Tag Archives: scotland

500+500 miles

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I told my husband recently of how I wished I had met him sooner, rather than in our late 20s. He smiled and said that I wouldn’t have noticed him back then. Hmm, I should be the judge of that I think. I then wondered whether he would have fancied me had we met a decade earlier. He said yes, without a doubt. He said he would have taken me away and hid me from the rest of the world! I thought he did that anyway! 🙂 My hubby is funny like that, he makes me smile. On days when I feel a bit down, I think of him and his sweet words and I feel cheered. Life is like that isn’t it, sometimes you feel on top of the world, the next moment you feel like you’re in the dumps. I lead a very simple quiet life, just the way I like it. I don’t even have a TV (by choice)! But from time to time (like all normal mortals), I can’t help but feel annoyed, upset, angry or sad. Dealing with people is never easy. Sometimes I just feel like shouting out, ‘Please folks, just leave me be!’ No wonder many wise ones throughout history chose to hide and meditate in the sticks far away from it all, stress free!!!

Well, shall we escape for a while then? Follow us on our nature outing during our recent Scotland trip. I took my 4 children on this lovely trail at a place called Inverawe. My children love pretending getting lost in the woods, they would walk fast ahead of me just so that I lose sight of them. Children love the thrill of adventure and I must admit I was like that as a child myself. But as a mother my middle name is now WORRY. Even though this forest was safe, my motherly instinct sniffed out for trouble yonder. I need to relax a bit, my hubby always says. I couldn’t agree more! Oh well, time to go out and chill I think, a good friend has invited me out to dinner (ladies night out) and I so look forward to it! I leave you with our nature trail pictures and a beautiful song to go with it. Would you travel 500 miles + 500 miles more to be with the one you love? Oh yes, 6,500 miles to be exact! Now I know where my children got their daring sense of adventure from!!!

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our nature trail began

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my eldest and my youngest leading the way

not that way!

not that way!

further into the woods

further into the woods

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down they went

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let’s slide down!

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over the bridge

my big girl lost track of the rest

my big girl lost track of the rest

they found a little fort

they found a little fort

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they loved it!

their role play continued

explored every corner of the woods

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let’s have a short rest now

this is fun!

this was fun!

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off they went again

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breathtaking

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stay quiet, there’s a deer!

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and a Scottish Highland cow too!

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seek and you shall find peace and beauty!

A Scotland post is not complete without a song by an awesome Scottish band, they take my autumn blues away! Enjoy it! 😉

weekly photo challenge : endurance

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Endurance is not just the ability to bear a difficult thing, but to turn it into glory.– William Barclay

The men who learn endurance, are they who call the whole world, brother. – Charles Dickens

Nothing great is ever achieved without great enduring. – Catherine of Siena

Finally, as promised, my visit to Kilchurn Castle in Scotland. What a coincidence that this week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge is entitled Endurance. Kilchurn Castle came straight to mind, it’s been there by Loch Awe for 6 centuries! It wasn’t easy to find, but we hunted high and low until we found it. And it was well worth it. However, these pictures I’ve taken won’t do you justice, you have to go there yourself to experience it all. Romantic, serene, breathtaking; it took us to a different level altogether, a step back in time.

I guess that’s just old sentimental me; easily moved by things rich in history and character, surrounded by natural beauty and serenity. I often blog about these themes along with family love and values which I regard very highly. Simplicity in life is my motto, so you would be rather disappointed if you were following my blog for luxurious home deco or regular fabulous cooking ideas! Let me guide you through my photos now, and do have a listen to the Scottish Highland music I’ve included at the end! A wake up song to set you for the week! 🙂

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our journey began; hubby and our 4 children ahead of me

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that’s me, very excited to have found my castle!

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my lil one by the entrance

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view from the castle ground

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my 4 children exploring

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view from the castle window, a 500 metres walk from the car park

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one side of the castle

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view from the other side

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big sister and little sister having a short rest

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admiring the view by Loch Awe

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castle tower

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my youngest never gets tired from posing for me

view of the whole castle

view of the whole castle from a distance

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seek and you shall find!

 

scotland part 4

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A lake is the landscape’s most beautiful and expressive feature. It’s earth’s eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature Henry David Thoreau

Make your heart like a lake, with a calm, still surface, and great depths of kindness Lao Tzu

Greetings everyone! Hope you’re well! Been so busy with the children, what with the new school year and all. My son is doing his GCSEs this year, time for him to really knuckle down! My big daughter is now at secondary school too, having been taught at home throughout her primary years. It was the same with my son. We only ‘release’ them into the big world at secondary level, after having ensured they secure places at the top grammar schools available. To enter these grammar schools you need to pass the entrance exam, they get harder and more competitive each year. Whatever’s meant to be really, I just do my best to home educate my children for as long as I can. The benefits are immense, but that’s a story for another day!

