What we did on our Holidays

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.

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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?

CARTOONS, YEAH!

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.)

Now then.

NORTHUMBRIA

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.

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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.

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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.

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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…)

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The road became a sort of rollercoaster in the darkness as midnight approached.

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Roads

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.

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Finally

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AAAhhh

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?

ANYWAY!

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smell it

And then the other dog started STARING at SOMETHING, in the DARK.

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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…?

(call me)

 

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Whisky and Haggis

What ho!  I been on me holidays ain’t I!  I’m still drifting on that holiday vibe so I’m feeling a bit horizontal – which is my excuse for not having done you a jolly cartoon to giggle at. However, you’re in luck as I spent some of my holiday time playing with my Inktense blocks and I produced a small handful of laughable… shall we call them ‘experiments’? I warn you now that I’m rubbish with a paintbrush so don’t go getting your hopes up. Anyway, just to tide you over until I get my derriere in gear, here, for your delectation, are some bits of my beloved Scotland.

Don’t laugh, unless you’re laughing WITH me…

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There was a lovely beach with a zipwire next to it.  I had to, didn’t I?

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Our dogs had a poo on a different island every day, it sort of became the daily challenge.

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Gigha is a beautiful tiny island off the west coast of Scotland and it was my personal highlight of the holiday.  Due to the generous number of sheep in Scotland the dogs spent a lot of time on the lead so they were most delighted to be set free on a stunning beach where they could stretch their lurcher legs.

In our quest to get dog poop on a different island each day we ventured onto one that I, having been brought up on Famous Five novels, got it into my head that we weren’t meant to be on unless we were rich and/or famous and staying at the posh hotel/spa that owned it.  There was a road bridge, so we just drove on, and there were these grand signs everywhere and I immediately felt naughty as we parked on the crunchy gravel and went for a walk past the golf course and down to the jetty where the loaded folks moored their yachts.

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No gruff gamekeepers came out to shoot us and we didn’t end up in Scaramanga’s underground lair so it was all fine.  However, we did feel guilty enough that one of us went in and booked an eyelash tint so that we could justify our presence on the secret millionaire’s playground island.

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I did TRY to look like I was someone famous as I walked along, just in case we were challenged.

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Bumpy bits.

Okay, that’s the whisky finished.  Normal service will be resumed once I get the sand out of my pants.

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I’m thinking Cee has a hankering for a holiday this week…

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What is the most famous landmark or building you have ever seen?

Big Ben, Stonehenge and Ben Nevis.  Phew, that was one exhausting day.

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Do you like long vacation or lots of mini-vacations?

Both, please.

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What is your favorite National or State Park?

The Lake District but only because the Scottish Highlands and Islands are not one.

What is your fantasy vacation?

I’d like to sail in some sort of lovely little yacht (with a small crew because, crikey, I can’t drive this thing!) all around the west coast of Scotland, stopping off at various islands and deserted beaches to indulge in a bit of beachcombing, creation of sand sculptures and photography.

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Bon voyage!

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