Monday 18 February 2008

The far from frozen north

For the last weekend of Sean's mid-term break we headed north to visit Pete and Tracy in their spacious new home outside Aberdeen. The weather was splendid from start to finish. On the Friday we stopped at the Hermitage near Dunkeld, one of our favourite forest walks. The boys had a great time, gaping at the fantastically tall trees and thrilled by the spectacular Falls of Braan. Sean wolfed down his fish and chips at the Atholl Arms Hotel afterwards: in fact we all enjoyed a fine lunch.

The boys got on famously with Jamie and Rowan and Helen were joining in the fun too as we all explored the new Kavanagh house. On Saturday morning we drove west to Crathes Castle and had an energetic loop walk through the trees before a rather hectic lunch. Rowan then got out the backpack for a great romp around, determinedly descending a grassy bank several times, including one reverse commando crawl under a bush! The late night high-jinks of the previous evening caught up with his rather tired brothers but that was to be expected with all three older boys sharing a room. Sharon and Tracy went for a long walk in the glorious afternoon sunshine while Pete and I took over crowd control.

On the Sunday we bade farewell and drive up to Oldmeldrum for an overdue visit to the Nixons. Again the boys revelled in the new surroundings, loving the fact that they could climb one stair and come down another in the recently extended part of the house. It was good seeing Graeme and Yvonne again and they put on a fine spread for lunch. Callum, Shona and wee Craigie are an example of where we're headed in a few years' time. Hopefully our lads will be as charming as the Nixon brood.

From there we headed for home, pausing to calm the troops with dinner in Tesco in Dundee. The next leg of the journey was quite special; a boisterous a-b-c game (food and then names) played by the car occupants with Rowan chipping in with yells and shouts. All played out as the car sped southwards in the twilight. It was a heartwarming family moment to aptly conclude a weekend of families getting together.

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