Half Term at Home

I came back from my summer holiday in Kintyre refreshed and rather full of hope that we could holiday away again in October. My number one choice was to visit my cousin in the Isle of Man. We have been over there a few times at half term and love spending time with family and also enjoying the Isle of Man which we love.

But alas a few weeks after we got back from our holiday we got a rather big electricity bill which put paid to any plans for being away in October and rather recently our washing machine broke down and a new one had to be paid for making me feel very relieved that we hadn’t made any commitments for October. Christmas is just round the corner and that has to be the main goal and if we are very lucky we may get away again next summer. But till then we are truly at home.

If you read this blog you will know that this isn’t any great hardship as we love where we live. And though I confess I spent a day down about it all and I have thought many times this week about the Isle of Man. To be honest I tend in most things to look at the positives rather than the negatives and have been looking forward to this break as much as any other. Life is too short to worry too much about the what if’s you just have to enjoy what you have been given.

I am now at the very end of my holiday and feeling refreshed and ready to start the routine all over again till the Christmas holidays. In fact I woke up at 7am this morning. At first I was rather annoyed as for a rare weekend I don’t have football to go to. But once up I glanced out of the window and saw the dawn and realised this was another holiday gift. Sunrise in St Boswells and in five minutes the dog and I were out enjoying it. And during this walk I composed this blog about our October week.

Four things stand out for me which are really four components of any successful holiday. Fabulous food, great walks, challenging reading and interesting outings.

I confess by the time the October holidays came I felt my cooking vive had gone up and gone. It was partly to do with the weather one day it felt quite summery and the next mid winter and I find this in between seasons in both food and clothes a bit of a challenge. And partly because I was tired. So I gladly handed over the kitchen to my husband a week past Friday. And apart from soup making and cake making I haven’t been in it since (other than chief washer upper). My husband relaxes in the kitchen and loves to spend hours in there cooking great food. So last Saturday night in order to celebrate the success of my sister-in-law passing her GP exams we ate the fattened pig! Either once known as Oink or Gertie. The gammon was truly beautiful and it felt like a feast. Other joys have been his hock ham and beans and drop scones among others. Plus freshly baked bread with lots of jam.

Walking for me is at the heart of any holiday. I started the holiday with a walk along the Tweed in the glorious autumn sunshine. Then on Sunday minus children who were holidaying for 24 hours with their grandparents at the Enchanted Forest. We went a four hour walk along the Tweed. St Boswells to Maxton then to Mertoun House then along the other side of the Tweed to Dryburgh and then finally over the swing bridge back to St Boswells. We have also walked at Lindean and done the golf course walk a few times. We are so lucky to have such a wealth of walks on our doorstep. Love it at any time of the year but the autumn is rather special.

I am a reader and a holiday for me is a time to read as much as possible. I had bought and set aside five books for this purpose. Three I have read already, one I am nearly finished and one to go. All different genres and types but all really thought-provoking. So I can recommend Freedom about an American family. It’s not an easy read but does make you think about your own decisions and values. Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly is a young adult book which again totally captured my imagination about a troubled teen who gets caught up in the history of the French revolution. Then it was 22 Brittannia Road which is about a Polish couple who are reunited after the war but carry with them deep war wounds. Again very thought-provoking. I am now reading the Night Sky about a young family alone on a Scottish Island. The author knows how hard early mother hood is which resonates with me. And though she says at the back that the Island is based on St Kilda for me it is the wee island that lay over the sea from us in our holiday in Kintyre.

Finally a good holiday needs interesting outings. Thanks to a petrol expense claim by my husband we were able to have a small budget for treats. These we spent on a trip to the cinema to see Johnny English and then a curry afterwards. A spoiling for the kids and us and greatly enjoyed. Then yesterday we headed over the border to Holy Island and Northumbria. The weather was great and we had a wonderful day. Holy Island is one of these places which makes me relax as soon as I step foot on it. And one day I hope to stay overnight on the Island and not be the one hurrying over the causeway before the tide comes back. We had a great walk round the Island with lunch at the Pilgrims Cafe which is a must if you visit. Then it was a walk along Bamburgh Beach. Glorious miles of sandy beach. As the kids and husband played rugby, the dog and I just enjoyed the walk. As I took in the deep blue of the sky and confined it to memory for the dark days of winter ahead. Then after a long walk it was over the border to Eyemouth and fish and chips. A rare treat and one to be savoured and enjoyed. There was clean plates all round.

So as the dog and I walked this morning I reflected that it had been a great week. But I have missed out the crucial ingredient which my daughter says is at the heart of any good holiday. And that is spending time with family. So a thanks to them for spending time with me.

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About fionadranesblog

40 plus mum of two married with a mad cocker spaniel. Along with two colleagues run Bright Light Marketing a rural marketing agency who specialise in getting rural businesss noticed. www.brightlightmarketing.co.uk. Live in St Boswells in the wonderful Scottish Borders. Love books, walking and living life to the full here in the Scottish Borders though its sometimes a juggle!
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