Sunday, 16 June 2013

Fàilte!

Hello!

It's 10.28pm and still just about daylight, because I am in the Highlands of Scotland, a few miles south of Inverness.

Picture from Wikipedia
When you read this, however, I'll be back home, thanks to the wonder that is scheduled posts. But at the time of writing, it's Saturday the 8th June, and the start of our week-long holiday in Scotland. My plan is to write a little bit at the end of each day, about what we've been up to. And yes, that does mean that I've brought my laptop on holiday (so has Chris) - the cottage has free wifi, so we thought, why not? I'm conscious of the fact that I've got some of Mother Nature's best work right outside the window though, so I'm going to try and stay off the computer until the evening, and only really use it for writing this blog. I don't want to sit here glued to the screen for hours.

So! We packed the car up this morning, including a not-very-happy Mischief and Millie who were bundled into their crate, which we then covered with a light blanket, as we think that keeps them a bit calmer. Earlier, I'd sprayed it quite liberally with some Feliway as well as my own mixture of Bach Flower Remedies, which is something I've got into just lately. I'll try anything to make the journey less stressful for them. We set off at 8.10am, knowing that we couldn't enter the property until 4pm, so that should give us plenty of time.

Our usual route would've been to go up the A1, across on the A66 to Carlisle, and then up the M6 to Glasgow and beyond. However, during the week we'd found out that the Appleby Horse Fair was taking place this weekend, which obviously attracts lots of horse-drawn vehicles onto the A66, causing long delays. So we decided to go across to the M6 via the M62 instead, which made for a change of scenery at least.

It was an uneventful drive until after we'd crossed the Erskine Bridge at the top side of Glasgow - we hit quite a lot of traffic here, and then again (not surprisingly) at various points along the A82 past Loch Lomond. Chris had driven all the way since we left home, but I took over (still near Loch Lomond) and drove the rest of the way, including through the Glencoe Valley, which has some of my favourite scenery. 

We carried on up through Fort William before turning off onto the A87, and our destination, a beautiful self-catering cottage. The owners were here to greet us (which we weren't expecting) but they were very pleasant and showed us around and explained a few things, before leaving us to unpack.

The cottage and large front garden

Mischief and Millie were brought in, still in the crate, and given a few minutes to look around their new surroundings. We'd put a small litter tray in the crate with them, but they hadn't used it. I took their food up last night though, so they were kind of 'fasting', and I think this was a good idea, because in the past Mischief has been sick, and had other 'accidents'. No problems this time though. Eventually, when we'd brought everything in and could shut the door, I let them out of the cage. Mischief is quite nosy, so he went off exploring every corner of the living room, while Millie just went and hid in one. I did entice her out a little later and she sat on my knee for a bit, and then later still I took her up into the spare bedroom. She spends all her time in our bedroom at home, so I thought she might feel a bit safer there. We've put the litter tray in that room too, and she's also got some food and water, so if she doesn't want to come downstairs, she doesn't need to. It's a shame that she won't come and join us in the living room, but I don't want to stress her out, so if she feels happiest up there, then I'll let her stay there.

Mischief, on the other hand, has settled in really well and is racing about the place and making himself very comfortable.

Mischief 'chillaxing' already

When we were about half an hour away from here, Chris commented that he couldn't wait to have a cuppa once we'd arrived. And then we realised that we'd forgotten to pack tea, coffee and sugar! So after we'd unloaded the car, he went back out to try and find the nearest shop. There wasn't anything close by, but he eventually found a petrol station and got the supplies we needed. That first cup of tea was delicious!!

First evening stroll along nearby forest track
We went for a walk along the road that runs past the cottage, where I managed to get a phone signal and ring my mum.

A word on the weather, by the way: GORGEOUS!! It was very warm and sunny all the way up here, with just a few spots of rain in Fort William (literally, about five spots). I think it's due to continue till about Wednesday, but we'll see. I don't mind if it's not red hot and sunny, to be honest, because I'm not much of a sun worshipper. Dry and just comfortably warm will do me, thank you very much.

View of the loch, from the bottom of the driveway
The plan for tomorrow is a trip to Fort William. Hopefully most places will be open, even though it's a Sunday.

So I'll try and do another update tomorrow evening - bye for now!

P.S. Spider-watch: big ugly thing on bedroom ceiling, Chris evicted it...

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