I’ve really missed writing on my blog over the summer holidays, and it seems like forever since I’ve posted here. These precious few weeks without the routines of school (and after school clubs) always go in so quickly, and unless I either get up very early – or go to bed very late – my usual writing schedule gets lost amidst the slow pattern of summer days.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing, though, and a little break away always reminds me how much I still enjoy blogging – despite wondering occasionally if more than a handful of people are actually interested. It’s been heartening to see quite a few visitors to my site over the summer, despite the absence of new articles (as you might have surmised, I’ve failed miserably at getting up early, or staying up late to write). When I have woken up early, I’ve generally chosen to go for a run in the early morning sunshine and enjoy views like these in that exquisitely light air that characterises early morning.
But onto a little summer catch up.
A bit of home, a little of away.
We started the holidays enjoying the company of my brother and his family during their annual summer visit to Caithness. Isn’t it wonderful to have cousins? My two boys really enjoyed late nights and long days spent playing with family and friends.
Elsewhere, there were damp days at the beach and hunts for sparkling seaglass. When the sun came out, we enjoyed breakfast in the garden, and I took the boys out dipping in the sea. We wandered along deserted beaches and wondered where everyone had come from when the heatwave brought the masses to the seashore. Every morning I listened to seagulls caw outside my window, and said a silent thankyou for that small reminder of our proximity to the sea.
We bundled ourselves up for an adventure in our campervan. Two adults, two children, a dog, four bikes, possibly fewer changes of clothing than was sensible. For ten days we drove, ran, cycled, walked, climbed – always loving each other but sometimes quarrelling along the way.
I swam in two lochs with Brody, forming an abiding memory of his little face in the water beside me, short breaths puffing out as he held his head above the surface.
I discovered I make an ample buffet for biting insects.
We meandered through villages, pitching up our bikes to drink coffee or seek out a filling brunch.
We visited campsites, listening to the hum of evening conversation. I watched a small girl frown as she perched on the bathroom counter, peering at a woman doing her make up at the sink.
We saw cascading waterfalls and towering mountains, and passed through villages tucked in at the feet of sloping hills like resting babies.
I finished reading Les Miserables and started War and Peace.
We visited Mallaig, where I passed so many days of my childhood. I pointed things out to my children, but their favourite part was going to the shop that sold sweeties and ice cream.
I went to my Nana’s flat, and found there weren’t as many steps as I recalled there. I found my memories hidden around every corner – as a girl, I’d unwittingly walked them into the route of every single path.
We came back home, to our place of big skies, big seas and views that stretch to the horizon. To our home of small places, and a wall of sky that never seems in danger of closing in.
Big and small – the story of the holidays.
Feeling grateful for them both as the light of summer wanes.