In a bid to fill the girls’ 6 weeks of holidays with fun activities, I took them to roll down a hill and be photographed by a Japanese tourist.
This was back on Tues 28 June (this blog is supposed to be replacing my manual diary, so I really ought to get facts right). The day dawned warm and sunny, no one fancied hitting the beach again or walking in the woods (!), so I decided to go further afield. My mother-in-law had mentioned wanting to go to Cawdor Castle last time she was up, but we never got round to it. Inspired, I decided to go there before the schools finished a few days later for the summer holidays.
I wasn’t mental enough to try to take 3 little girls around the inside of a castle (I can barely keep Midi Minx out of trouble when I only have her to supervise, never mind her sisters!) so I went for that great old standby: picnic lunch and bimble around outside. The lady at the ticket gate couldn’t have been more helpful with advice, top tips and information. So we went to explore one of the flower gardens, then through a hidden door to the Nature Walks.
We went on the shortest < 1 mile one, as I had Mini and the picnic lunch in the Phil&Ted double buggy and Maxi and Midi off the leash (ho ho ho). For some reason, both girls decided to whine constantly. They squealed at spiders, bugs, tree roots, the ‘cold’, the wind, the huge long walk, not liking being the Deep, Dark Wood, and so on, and so on. I tried to make it exciting, pointing out big trees, little trees, ants, foxgloves, a single white foxglove, oak leaves, poppies, spider webs, the lot. I exhausted every single Pollyanna bone in my body and they were having none of it. Midi whined to get into the buggy. As I was at the one bit of the path that *really* wasn’t fit for the off-road buggy and was worrying about Mini overturning and either being squashed or rolling down a ravine, I really wasn’t in the mood. But a few hairy moments that tested my underarm deoderant (precariously roll the buggy on a single back wheel and hope it doesn’t landslide…), and we were fine. The path came out behind the carpark and beside the picnic area, so the girls perked up knowing lunch was on the way.
<sigh> What is it with dog owners? The picnic area is huge. A dog and its owners were sitting at one end of the field. As I wanted my girls to run off a bit of steam and squeal their wee heads off, I walked to the entirely opposite end of the field, well away from the dog and other picnickers whose lunch might be disturbed by my zoo. So why did the owners take their dog away from the solitude and empty space of where they were, and exercise it between my girls and the other picnickers?! They didn’t do much to improve my general opinion of dog owners, I’m afraid.
Anyway, a lazy lunch of boiled egg (of course), nutella sandwiches, rainbow box (purple radishes, red tomatoes, orange carrot sticks, sliced yellow pepper, green celery sticks), bananas, juice cartons, water, BabyBels and I discovered that I was sat in the single boggy spot of the lawn. So for the next hour I looked like I’d wet myself. Nice… Mini gleefully chased her sisters barefoot while I pointlessly dabbed at my trousers.
We tried exploring the other 2 gardens, this time with the buggy back in the car and Mini in a sling so she could nap. More whining from Maxi and Midi. Again, I tried to make it interesting: I got them to listen and see what they could hear (birds, bees shouting “Busy! Busy! Busy!”, leaves swishing). I got them to find a rainbow of flowers (go find a red flower. Now go find a white one. Now a purple one). Midi loved that game; Maxi liked it because she knew was finding flowers closer and closer to the ice cream shop. I tried one last time to get them to walk somewhere, anywhere, by bimbling around outside the castle. They happily ran to the top of the beautifully manicured sloping lawns and chucked themselves off. A passing tourist whipped out his incredibly enormous camera and started photographing them rolling down the hill, his wife/girlfriend giggling at his side. I gave up, and took the girls for a tub each of ice cream (where Maxi made my heart melt by asking for egg-free ice cream so she could share hers with her baby sister).
So, I thought they’d had a dreadful, boring time. That night, though, when The Boss asked them if they’d had a nice day, they raved about it and declared it the Best Day Ever – little teases!!