The day that finally signalled a change in the weather. Goodbye dark clouds and heavy rain, and hello fluffy clouds, warm sunshine and a happier mother-in-law. The weather forecast for the next few days was also good.
Her brother, Uncle L, and his wife, Auntie J, made the short journey from their home to join us for the day, first for lunch at the golf course – accompanied by several wasps (or wasp impersonators, I’m never quite sure until they try to sting me and then it’s impossible to tell from the squashed remains) – then for golf, swimming and dancing, something at which they are rather good.
After swimming with his new best friend from the morning play-groups, son#1 did some putting on the green for the first time since we were here some three years ago and, once he started concentrating and taking his time, did rather well. I think he has perhaps left it too late to get into the Ryder Cup team, but maybe next time…
The dancing went on until nearly midnight to so L and J stayed over on the far-better-than-it-needed-to-be sofa-bed. By this time, however, the weather forecast had changed back to “rain every day”…
Cue unhappy mother-in-law again.
There are three givens when travelling on Britain’s motorways with small children; one of the the wee darlings will keep asking me to drive faster in very heavy traffic on the M6, the other one will need the toilet 10 minutes after having been at the last service station, and someone, at some point, will start singing ‘10 Green Bottles’.
The traffic on the M6 was particularly heinous, with it taking 15 minutes just to get out of the Lancaster services. According to the radio’s sporadic traffic reports, on a stretch of road already buckling under the strain of being reduced to two lanes, someone, or rather someone’s car, had chosen a very inopportune place to burst into flames.
After an hour of stop-start driving in the rental tour bus, a few more toilet breaks, some driver swaps and a visit to a supermarket (ostensibly to pick up bread and milk etc, but effectively to get some alcohol) we made it to our hotel in Creiff just two minutes before the final member of the party, Signora Gillie, sauntered in. The lift she had been given from nearby Stirling had managed to knock over one of the concrete bollards in the car park right outside the expensively refurbished foyer and so they beat a hasty and discreet exit. Unfortunately they took the sunny weather with them and it rained. Actually, it absolutely bucketed down, like it can only in Scotland during a summer holiday.
“When in Scotland,” we thought, so after a fish and haggis supper in our luxurious, hill-side, three-floor, self-contained houselet, we headed to the hotel and its dance floor. The rain had made the already steep path resemble a burn, with the running water splashing up over one’s feet.
The dance floor itself was not much drier with its roof struggling to keep out the torrential precipitation. The altogether-too-complicated eightsome reels, led by a man who was drumming whilst holding a microphone in one hand, were given an added frisson by having to avoid first the growing pool of drip-water, then the large, yellow “Caution – Wet” sign partially covering it. Still, at least the band weren’t playing ‘10 Green Bottles’.
Random you-had-to-be-there quote of the day:
Joe, upon seeing a Winnebago towing a Smart Car, “I wish our camper van could tow a wee car”
Charlie: “We don’t have a camper van”
Joe, “Oh yeah, silly me, heh heh heh!”