Holidays are great. Adventure on its way, a long drive and lots of stops to admire various sites and give you a chance to stretch your legs and waddle about.
This is the second time in your life you went to the Highlands and this time to a sleepy village of Glenelg. A magic place hidden between bottle green and mustard brown hills and the misty Isle of Skye.
One Saturday morning we compacted our life into a couple of rucksacks and IKEA bags (mainly filled with toys and nappies) and set off to stay in a cottage that once belonged to the Forestry Commission. A cosy red wooden house surrounded by shrubs.
It had a big wild garden that you loved inspecting every morning after breakfast and at least once an hour after that, just in case the grumpy hen or the funny black cat came back to use the rose patch as a toilet. At the foot of a neighbouring hill we found two rocks that looked like speckled eggs left behind by a giant grouse.
You are a bit like your mum – you want to run before you can walk which results in bumps and bruises, an occasional tear and of course lots of cuddles so we ran lots and we walked even more and we made friends with the local sheep.
It is important to take time out of the busy life every now and then and we did it well, with smells of home cooked food filling the cottage every evening and discovering hidden gems like wild meadows, a black sand beach and a row of stern hills. And don’t forget a few playful seals.
I have captured a few memories for you to look back at one day – maybe you will remember those dreamlike holidays when you are half way up your first munro that has a lisping Gaelic name.
Swollen skies, surging streams
I point at a tree
You shake the rain out of it
A seal plays peekaboo in see-saw waters
The boat rocks and I pray to the gods of mighty seas
You bark and I tighten my squeeze
A Highland Tale
in a glen of steaming hills
dragon feet rest
a duvet of lime moss and purple heather
shields them against dreich Highland weather
said feet and their owners long forgotten
when other mythical beasts
left as time and people cut their way
through the bushy mists
we tread gently
let the fierce creatures sleep in peace
like they have done for thousands of years
or at least
the look of a tree
your dad’s warm words
and my honest hand
the dragons blink to wild screams
of the one and only banshee
brought back to torment their dreams