It’s been a long old week. This time last week I was sitting in the Mountain Café in Aviemore, eating a breakfast the size of a family pet and resolutely refusing to leave.
This week, I’m stuck at work, mindlessly ploughing through tasks until hometime, when I’ll have to dash home and get the house respectable for my exciting visitors this weekend.
So in an attempt to cheer up my lunch break, I’ve been looking at my holiday pictures and pretending I’m back up north, propping up the Scottish tourist industry with yet another trip.
My last visit was jam-packed with awesomeness, but last time I definitely didn’t get to squeeze in some animal-viewing action. We more than made up for it this time round, with two visits to the Highland Wildlife Park and a trip here to visit these gorgeous creatures:
We liked the baby one the best. He was stupidly cute. The highlight though was making our own antlers, even if the music playing was sinister. Scott looked on in bewilderment as two grown women did some PRIME cutting and sticking in the kid’s area. Joyful.
It wasn’t ALL animal hijinks though. Oh no. We did have a productive reason to be in Scotland – finding a wedding venue for Hayley and Scott. What could have been an eyewateringly difficult task, was actually pretty pain free.
Somehow, I can see at least 5 of the wedding party ending up in the loch.
Look at the beautiful bridge! And the trees! The colours! It’s going to be magical.
Wedding planning can knock the energy out of you, so we basically sustained ourselves with cake the whole holiday. Cake. Every. Day. Amazing cake too.
Genuinely have been dreaming about these cakes. Uhmmphh
We nommed some bloody beautiful baked goods in amongst the trees at The Potting Shed and watched the squirrels and birds devour all the treats left out for them (you can see the feeders in the left of the picture). We also saw some horses, but luckily for the birds they weren’t ACTUALLY in the tree. Phew.
When we weren’t eating cake, we were drinking gin. Glorious gin. We drank it with dinner. We drank it with cake.
A brief serene moment. Before the mischief continued.
What’s that? A bracing walking on Nairn beach? Why not warm yourself up with a bucketful of gin and pretend to be vegetables? (Don’t ask).
I wouldn’t say there is such a thing as toomuchgin but we certainly tested the limits of gin consumption after a rowdy game of dominos one evening.
Nestling behind that can of tonic was the empty shot of sloe gin that Hayley had to do for cheating. *hic*
Bearing in mind I’ve never met any of Scott’s family before, we ended up sleeping in all corners of his Aunt’s after having got through several bottles of gin – bought and homemade – and essentially passing out. It was bloody excellent.
The morning after wasn’t too excellent though. I had one of those bastard hangovers where you wake up feeling dandy and then by noon you want to curl up and sleep for the rest of time.
We walked off a bit of the hangover with a quiet walk around the beautiful clava cairns:
The trees, the trees!!
There was talk of sourcing blankets and having a kip in them.
A steam train? In Scotland? It was TOTALLY the Hogwart’s Express.
I waited for the lady with the trolley full of Honeyduke’s sweets. She didn’t turn up.
Now THIS is an arty pretentious shot:
But hey, they really ARE lovely tickets.
The rest of my birthday was filled with more animals adventures (in which I mounted a wooden wolf), more cake (which was actually the size of my face), and an amazing meal here – where we of course snaffled some more gin.
Alas, before we knew it, it was time to go home. And back to work. Back to the shitty commute on the shitty buses, and dealing with other shitty humans. No more holidays for me this year, but should I want to remember the good times, I’ll ram my amazing cardboard antlers on and eat some cake. Even though we all know that HOLIDAY cake is the best. And the tastiest.