Highland Haggis Hunting

Last week we were in Scotland with The In Laws. **this is a long one, you might need to put the kettle on**



With the car loaded up, packed lunches packed, and our root mapped out we headed out at 8 ish. At this point I’ll let you know I have no sense of distance, no concept of geography, and no memory for names so services will not be named, distances will be referred to as “later” and “next”. We were to meat up at the first services identified by FIL to give everyone a toilet break and to coordinate further stops, obviously THIS didn’t happen and The Hellions had to stop earlier as did SIL and BIL with The Cousin (but at the services after the one we stopped at.

We did manage to be travelling in convoy with regular over tasking, this meant we spent most of the time pulling funny faces out of the window. AT every stop I had to corrall THREE girls in to the toilets AND make sure they all washed their hands and didn’t get lost, I did not lose one girl on the entire journey.











We made it in to Scotland, as is customary we cheered as we crossed the border, now, Scotland is built rather like a a scrunched up tissue, all ups and downs and not a flat bit in sight, coming from the Cheshire plain this is novel enough to be exciting. I really like it when we drive through clouds, there were times when we could see clouds hanging in the trees next to the road, and there were a lot of windmills (windowmills if you ask Geek Girl), I mean LOADS, it seemed that every hill/mountain top was being used to harness wind power.


My travelling project was a beard beanie, as I was using a totally different yarn and much smaller hook I was guessing size, I did not even have a head to try it on as all of the suable heads were in the back of the car so there was lots of frogging. By the time we reached our destination at 5 ish I had ten rows of crocheting done because of the “work down the sides, arrgh too small, frog” and repeat.

So we were there, the house was beautiful, the bedrooms were assigned and we settled in for food and relaxing. Then it was bedtime for The Hellions and The Cousin who had decided they would all be sleeping in the same room, this ment that they had the only double bed as all the other rooms had twin beds. Queue children up and down the stairs “The Clone won’t turn the light off” “The Cousin keeps talking”  “Geek Girl is snoring”, eventually  The Clone was in a bedroom on her own… nop… once she was asleep and the light was in The Cousin was in the other bed in that room and Geek Girl had the double bed to herself.



I rediscovered one thing about sheep, they do not sleep, EVER, I had to shut the window in the middle of the night because of all the bleating they were doing, and cows, don’t get me started on cows, they sound like a mobile phone vibrating, all night.

I WAS NOT THE FIRST ONE UP WITH THE KIDS. This is so unusual it is worth noting. I got washed and dressed and came downstairs to find The Hellions had been fed (chocolate spread on pancakes) and were about to get washed and dressed themselves, WIN. After I had my cup of tea I had a cuddle with The Baby (another cousin) and I must say she is the happiest baby in the world, she throws herself at your shoulder for a hug and makes lovely noises and giggles all the time, this was a lovely break from wrestling The Hellions hair in to something resembling loved.


Tim Minchin

Tim Minchin









Off we went for a lazy day exploring the nearest town Aviemore, I had the mission to buy a waterproof coat as the forecast was rain for most of the week and my last waterproof coat had come apart at the seams, we explored the shops, The Hellions (I am now counting The Cousin) bought fluffy sort toy “things” with their holiday money, I bought a coat, and saw a book that I love and should have bought There was a wee lassie who swallowed a midgie. The Wee lassie on the front looked rather like The Clone that day. An air bed was bought that day so spite there being more than enough beds for everyone of The Hellions were in one room with one of them on an air bed, kids, pah.















That evening I settled down to work on the parasol pattern, why had the pattern of number of stitches changed? I mean for the last 28 rows there had been a steady three row pattern to the chains to account for the increases, why was it different now? there must be a skipped stitch but where? so after three hours I found it, fixed it, and carried on. There was and incident where I had DC 2 in to 1 rather than two DC and all can can say is, kids, pah. (clearly not my fault and had something to do with the phenomenon of “being on holiday with your cousin does not reduce the mum mither but actually doubles it).



Not the first adult up again, I am getting used to this by now.

We went to Nessie land 

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What can I say about Nessie land.. hmmm… it is definitely for the under eights, it was £5 per child, smelled of wee, and The Hellions got bored. Then again the playground and nessies castle are not that bad, and the castle is an indoor arrangement so if it rains you are set, it did not rain for the second day, after I bought a coat, I am doubting the wisdom of spending the money.

When we got back to the house we managed to have a rare treat, we left The Hellions (ours any way) with MIL and BIL and went to the supermarket, on our own, like people, it was lovely.That evening The Hellions were quite well behaved and I got some crocheting done.




Today’s plan was to go to the Highland folk museum and make a leather pouch but then BIL found some 20% discount vouchers for Landmark park  and as the leather working was on on Wednesday as well the decision was made.


