about stills and casks with the aid of pictures on the internet, we decided to do a tour of the big local distillery, Glenfiddich.
Dufftown the home of Glenfiddich is only a few miles away and the tour was informative but not too long. The girls loved looking in the tanks and using the wipers to clear the viewing glass. Standing next to a five metre tall wooden barrel was pretty cool too.
But the best bit for Jay is at the end of the tour. The tasting. Everyone over 18 years old gets to try a wee dram. Unknown to us, with this particular tour you get to try a 12-year-old, 15-year-old and an 18-year-old whisky. If you also have a wife who really is not fond of the stuff, you get to try each one twice!!!
Well the second week of the Easter break has started and the snow has disappeared, only to be replaced by rain. Bleh. Jay and I both have the week off work to spend time with the girls, so yesterday we decided to take them to the Macduff Marine Aquarium.
The aquarium had a number of things going for it;
It was close by (just over an hour away)
It was indoors (incase the rain came down)
It was pretty inexpensive (who isn’t on a tight budget now a days)
And the girls are fascinated by fish (first thing they ask to see in the pet store)
So we packed sandwiches, fruit, a flask of tea, juice and set off.
I think we all agreed it was well worth the trip.
The big tank was pretty amazing with some weird prehistoric looking fish and also some HUGE fish in it. I have to admit I am not very knowledgeable about sea creatures, so I was stunned to discover the massive ones were cod. Not what I imagined they looked like when tucking into a fish supper.
The little tanks were interesting too. The baby flat fish with faces were cool but also a little bit creepy. They reminded me of Cassandra from Doctor Who (moisturise me).
I think at the end of the day Jay and I enjoyed it as much as the kids (if not more) and look forward to going back another day.
Jay is telling quite a few little lies this morning. You see he starts a weeks holiday today, but he has some jobs he needs to do in his shed and if the girls know he is in there they want to “help”. There are some jobs they can help with and he is quite happy for them to put on their little overalls and follow him out. But today is not the case. So he is pretending to go to work.
He has gotten up, put on his work clothes and had breakfast with the girls as usual – good job they can’t tell the time properly yet as he is an hour and a half later than normal.
He went into the bathroom and had a shave – why he did this I have no idea. He doesn’t usually shave when going to work on a Saturday.
He made a big deal about the fact the microwave in the canteen is temporarily broken – this is because there is a piece of last nights steak pie left over and he would usually take it with him for his break.
He plugged in the cable from the house to the shed so he can have electricity – when quizzed about this by Bart, he said he had a car battery on charge.
He reminded me to keep the curtain shut on the only window which faces the direction of his shed – ha! Like I open curtains anyway… only joking… kinda…
He made himself a flask of hot water – again when quizzed he explained he might be on building sites repairing machines, so not near a kettle to make a cup of tea.
He told me he would be locking the front door – the door and one window face across the track to where his van is parked. The window is in the laundry room, so the girls are unlikely to go in there and with the front door locked they won’t see out that way.
He kissed the girls goodbye – for authenticity.
Off he went “to work” – Liar liar, pants on fire!
Our AJ has an amazing memory. She recalls things from months, sometimes years ago. So now Jay is going to have to remember this mornings sneakiness or he will get caught out.
Jay has a terrible memory. (Think Dory in Finding Nemo.) He can’t remember what he did yesterday, let alone a week or a month ago. Yep, Jay is going to get caught out!
We are nearly to the end of the first week of the Easter break. Even with an escape to the nearest soft play area to meet friends yesterday, the girls and I are feeling a little cooped up in the house. You will often find our noses pressed to the window wishing the snow away and remembering the good old days of sunshine filled afternoons and running through fields of grass. (Okay, okay I know it was only last week but it feels longer.)
Every toy (and they are legion) has been pulled out, inspected and dismissed as not interesting enough to play with. TV is “boring” and bouncing on the beds is banned. So today I brought out the big guns. Arts and Crafts. Little foam handbags with a selection of stickers to decorate them. (Both girls have exactly the same – this Mummy has learnt the folly of trying to give them different the hard way!)
So fun was had peeling the paper backing off the stickers and arranging them carefully on the bags. Then peeling all the stickers off the bags and decorating the bowls the stickers had been in. Removing the stickers from the bowls and dropping a few on the carpet. Trying to remove the mix of dog and cat fur which had attached itself to the adhesive before sticking them to the legs of the coffee table. Under the beady eye of Mummy swiftly removing them off the legs of the coffee table and frantically sticking them back on the bag.
So, that didn’t take as long as I hoped…… what next? Anyone want to dress Ken in Barbie’s clothes again?