Sunday, 17 February 2008

Life Without The Internet

Back to normal. A lie in. Doggo on the park. Time to reflect on the holiday.

Seems a long time ago now but last Saturday, before first light, we snatched Son from the sanctuary of the virtual world, bundled him into the car and whisked him up to Scotland with us. The journey was good and we arrived to quite a welcome. The fire was already alight in our fireplace, a couple of beers waiting for us on the table and even the rugby on the TV. Alas, none of this was for us, our cottage was already occupied by someone else because the cottage owner had not been told by the rental people to expect us. Oops.

Luckily they had another place, albeit a bungalow in which we can stay for the first night. The next morning we transfer to our cottage, Son though is distraught because he’d managed to patch back into 'his' world via someone’s unprotected wifi and our new cottage is out of range. Once at the new place, Son decides to keep his head down, keep his nose clean, and serve his porridge alone in his cell. Nothing will tempt him out into the fabulous mountain air and the stunning views.

We do a bit of running. It became a kind of a morning, sorry lunchtime (we had lie-ins) ritual to go around the local lake and an evening ritual to run down to the legendary Clachaig Inn, which stocked a huge range of Scottish beers, nothing English, just the way it should be. Totally regional. I drank rather too much to even begin to count units this week. L measured the run and it was only 2.3 miles but it felt much further. We were supposed to be training for a nine miler. Never mind.

I kept looking closely at our lake because apparently they filmed Hagrid’s hut around here for the Harry Potter films but as I find out, when we get back, we were going round the wrong lake. The hut was built down by Clachaig Gully near the pub. We went there later in the week but didn’t realise.

One night Daughter was suicidal at the continual sounds of Son’s cellmate, Super Mario, so we took her down the pub, by car of course. It wasn’t a success and we had to spend the next few days blanking her because she demanded vodka. I think that was the situation anyway. Her alcohol dependency seems to be worse than ours.

We took Doggo up in the Gondola at Nevis Range for a bit of skiing on the thin strip of snow they have there. Daughter somehow lost sight of this strip of snow but then we realised she hadn’t got her glasses on. This was a blessing really because it affected her aim when she threw her skis at me. The poor chap will be out of hospital soon.

The next day at Glencoe was much better, white stuff wise, although it was very icy. Very hard work but very good practice. I was the only one brave enough to attempt it, although to be fair, someone has to entertain Doggo. Gondola's he can do but not chairlifts.

We did some good walks and finally made it up to the top of the Pap Of Glencoe after failing in the foul July weather a few years ago. It was a doddle in the sun of February.

On our last day, six days after the start of his incarceration, Son emerged blinking into the sunlight, err well no actually it was evening, so it was dark. We managed to persuade him to come down to the local restaurant for a meal. I can recommend the cherry pie with ice cream AND custard, just like your mother used to make.

The next day Son gets his parole and we take him home. Almost before we're got the car door open, he's breaking for cover, running, back to virtuality.

Today we watch a good old-fashioned family film, just L and I. Swallows and Amazons. Its jolly good fun and jolly quaint in a jolly sort of way. Very Enid Blyton but as L points out the Famous Five would have caught the villains. Here they just let them get away. Shame on you Arthur Ransome.

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