All I can say is GO, if you get the opportunity, GO. The Hellions loved the play area so much it was a struggle to get them to leave it to explore. The First thing we did was enter the Lost Labyrinth, absolutely brilliant, with “Monkey Island” type notes all along the way it was a giggle for me, and adventure for The Hellions and, dispute there being no way they could actually get lost, just spooky enough, there was even a waterfall that The Clone ran straight through while everyone else waited for a break in the flow.

Next up was the Water coaster, I must say I was impressed, I am an adrenaline junkie, most roller coasters are boring to me now (sad times) but the “curly” slide was pitch black and just fast enough that Geek Girl “weeeeeee”d. the queue was rather big for the curly one as it takes the longest to get down and I think people start on that one as it looks the calmest, I am not sure it is, I think the “lumpy bumpy one” would be slower.

All the way up to the top of the water coaster Geek Girl was looking out to the roller coaster and shouting that she was going on the “poaster coaster” next, there was an excited run to the roller coaster and line up at the hight check, and, oh no, Geek Girl was too short. My poor little adventure baby could not go on the roller coaster she was so excited about, so while the big people went on the roller coaster we went back to the water coaster and went on the “steep one” singing “we are going on the steep one” all teh way up the stairs, this was a much smaller queue and Geek Girl was getting some amazed looks. When it was our turn the chap in charge of the boats looked a little unsure but let us go any way, Geek Girl loved it, she “woooooo hoooooo”d all the way down, got an impressed look of the “taking the boat away” fella and practically ran back to the roller coaster to tell everyone about it.


There were more tears when Geek Girl remembered that she had wanted to go on the roller coaster, but they were quashed by the wonder wood, this is a work in progress but a nice little walk and when you get in to the houses it is rather fun

2014-08-05 12.45.31








I didn’t manage to get The Hellions to stay still for long enough to take any pictures but they have a leaning room, and vortex that really does mess with your head and makes you feel like you are, and the weird size room (best I have for naming that one)

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Then it was on to the fire tower, there was some bribery involved in getting The Clone past half way by all accounts but I also think that seeing Geek Girl (did I mention she was danger baby?) all but running to the top encouraged things to move along.


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The UK’s tallest timber tower. No fires were seen, they all came down safe,  and we headed on the tree top trail with the promise of red squirrels. We did not see red squirrels, we saw them back at the house, but not at the park. humph


Next came the baboozeluriom (or something like that). Now THIS was well worth it, full of optical illusions, plasma balls, holograms, and magic eye pictures (I do not have magic eyes and have yet to see the hidden image in one) there were lots of cries of “OOOOH look”



Before we headed to a decision filled souvenir shopping dilemma there was one last photo to take


WHAT is my face doing?

WHAT is my face doing?












Due to unforeseen circumstances that are boring and not why you are here we headed home earlier than expected, as we were in no rush, not in convoy, and had packed lunches we travelled along the tourist route and visited a few attractions along the way. I also got to use my new coat.


Oh my did I get to use the coat, we stopped off in a village for a toilet break and to visit a promised craft fair, I do like to visit crafters and at least say nice things to them. THIS is the point that the days drizzle turned in to a fully fledged flood, the “publicly accessible toilets” were not very well sign posted and we wandered the streets getting soaked for ages before finding the train station and using their facilities.

We stopped off, still a tad soggy, at the Highland chocolatier  this seemed promising but was not as in depth as I was expecting. You could watch chocolate being made, but there was no one there when we visited. There was a small dark room with chocolate ornaments in glass cases and four films playing at once. A cafe, gift shop, and chocolate shop. Saying that the chocolate covered fudge that I bought was well worth stopping AND we dried out a bit more than we would have in the car (though the contents of my bag was beyond help).


Whiskey, it’s not Scotland without whiskey, I do not like whiskey, the smell makes me feel ill (I am not a huge fan of most alcohol to be fair), this was a Crochet Widower stop, unfortunately he did not find a bottle to his liking and felt taking the tour and tasting on his own would be a scooch cheeky.


Now we were on our way home, no stopping “OK?” straight though, “I need the toilet”, we stopped and The Hellions bought magazines with there holiday money, this lead to a tea party in the back of the car. “I need the toilet” “But we have just stopped”, we had literally just pulled back on to the motorway, “I forgot to go”, how? I ask, how?, “no shop just go”. there was falling asleep in the car and quiet relaxing for a bit, I finished the hat, and started on the beard.


We got home at 9 ish, I sorted The Hellions in to bed as Crochet Widower dumped the luggage in the dinning room.





Loads and loads of washing to be done, a stroke of luck when the chaps came to safety test the boiler, and I finished the beard beanie


2014-08-07 18.03.18









Between the next three weeks of adventures I’ll be posting “how to..”s about front and back loops crocheting, post stitches, and working in to the horizontal bar, for now though TTFN





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