06 October 2009

Och Aye the Noo

The final part of our UK trip took us North to Scotland. It was something of a reunion for Mr G with his father's side of the family. If you've been reading my blog for a while you'll know that Mr G's dad, Rab, passed away suddenly of cancer in December last year. His passing has brought us closer to his side of the family, many of whom Mr G hadn't seen in over 15 years... and whom the rest of us had never met.

The kids practised their Scottish accents as we drove, "Och aye the noo! Och Aye the noo!" became "how kind are you!" and there was some debate over which saying was the right one. I had to try very hard to keep a straight face as I put them straight.

About 10 minutes over the border, the countryside changes. It goes from picturesque countryside to raw and rugged windswept hills. You can't help but know you are in Scotland. It looks and feels different.

We stayed with lovely bubbly Aunty Sandra (Rab's sister) and Uncle George, north of Glasgow on the outskirts of the ship-building town of Greenock where Rab grew up. Aunty Sandra's house was something of a mansion (woohoo!) right on the waterfront where the River Clyde meets the sea.

We had 180o views of the harbour and hills. We even spotted a submarine in the channel! Two days of wind and rain gave us a taste of the Scottish chill, now that autumn is well on its way. I nipped outside in bare feet to snap this photo, and by the time I got back inside my feet were totally numb! I guess I'm starting to see why people in this part of the world look at us funny when we go barefoot.

We had a lovely surprise when we arrived - Rab's older brother Jack had come over specially from Holland to be with us! (That's him on the right) Many were the late nights, hilarious were the stories Uncle Jack and Uncle George told, loud was the laughter... and ouch! those early mornings with those three noisy early-rising bairns were tough!

We were re-united with our Scottish Great-Grandad (Rab's father, who is 80+). And yes, that is Mr G wearing a Celtic football top. He plans to buy a kilt next time we visit.

We went to FunWorld one rainy day and met up with Rory's cousin Claire... and (wahoo) her 8-year-old daughter, cousin Libby! The kids were stoked to have another kid around.

Libs came for a sleepover and Aunty Sandra got them all playing Twister. Hilarious! (Aunty Sandra is very patient and a great sport).

Libby and Dash got on like a house on fire. They even look alike, dontcha think??

Mr G snapped this one when they weren't looking. Sweet.

Mr G also snapped this one, early the next morning. Yep, we were up before the sun. Again.

The kids have started to turn a bit feral in the last week or so. All the attention, treats and excitement has gone to their heads. That and/or they are really knackered and ready to come home.

I can understand that. We have travelled over 2500 miles in our giant Peugot van. That's a lot of kms. Don't ask me to convert it!

It's been really tough getting the kids to sleep at night, with them sharing a room and keeping each other awake.

Speaking of houses on fire, one night after 15 attempts to get the eldest two to sleep, I had closed the bedroom door for the noise (for Dash) and left a lamp on for some light (for Princess). Sure enough after 10 minutes, Dash appeared in the doorway complaining of a funny smell. Yet another attempt at procrastination I think, but thankfully I went to check anyway.

As I climbed Aunty Sandra's stairs I noticed a burning smell that got stronger the nearer I got to their room... In the corner was the lamp I had left on - the burning smell was coming from some PJ's that Dash had draped over the lamp to make the room darker. The PJs had turned black and were smouldering. I hate to think what could have happened...

Of course none of this bad behaviour or drama relates to that sweet little Scrag. He has been a great sleeper, a happy little soul and a perfect traveller who has melted hearts wherever we've been. Aside from his new bad habit of drinking the milk out of his cornflakes bowl, I cannot complain about that wee bairn.

We left with hugs all round and promises to keep in touch on FaceBook and Skype. The world is a small place these days.

We travelled South on this road that Mr G had worked on during his Engineering days.

"Look, son, I helped build this road!" Daddy bragged proudly to Dash.

"OOOhhh really? Hey Dad, do you think Newcastle United will get back up to the Premier League this year??"
Don't worry, my honey, I was impressed. It was a lovely straight road.
Click for the last part of our Journey: So Long, Farewell

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Gail said...

Oh my goodness, you guys have really done just SO MUCH! How awesome for Mr G to see so many of his family!!!! Fabulous trip Simone! Will be thinking of you on your flight home!

Trees said...

That picture of Libby and Dash is just beautiful. What a great visit!

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