Scottish Highlands : A family Adventure

Scottish highlands: river running across the landscape with hill to the right and beach in front, grass behind

Scottish Highlands

We went for a holiday in the Scottish Highlands earlier this month. This was a location that was a little different for us as we love hot holidays, but with a toddler we thought we would try something a little different. We based ourselves in a self-catering lodge near the village of Ballater, close to Balmoral Castle and had ourselves a little Scottish adventure.

2 dolphin fins off the Moray Firth coast.
Wild dolphins off the Moray Firth in the sea.








Red deer in a Scottish valley
Red deer in a valley near Loch Muick.

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Life as a stay at home mum

Mum (me) holding J's hand

I have been a stay at home mum for almost 8 months now and have absolutely loved it. So much so that I could happily continue in this role forever more. However, since that is not going to be the case in a couple of months I wanted to write about it now while I had the chance.


Having read Why Parenthood is Nothing Like I Imagined by The Unmumsy Mum this morning I felt inspired to write this post today (even though I have a long list of posts that I either need to finish or actually write). I tried really hard not to have an image of motherhood prior to J’s birth. It was a bit of a journey to get to his arrival and I couldn’t allow myself to jinx it by imagining all the wonderment that being a mother was finally going to bring. My sister passed away shortly before she was born and I was really scared that this would happen to J, so I protected myself as much as I could by banishing all exciting and wonderful daydreams before they could really take root.

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The case of the stolen UGG

Single UGG boot
Monday morning started like any other morning, a grumpy me being kicked in the stomach by a toddler who can’t keep still, at a time of the morning when only the sun is up. Only today the sun wasn’t up because it was hidden by storm clouds. We were off to a bad start to the week, however, the day was set to rapidly go downhill.


My husband (with his tidiness OCD) decided that my winter boots no longer needed to sit in the porch where he kept tripping over them (had he not looked outside?) so he went to relocate them into the cupboard. I have a wonderful pair of gorgeous, snuggly, beautiful UGG boots that my incredible mum bought me for my birthday last autumn. “I wore them two days ago!” I argued as he opened the front door. “Where’s your other UGG boot?” he called. My first thought was next to the one you can see, but his eyesight isn’t THAT bad, so instead I replied with a straightforward, “I don’t know.” At this stage I barely batted an eyelid. Obviously J had moved one of my boots, probably the afternoon before when he had been urging me to leave the house.


However, 5 minutes later I was running around in a panicked state unable to locate my precious boot.


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All the Little Things – 18 months

J sat in the flowerbed covering himself with soil

I read and love a blog series called ‘18 Million Things’ by one of my favourite bloggers Occupation(M)other and felt inspired to do something very similar.  Children change and develop so quickly that it is so easy to forget their little quirks and mannerisms.  I want to record All the Little Things that my little boy does that I love so much, so that I don’t forget them.  I can’t believe how quickly the last 18 months has passed; it has been so wonderful!


18 months


Dear J


I love that you have learnt to kiss me.


I love that you now love mouse and cuddle him when you are sad or tired or just because.

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Dad and I in Central Park, New York in 1999
I originally wrote this post in 2016, but just last night my husband pointed out that we have known each other for 20 years. It certainly doesn’t seem that long. I remember vividly our first conversation as though it was yesterday. I remember where we were, what we said, how I felt. Then I realised that I only knew my dad for 23 years. I started to imagine how he must have felt about how quickly the time with us had passed. How it wasn’t enough; that he craved for more, but it was too late. Time was taken away. It may have now been almost 14 long years since dad passed away but I am still sat crying tears of pain and feeling that loss to our family as acutely as ever. I felt the need to revisit this post this morning and to remind people that the pathway that grief takes us on is individual but that there is support out there for those who need a little more support. I benefitted greatly from counselling with a psychiatrist several years after dad’s death and I have seen two more since. The grief for me will never go away and there become points when I need extra ears to listen and advise. This helps me to process the emotions that I am feeling to allow me to continue to breathe and to continue to walk my path.
I should be sleeping, but instead I am crying; salty tears making crooked pathways down my cheeks. I don’t know where this will take me but I feel the need to write so here I am; sat on my phone in the darkness. My dad passed away 12 years ago tomorrow (3rd July).


Every year, I find myself back in my early twenties; I was still a child despite my age. My father’s death was a real awakening into pain and suffering and adulthood; something that my parents had protected me from for so long. I had been so lucky to have a really happy childhood, to be innocent and naive, safe and sheltered. Don’t mistake me, I knew pain and suffering existed and I was so outraged about it that I studied a degree that was focused on preventing poverty and genocide and helping refugees. I thought that I had felt pain, but I hadn’t, not until the loss of my dad.
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