Sat 18 August 2012
For the first time *ever* when I’ve been camping, I woke up at 7am (lie-in!) feeling rested and full of life. Wow! Maybe it was because Mini Minx had her little arms squeezed tightly round my neck and was snoring in my ear. What a way to wake up – cuddles and baby’s clean hair smells in my nose. Just lovely. The Boss woke and kindly volunteered to get up right away and put the coffee on. And there the lovely morning came to a screeching halt.
Now, I’ve met midges before: I’m Scottish. But these weren’t ordinary midges. These were FuckinBazzaMidges. Vicious, voracious, vindictive. And they cut about in thick clouds of a few billion. I sprayed Smidge on everything and everyone. To be fair, it stopped them biting, but it didn’t stop them marching on an expedition up my nostrils, in my ears and crawling all over my eyelashes. Argh! So much for the forecast stiff breeze – it was sunny and still and we were a stone’s throw from the sea – of COURSE they’d be out hunting for fresh blood!
We slowly got ourselves together, took the minxes in relay to the toilet block, and… suddenly the heavens opened. Eh? But the forecast was sunny intervals, breeze and warm. It was still, chucking it down, and freezing. I guess the Met Office were still away on their summer holidays and Colin the Janitor’s Dog was still in charge of forecasting. The Boss was a bit of a hero and legged it back to the tent and car with Mini, and drove back to rescue me, Maxi and Midi. We didn’t know that – we were about to brave the torrents, and he pulled to a halt in front of us.
We sat steaming up the car, wondering what to do. Well, easy: buy some freshly baked croissants and pastries from the campsite shop (see? I told you it was excellent!) and sit happily munching them, waiting to see what the weather will do. (Have you ever burnt your mouth on a croissant? I hadn’t. Till now. An interesting new experience).
The clouds emptied, but didn’t really lift, so we got the minxes dressed, and went out to explore Gairloch. First on the list was the museum, as it had free entry on Saturdays. We ended up leaving a decent donation – what an interesting place! Mini loved turning on the lighthouse and her sisters had fun making flour. I was desperate to read the entire section about wool and knitting, but the minxes were too busy trying to dismantle or handle
everything within a minx-arm-length.
We left faster than I’d have liked and hit the fish and chip chop. The woman behind the counter very kindly followed us outside with a big roll of blue paper and wiped down the seats and picnic tables in case we wanted to sit down. The fish was delicious and certainly made a change from ice-cream…
After a mooch around the harbour, we decided to go back to the beach near the campsite. Oh my word, what an enormous stretch of sand! It was still cold and windy (aye, NOW the forecast wind arrives! Long after the midges have departed) so we didn’t spend that long building sandcastles (Midi and Mini Minx) or elaborate huge sand forts (Maxi the Artist). We strolled down the beach, past the washed-up dead seal (oh…) and explored the rock pools, shells and amazingly colourful rocks: thick bands of blue and white stripes, and crazy paving of red and green. Beautiful!
Eventually tiring of the beach we tried the playground on site. I’ve never seen a playground with a slackline before! The kids absolutely loved it, and would have still been there now had they not gotten hungry for our now-traditional camping dinner of Pasta ‘n’ Sauce. Speaking of which, we had the sense to cook and eat it in the big garage-building. We could have used the coin-operated microwave, but (a) it was more fun for the kids with the burner*, and (b) it was more fun watching the German couple having a nightmare microwaving pasta in teeny tiny containers – they giggled more than we did.
* Remember: little kids will eat anything if you either call it ‘picnic’ or cook it on an open flame. Anything. Seriously.
I think around about then maybe the little glimpse of sun got to me. Either that or the BeeGees earworm that the local radio had inflicted on me, but I was seen in public doing a BeeGees / Usain Bolt impression. Ah yes, I don’t think I need to practice anymore to achieve full Embarrassing Mum potential.