Right, settle down and look at my holiday album. I have over 500 fascinating photos and you are going to study each one and listen to a story about it. Ha ha ha! Only joking. I tried that on my dad and look what happened.
Look, I have film footage of a mountain!
Obviously if I did that I would bore you to death and you’d banish me from your blogging community until the end of time. So I’ve devised a fun method of boring… I mean, sharing my holiday memories with you. Can you guess what I’ve done?
Don’t worry, I haven’t drawn 500 odd cartoons of mountains and eagles and otters and shit. I have carefully selected the highlights of the holiday, or, if I’m honest, the bits I drew cartoons of while I was there until I got cheesed off with it and threw my sketch pad over my shoulder and settled down with the whisky on a ferry.
Slainte Mhath! (That’s Gaelic for bottoms up.)
Scotland is a long way and my partner is into astronomy so we had the brainwave to stop for two nights halfway, in Northumbria, to visit the Dark Sky Observatory and have a bit of a look around.
There is very low light pollution in this area so it is a perfect spot for stargazing. Unfortunately, it was cloudy when we were there so the Dark Sky was just dark, with no stars. I was going to draw what we saw but it just looked like this.
Dark, isn’t it?
The journey north was relatively uneventful.
I’m not one to perpetuate stereotyping but the constant blue sky and sunshine did honestly turn to rain the moment we passed the sign welcoming us to the north. Truly. Luckily it was a brief shower and it clearly only did it to give me a laugh and the idea for a cartoon.
We didn’t get away very early and it grew steadily dark and late as we progressed towards our destination. So much so that we very nearly missed seeing a prominent landmark in the twilight.
We were staying in a bunkhouse apartment out in the sticks and we phoned to let them know our arrival would be around midnight and asked if they could leave us the key somewhere. The lovely gent running it promised to wait there for us and show us around before he went home. What a star! (The only one we saw…)
The road became a sort of rollercoaster in the darkness as midnight approached.
We had no idea what was outside the car. In daylight it turned out to be wall-to-wall sheep. The road went on and on and on and on… A bit like this blog post.
Finally, we arrived and let the lovely man go home to his bed. He promised to cook us breakfast the next morning, even though he looked wrecked.
We pulled the dogs out from under all the luggage in the back of the car and unfolded their lanky long lurcher legs (don’t call the RSPCA – our dogs actually get to spreadeagle themselves luxuriously over two thirds of the car while we are scrunched in the front seats with our faces crushed against the windscreen and all the bags crammed in my footwell so I have to put my legs on the dashboard).
It’s really really dark in these cartoons so you can’t see what they are saying. I have thoughtfully added captions below.
One of the dogs helpfully had a sneaky poo in the dark on the campsite so we had to try and find it and pick it up. When I say it was dark, I mean it was pitch black dark. You couldn’t see ANYTHING, let alone a dark dog poo on a dark field in the dark. This is the Dark Sky Observatory on a cloudy night; darker than a black cat in a coalshed at midnight on the winter solstice. Have you noticed how the word ‘dark’ is starting to seem like a made-up word now? Or is that just me?
And then the other dog started STARING at SOMETHING, in the DARK.
This is it, I thought, waiting for the Beast of The Dark Sky Park to come and get me, this is the end. Funny, I always thought I’d die choking on a bit of apple or laughing too hard at some comedy…
Anyway, it turned out to be a bin. Gormless dog.
I’ve got more photos… don’t be a stranger…!
Come back!!! … please…?