And so, this is literally the first chance I’ve had to sit down (pun may be intended) and write properly in two weeks. Or something. I should take a tape recorder on my travels.
Isla has been off school for two weeks on sneaky Scottish school holidays that used to be for farming, and are now for nothing.
But, we did stuff with those two weeks.
There was a lot of riding shotgun for me.
I love road trips. Listening to specially selected playlists (usually one of our four wedding mixes, though), eating snacks that taste better on the road, going somewhere where my friends are, even reading in the car.
After four recent road trips, I’m actually happy to be home and doing nothing.
The three of us went to Edinburgh to have some family time and work on the goals outlined in this post over here.
We piled in the car with some old books, new music, and along the way picked up the scariest new stuffed kitten toy thing I have ever seen. We’ve dubbed it Ugly Cat, I keep singing Smelly Cat, and Isla thinks it’s misunderstood.
We had oatmeal cookies for breakfast on the road, because kinda healthy, and picked up some new books that I ordered in Inverness.
‘Can we get a Pumpkin Spice Latte?’ Neil asks me.
‘How is that even a question?’
But there was no PSL at the Starbucks. THEY’D SOLD OUT.
I’d come to this medium-sized city-ish thing, and there was no overpriced, over-syruped fall signature drink to be had. The maple one was nice, BUT NOT THE SAME.
Isla cheered me up by being the best kid ever. BUT SHE HAD A PLAN.
We’re tooling around the toyshop, maybe looking for Hallowe’en stuff, when she finds this egg thing. With added water and hopes and dreams it would turn into a dog or cat.
Well. The magic word.
‘You want that scruffy thing?’
And yes, I did say ‘scruffy’. What else would I have said?
‘Kitty,’ said Isla. She’s moved on from the unicorn phase, and now thinks she’s a cat. And so.
I suggested leaving the toy until the end of the trip. Maybe we’d find something else. Nearly Christmas, and all that.
‘Kitty,’ said Isla.
So we left with this blue fur ball that promised to transform into a swan. Or something.
Wait for it.
After springing the cat, we headed down the road to our nautical themed accommodation for the week.
The owner had apparently gone through the place with a tape measure to make sure I could get my wheelchair through the doors.
I could, but I couldn’t do much once through those doors. Y’know, like pee with the bathroom door closed.
But Isla’s room had bunk beds, and there was Chinese food close by and Netflix in the living room, so we stayed. Pick your battles.
We met family for dinner and friends after dinner.
And the next day I found an everything bagel to eat while watching Neil and Isla play on the the beach. Yes, a real bagel. I had a moment.
And then I texted Neil. I could see them, but I texted.
‘Can we do something together now? Without sand?’ I wrote.
He waved. And Isla brought me back some shells.
Fresh air was had by us.
Tuesday, we went to Stirling. Family friends were visiting from New York, travelling on their own before staying with my Dad up here (they first appeared in this post) so we got lost, had lunch and then actual tea and scones with clotted cream. The room had bookshelf wallpaper and my daughter was thoroughly confused and amused.
Wednesday we drove home (OK, Neil drove, I read), only to road trip again on Saturday.
My Mom’s cousin was on a bus tour through Scotland and after she emailed me her whereabouts for the whole three weeks, it turned out she’d be on Skye while we were in Edinburgh.
Visitors are like buses. Or something. You’re there in the rain forever and then three arrive at once.
However, we met her for dinner while she was in Inverness.
Funny story. Mom’s cousin who looks like her sister found me, and then my mother, because another friend they knew in high school read my blog, and figured I was my mother’s daughter from my words, and possibly my hair. Hi.
We met, and talked, and tried to find dinner. Went to three booked up places before going back to the hotel for dinner there and confusing the staff.
I actually gave Isla my phone to play with, because we only had a short time to talk, and I don’t hear 20 something stories about my Mom very often. I could have stayed all night.
We went back home, but the journey seemed shorter than usual.
Sunday night I got to test out the extra leaf on my kitchen table when Dad and Anne came over with our New York friends. More Chinese food and chosen family.
Still with me?
Monday saw our fourth road trip. In the back of Dad’s car with Isla and Di, it was all hips and elbows. But also laughs.
We found a pub for lunch and a red phone box for photos, and Joe the Barber GAVE ME A HAIRCUT.
So, those were our recent travels and trips down memory lane.
I wish my people were closer, but times like these make you realize the world is small and distance can be covered over dinner.
PS. Writing prompt linkup will be posted Sunday, it’s now up over here, but this week’s prompt is ROADTRIP. Share your words by Friday, November 2nd. I’ve already written mine.
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