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Day 1-3: 11-13.09.20 – It’s official. We’re on us holidays!

Yes, we are happy to announce that after three cancelled holidays this year, we are now officially on holiday. Admittedly, we haven’t actually gone anywhere yet, our road trip doesn’t start until Monday but we have been very diligent and carried out a few planning days and a number of ‘reherarsals’ to get us into good stead for our road trip.

Of course, we should be in Canada by now. Should have been flying last Monday, sitting upstairs on the airbus for a birds eye view, but it wasn’t to be. Should have been walking up mountains and traversing the great lakes in a kayak, but that wasn’t to be either and actually, I think rather doubtful……I do know Maice’s mum had booked for us all to go see the kangaroos. Bet you didn’t know they had kangaroos in Canada, neither did Maice, and she was born there! So after our disappointment of not going to Canada we’re doing the next best thing…….we’re off to Scotland, the Isle of Iona to be exact, via the Lake District. Mountains, lochs and lakes, they’ve got it all, so what’s not to love. Let’s hope we have a lovely Indian summer when we’re there, although I imagine it may be a tad autumnal in Scotland, it being so far north that is!

We met up the other Monday for a planning day, with a follow up on the Friday, just in case we got distracted, like we usually do, but we surprised ourselves and planned everything on that Monday. We planned out the route, marking it up on our road atlas, and no, SatNav Steve hasn’t been made redundant. Having been furloughed since March, he’ll be making a welcome return to the dashboard but we thought he may be a little bit rusty, hence the atlas, plus having the atlas will give the passenger (that’ll be either Maice or I) something to do whilst travelling, as well as being in charge of the ‘snack station’.

Friday was the official day of our holiday as Maice had finished work the day before so in true M&A style we headed off to Coffee 1 for coffee, a conflab and our first regroup of the holiday. We needed to look at the details and finalise what we were taking. I know we have the car, but we needed to be sensible and take only what was required….not too sure about the wetsuits, but Maice is insistent we add these to the list!!! In the queue for coffee Maice was complimented by an octoganerian for her taste in….shoes! Made her day it did. We compiled our snack list in our heads and made our way through town to Waitrose to purchase said snacks. I don’t know what happened to us in Waitrose but Maice seemed to lose control of the shopping trolley, blocking the aisles and getting in everyone’s way so when we regrouped next to the cucumbers we decided to leave as neither of us could decide what to buy! We ended up in the Grape Tree, the health food shop where we actually purchased some snacks for the car. A big 500g bag of sun dried tomatoes…..Maice’s choice of course (!), a big bag of exam beans (predictive text….should be endgame, no, edamame beans and a large bag of dried apricots! Not everyone’s idea of snacks for the car but we’re being very grown up about the sort of snacks we take and no doubt they’ll keep us regular! We left the Grape Tree and ended up in the hat shop where we purchased three hats. Of course they weren’t on the list, but you know, a gal can’t have too many hats, and two of them were rainhats, you know, just in case of downpours!

A much needed luncheon was in order so we headed off to Wetherspoons, changing tables a few times as seems to be the norm with us before we settled down and placed our order via the App. Well, all we can say is, what a faff! Neither of us found it a simple task, but finally, after twenty minutes of struggling with the technology we managed to place our order….a bottle of Prosecco, two pizza’s and a portion of halummi fries. Said order appeared just five minutes later!! Ah, but what a lovely bottle of prosecco that was, and the food wasn’t too bad either. You see, we always have a bottle of wine on the first day of our holiday, usually accompanied by a Greek salad, but as we’re not in Greece two mini pizzas had to suffice. Knowing that a liquid lunch was on the menu, Maice had taken the bus into town and was now on the bus back home. What a lovely Day 1 we’ve had. Tomorrow, we’re meeting up with Jane and we’re off on a circular walk round Abbotsbury……..

Well, here we are. It’s Day 2 of our mini staycation before the official road trip starts and we’re sitting in a café in Abbotsbury, enjoying a cappuccino and a cheese scone. We’d picked up a selection of circular maps around Abbotsbury last week, selected one of them and here we are, all set and ready to go. We read through the directions which, we all agreed, seemed very straightforward and off we went into the lovely Dorset sunshine. We were following the old railway line, which was really nice and very flat, then veered off at the end up a few hills and back to the carpark. Was it really as straightforward as that? Well yes, more or less it was, although there was one very hair-raising moment where we navigated the ‘one steep hill’ which was a bit precarious and we did struggle with it, clambering up on our hands and knees. Fortunately we made it to the top and the views were stupendous, overlooking Chesil Beach, Weymouth Bay and Portland. You know what, we’re so lucky to live where we do…..!

Down in Abbotsbury we came across a couple needing to regroup by a signpost. Like us on many occasions, they looked confused. They needed to get to Portesham but didn’t know how to get there, so we, M&A and Jane pointed them in the right direction and even gave them our map to help them on their way….hopefully they didn’t get lost!. After our good deed for the day we swanned into the Swan Inn for a late lunch, sitting outdoors under the sun in the beer garden. It was lovely and a perfect ending to Day 2. So, onto Day 3 and we know what that’s going to bring. The dreaded packing……!

Well it’s Day 3 and Milly has just been despatched to her ‘holiday home’ at Purrfect Cattery in Weymouth to spend time with her ‘Aunty Alison’. She loves it there, although you wouldn’t think it the amount of time it takes to get her into her pet carrier. I try to act normal, pretend nothings going on, but she knows, she senses something and goes into hiding. It really is a cat and mouse chase around the flat. So after twenty minutes of coaxing her onto the balcony with her favourite biccies I managed to catch her, secure her in her ‘transporter’ and off we went.

The rest of the day was spent packing, well, it was for me. Maice was out gallivanting at an afternoon birthday party and given strict instructions not to get back too late as we had an early start the next day, and she was driving. No doubt she’d have to pack when she got back. Ah, what to pack? That is the question. It’s a funny month, September. It can be hot, like an Indian summer or it can be cold. It doesn’t help matters that we’re travelling to Scotland, where the weather is quite changeable, cold, damp, wet, windy with the occasional burst of sunshine. Just watched Countryfile. Apparently the Lake District, where we’ll be for the first two days is going to be hot……..25 degrees, and Scotland, well, temperatures are going to drop to a mere 14 degrees. You can see the dilemma we’re in. So we’re going to have a re-think about what we pack, what we wear, and hope for the best. I did ask if we could leave our wetsuits behind but as you can guess, the answer was NO! Ah well, I tried!

On that note, it’s time for bed. Maice is coming to pick me up, supposedly at 4.30am so we can have an early start and make the most of our day. Can’t wait. The Lake District here we come!

M&A xx

p.s. check out the Iona & Beyond photo album in the Holiday Snaps tab for more of our holiday memories.

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Agree with the octogenarian. Lovely shoes Maice. Looking forward to reading about the rest of your holiday and hearing how you get on with the wetsuits!!!!! Safe travels.

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