Scottish Grand Tour

I’m sorry for not posting last week but the Scottish schools were on October Half Term and so we attempted our own version of a grand tour.

One sunny saturday morning we (1x stressed husband, 1x bored 11 year old girl, 2x excited toddlers and me) piled into the car and headed north. The plan was to drive between Glasgow (home) along the scenic roads to Fort William, then along Loch Ness to Inverness, then wind down through Banffshire to Dundee and then home again.

We can only attempt such an outing because we have recently upgraded our car. We now drive an extremely un-eco friendly diesel guzzling american tank – a Chrysler Grand Voyager with 7 seats and more space than our current kitchen.  We love it, the toddlers love it because they have so much room and can’t touch each other no matter how hard they try, and the 11 year old adores it because she has her own sound system, storage areas and is relieved of having to attend to her sisters bad behaviour. We would never have tried to drive 500 miles with the three girls sitting side-by-side in the previous car.

So, out and north along the “bonny bonny banks of Loch Lomond…” We stopped for some lunch at the village of Luss at The Coach House, our favourite lunch stop within an hour of home. Even the bored 11 year old cheered up at the idea of warm food and maybe some cake.

By evening we had arrived at Fort William, which is rather beautifully situated with Ben Nevis in the background. The road takes you through Glen Coe, but sadly the mist and rain had caught up with us so we just photographed from the safety and comfort of the car. Our travelodge was just opened and were modern – the dvd player we had brought from home would not plug into the too new technology and so we were forced to talk to each other… This was the view from the hotel, across Loch Linnhe to Camusnagaul. The toddlers fancied taking the ferry but mean Daddy said we had to start driving towards Inverness.

We explored Fort George, a historical site I highly recommend for a visit. It seemed the perfect all family entertainment from grumpy husbands to excited toddlers and then picniced on the beach. In October. 

All in all a very nice road trip with some quite nice weather (remembering that this is Scotland in late Autumn.) We may have to do some more of this driving stuff now our children do not need threatened with eviction from the car for bad behaviour.  I shall tell you about our drive south and home on another blog.

Now back to more regular business. The October Giveaway was won by Anna F – and I’ve already been in contact to send her the lovely Onyx Bracelet. I’ll try and run another giveaway before christmas.

I have been making some jewellery since we returned, mostly earrings for the many many craft fairs I have booked for the next few weeks. I may need another holiday by the time christmas is over… I’ll get the new pieces photographed and post them here during the week.

So, enjoy your October Break – I know that lots of the English schools are on holiday this week, and enjoy the last days of Autumn. Here in Scotland it feels like winter is coming very very fast.  I’m heading to Handmade Harbour to try and get some crafting tips. x

My Turquoise Honeymoon.

I think it’s about time that I explained myself. I love Turquoise. Since I was little it was my stone of choice. I wear it all the time. I had to name my jewellery business with turquoise somewhere in the title.

We honeymooned in Marrakech. As a modern western women I struggled with the male dominated culture. “What will your lady like to drink?” I had just finished organizing a wedding for 160 guests, while working full time, while helping our daughter settle into her first year at school. I was a whirlwind kinda gal and the sudden change of responsibility took me a while to adjust to.

But I came to like this different approach. My new husband and I, giddy with love and the novelty of honeymoon (you need the honeymoon after the headache of planning a wedding) would wander through the souk. From every doorway we would hear shouts and heckles, inviting “the beautiful lady…”  to examine their stalls. I would express interest in an item, a coffee set perhaps or a chess board. I learnt over many hours that the stall holders would not or could not negotiate with me. Even though my French is better than his.

Finally my husband and I came to an understanding. I would glance around the shop, using subtle eye movements to indicate which things I liked most, and then I would step out of the small booth and said Husband and stall holder would open bartering. Which could take some time. And involved mint tea. Camels were often discussed. Sometimes husband would exit the shop at speed with no explanation, while the seller shouted lower and lower numbers until we turned and resumed the banter. The “patter” as they say in Glasgow was good fun. Noisy, confusing and fun.

At some point nearing the end, but not always, money was exchanged and a parcel would be presented. After dinner when we returned to our exquisite hotel I would examine and open the parcels, never sure what had or had not been bought. Prices were never discussed.

This turquoise bracelet was such a parcel. Seven long links with six round connecting links. Blue turquoise with pale brown markings I wore it every day for a year. It is my turquoise honeymoon bracelet and I love it. And him.

I’m off to Handmade Harbour to see what the other bloggers have been up to. Then I’m going to open my bead box and spend the week making turquoise bracelets.

http://handmadeharbour.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/handmade-monday-83.html