Everything was ready to pack yesterday morning for our trip to Scotland but it still took a while to assemble and get into bags and then into the car. I often feel I spend my life packing and unpacking and it is not a job I like doing but sometimes needs must. Part of the problem is remembering what is already at the cottage (caravan) – I do make notes when we leave but some things just escape my memory so if there is no note I have to search my brain and ask myself do I really need more brown rice or toilet rolls! I have over the years got my packing down to a bit of a fine art with the aid of my trusty packing list and by duplicating items like toiletries so I don’t even have to think about these – although DH will insist on packing his toilet bag and I then have to remove it again and remind him he doesn’t need it.
The journey up to Scotland was quite enjoyable – outside it was like a beautiful spring day – glorious sunshine and blue skies, but bitterly cold. Here and there from the car widow I spotted drifts of snowdrops and many clumps of daffodils about to burst open – but the temperatures over the journey wavered from 6 degrees down to minus one – maybe not the best time to be setting out to spend a few days at the cottage (caravan).
– On a long journey like this we can either chat or doze or both and I did both. We always have things to discuss, things in our life we want to change, a rant about people who have annoyed us, problems at work, life in general or often just stuff – being in a car for so long is a very good place to catch up. As we left the outskirts of Manchester behind the heavy motorway traffic petered out and I was asleep so by the time I woke we had reached the Kendal junction and it was fairly quiet from then on.
We stopped for lunch at the Burton in Kendal services for a Costa toasted sandwich – I really like their Halloumi and mixed roast pepper Focaccia. Once across the border we usually stop in Castle Douglas for another drink and a bag of chips for tea – Moore’s are an award-winning fish and chip shop and their chips are always good – we take our own bread and butter though as we prefer brown and most chip shops only serve those soft white rolls spread with margarine or cheap butter – not my favourite.
As well as a bit of a rest this week we were hoping for a few fine days to be able to go in the garden but the forecast for the next few days is snow and very low temperatures – nothing we can do but wait and see what the weather turns out like. I have plenty of books and magazines to occupy myself if it does snow.
I was pleasantly surprised this morning when we woke and opened the curtains to see more sunshine and I could tell from the chill in the air inside the caravan that it was cold outside but nothing prevents me from getting out into our garden other than lashing rain – so with layer upon layer we wrapped up warmly and with secateurs in hand and a rake set off into the upper wood to do a bit of clearing in the undergrowth.
Over the years we have had all sorts of people going into the wood and chopping down trees – from Scottish Power to the local council and then leaving us with what is termed ‘nature piles’ – this is their term for not taking the stuff away and clearing up after themselves. Woodland it seems is fair game for anyone – we even had a Birch tree chopped down and taken by some thieving individual – maybe for logs we will never know – but they too left us the branches and just took the trunk. This is the downside of not living up at the cottage – you don’t know what is going on or who is trespassing. Someone has also been helping themselves to our seasoned log pile – do they really think we don’t notice!
Believe me you can have too many nature piles and some of them have to go so we can make a safe path through the wood again and we also need to remove some of the ivy that is threatening to strangle the whole wood floor. We had very little ivy at one time but when trees are taken down and light is let in the balance of undergrowth changes. Scottish Power took out four large trees (by ‘accident’ they said) a few years ago without even telling us and this has been the major cause of all our problems. Of course once felled large mature trees take years to replace so their apologies did nothing to make me feel better.
Anyway enough ranting – I am sure with a bit of hard work this week we can clear what we need to.
Sorry for the lack of photos I don’t usually post when we are at the cottage but I have managed to connect briefly to the internet but don’t expect the photos until I get back home.
Back soon x