Saturday, June 17, 2006

We're All Going On A summer Holiday ...


Greetings from the sunshine isle ... which is currently under a blanket of cloud. And it's raining. (But, as they say in these parts, 'the ground was needing it'.) Well, no news update, I'm afraid. Except to tell you that it's 7:45 and every inch of floor space in our house seems to be covered with stuff to go in the back of MPV. Travelling light? No, not us. We - or more properly 'I' - seem to have decided to take everything with us. I even bought myself a little 4 inch screen TV so I can watch the World Cup games in the tent.

Joanne and I first went camping something like 25 years ago. Hitch hiking through France, as i recall. Two big rucksacks. We'd saved all our money throughout the summer with the specific aim of blowing it in a three week orgy of foreign sights, sounds and aromas. Needless to say this was something we managed with remarkable ease.

In those days we lived in a town in Lanarkshire called Wishaw. A place more different from Tiree would be hard to imagine.

25 years later I'm on the Isle of Tiree where I have to blow about £120 on a ferry trip and that's before we even go anywhere. But we just accept that. Sure, there's disadvantages to living on a remote Scottish island but believe me the advantages make up for it big time.

So the plan at the moment is to get Jenny, our daughter, off to work and then come back and load up the Doblo. It doesn't matter how thorough our preparations are, by the way: we're bound to forget something, something really crucial.

Joanne is the practical member of the team. I'm more scatter-brained and tend to remember all the worthless stuff. For instance, I actually have a 16kg weight in the hall ready to go on holiday with me - you know, just in case I feel like doing some weight training while I'm gone. Oh and a huge DAB radio which I'm looking forward to experimenting with (we don't get the DAB signal yet on Tiree). And the lyrics for all the Defenders songs I have to learn while I'm away. The Geographic, is a must, of course ...

All the really necessary stuff in today's picture - food preparation kit, for instance - is all Joanne's work.

The ferry will be in this morning at something like 10:45.

Now here's the curious part. I love Scotland dearly and yet most years we spend our main holiday in England. Of course there's no reason why I shouldn't go to England occasionally.

But what I'm saying is that almost every summer holiday we take ends up with us driving south.
Here's why: England is one of the prettiest countries in the world. Especially East Anglia. Over the years we've made many good friends down in those parts.

But first of all we're heading for the Lake District where you'll find some of the most awe-inspiring scenery on the whole planet.

Unfortunately for me - and again here's a 'disadvantage' of island life - this means a long, long drive south once we come off the boat mid-afternoon in Oban. Oh well.

And so my friends I leave you for the moment.

Jenny is stirring and must be taken to work. Joanne is coming with me and no doubt she will purchase some of that 'practical' stuff.

Me, I just need to get 10 AA batteries for the little TV and 8 CR14s for my massive DAB radio.

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