Let’s proceed with another adventure of my Scotland trip, this time it’s our loch cruise experience. We went on a cruise boat on Loch Etive, not too far from Loch Awe where we stayed at. This loch is really dark, looks like black ink spilled in abundance! We had a smashing time during this 45 minute ride, it was just us on the boat. The Captain served us biscuits and the best hot chocolates ever! He also let us drive the boat, it was great! The view was magnificent, huge mountains all around. The highlight of the cruise was seeing the seals on some rocks far out into the loch, we came quite close to them! The lochs here (we saw three during our trip) are really huge, it’s almost like being out at sea. Here’s some photos for you this time around! Stay tuned for my next Scotland outing to Kilchurn Castle!

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my 4 children by the jetty

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that’s our cruise boat!

all aboard!

all aboard!

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lil one and papa on the boat

Having a go!

loch looks dark!

loch looks dark!

my children soaking it all in!

my 4 children soaking it all in!

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magnificent view!

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we spotted the seals!

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seals up close

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lil one enjoying her snack, her siblings’ turn driving the boat

our ever so nice Captain!

our ever so nice Captain!

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thank you, we had a truly smashing time!

my older two, time to work hard!

my older two, time to work hard now!

 

scotland part 3

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Shall we have a cuppa tea now? After all the walks we had (I have never felt fitter in my life), we decided to check out this manor hotel about 10 miles away from our forest lodge. We saw a sign for it 7 miles in after we left the main road, but we turned right for another 7 miles to get to our accommodation. From that intersection (a small village called Kilchrenan) to the hotel it was about 3 miles to the left. But mind you, these country roads were all very winding, hilly and bumpy, so the journey felt twice as long! The scenery made up for the inconvenience though, I took a couple of shots along the way. We only passed by one or two other cottages, the hotel (and its massive grounds) itself was the only building at the end of the 3 miles! We almost thought we were lost at first. As we drove into the hotel driveway, I thought I saw a woman looking out from the the top window. She was brushing her long hair, dressed in Victorian outfit! I looked up again and the curtain closed. A bit spooky! I suppose it was just my imagination running wild, the hotel dated back to the 1800s after all.

Anyway, we had a warm welcome inside, the staff were friendly and accommodating. They served us cream tea by the piano in their grand living room. We explored the two main rooms downstairs, took some photos as it was truly beautiful. My little ones and I went for a short walk in their gardens afterwards, the rest were not dressed appropriately. The rain is always a hit and miss in Scotland, best to be in your macs and wellies permanently like I was! It was chucking it down when we came out of the hotel! For those of you curious about this old manor, please click here for further information. Who knows, you might want to hold your wedding there, or go for your honeymoon. Or to celebrate your anniversary perhaps. Or like us, just go and explore and experience it all! The scones were the best I ever tasted, that’s for certain! 🙂

sign to the manor hotel

sign to the manor hotel

view of loch along the way

view of loch along the way

lots of farm animals here and there in the countryside

lots of farm animals here and there in the countryside

view of hotel as we approached it

view of hotel as we approached it

the reception

the reception

stairs visible from the main entrance

stairs visible from the main entrance

main living room

main living room

we were sat across the piano

we were sat across the piano

join me for tea!

join me for tea!

best scones ever

best scones ever, served on slates!

family relaxing!

family relaxing, entertaining my son’s dream of becoming a manor lord someday!

view of Loch Awe by the living room window

view of Loch Awe by the living room window

the other half of the main living room

the other half of the main living room

the study room, turned into another living room

the study room, turned into another living room

my girls played chess there

my girls played chess there

the fireplace

the fireplace in the study

lil ones after our walk in the hotel grounds

lil ones after our walk in the hotel grounds

 

 

scotland part 2

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Nature holds the key to our aesthetic, intellectual, cognitive and even spiritual satisfaction. – E.O. Wilson

Keep close to Nature’s heart…and break clear away, once in a while, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean. – John Muir

Nature, cheaper than therapy. – Anon

On with my photo series! On the second day of our Scotland trip (we slept extremely well!), we decided to explore the nearby forest. There was a nature trail that led to the Avich Falls by River Avich, which was about a mile away from our lodge. As I posted these pictures below, the memories of our walk and our quality time together as a family came rushing by. I wish I was there again, it was truly memorable. I came across a meaningful quote the other day, ‘Collect moments, not things.’ I am that kind of person.

The love for things will fade once the next best object comes along, but precious moments stay with you forever. And when life gets you down and people stress you out, those memories provide you that escapism. You have those moments which have turned into memories to look back upon, they make you smile. I hope to return to my hideaway in Scotland again someday, far away from everyone and everything, save my nearest and dearest. Life is tough at times, why not escape now and then? 😉 Will be back real soon with more stories to share, stay tuned ok!

we began our walk

we began our walk

little ones collected flowers to make a posy for me

little ones collected wildflowers on the way to make a posy for me

we went further into the woods

we went further into the woods

lil ones excited to find a mini waterfall

lil ones excited to find a mini waterfall

we discovered the waterfall

we soon discovered Avich Falls

me in mommy mode as usual

me in mommy mode as usual

reminds me of a scene in Lord of the Rings

reminds me of a scene in Lord of the Rings

we then came to a bridge

we then came to a bridge

we explored the forest further

we explored the forest further

we found another water fall!

we found another water fall!

found another waterfall, so serene, peace all around

so serene, peace all around

my beautiful posy from the girls

the perfect end, my beautiful posy from the girls