Tuesday 15 April 2008

Kings of the Castles

Caught in the actA-po. Ugg-ug. Pawp. Beep-beep. Bye. Dad-ee. Mahm. Rowan's speech is following a traditional pattern as he develops the names for his food and surroundings. He gets very pleased with himself when he is understood, his big dimpled smile often accompanied by applause at his own cleverness. He knows the value of self-praise, which is just as well since, being the youngest of three, he might find himself short of the attention the other two got! It's always the toughest aspect of the larger family: the gradual division of time you can spend on each child as an individual.

We had a busy weekend. On Saturday morning Sharon was off on another route march around Bonnyrigg and its environs as she stepped up her training schedule with her walking mate Lesley, so I took advantage of the Historic Scotland free admission weekend and took the boys to Craigmillar Castle. It was impressive. It is quite complete for a 600-year-old structure with plenty of cellars and stairways and battlements and fireplaces and views to divert the children. Rowan was desperate to be off chasing the other two and some other boys who were there. I let him run about where possible but keeping an eye out for uneven floors, puddles and potential toddler traps is a full time task when there's only one parent and three children. We all had a good time exploring the nooks and crannies.

The Barnes came round for lunch afterwards, our boys sitting down with Megan and Freya before we had a more relaxing meal with Ali and Gordon. It was a foodie day for us as we went round to Betty & Ian's in the evening for a sumptuous Thai meal, mostly prepared by Ian. There were some lively flavours to contend with but we thoroughly enjoyed the food and company as ever. Sean was at Luke's birthday party before teatime and Lesley and Stuart came to babysit so the front door saw a lot of traffic!

On the path to Castle CampbellSunday was a little quieter, although the boys always see fit to be up and about well before 7am at the weekends compared to during the week when they sleep on and obediently play in their rooms when we really should all be getting up and ready for the working day. After lunch we drove up to Dollar to visit Castle Campbell nestled in the hills at the head of Dollar Glen. It's a good walk down, round and up to get to the castle, especially carrying Rowan, and once more the boys had great fun exploring, climbing the tower and playing games around the courtyard. After some ice-creams consumed in a burst of spring sunshine down by the burn in Dollar, it was a tired Wallace family that headed home to Edinburgh.

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