From the bedroom we can hear the sizzle of the pan, the ping of the microwave and the deafening din of the smoke alarm... it all sounds very productive downstairs as our friends cook breakfast, as they are always kind enough to do when we come away. We also know there's no rush to get out of bed because their breakfasts do take a little time in the preparation but hey, we're on holiday and their breakfasts, it has to be said, are always hearty and well worth waiting for.
I also have to be careful what I say as L's has broken the veil of secrecy around this blog, as regards my friends that is, and they are now 'in the know' and could be reading this, gulp.
In the afternoon, we partake in a four hour navigation of the valley floor. This is by far the furthest MD has ever walked and he loves it. He also loves the sheep he meets for the first time, we have to pull him away with cries of 'leave it'. Doggo stands around looking bored as we reprimand MD, as if we never had this problem with him. Mid walk we sit outside a pub and have a warming mulled wine. Doggo looks well miffed that he hasn't got a nice warm floor and a roaring fire to warm his paws on, just a damp courtyard full of puddles. I promise him such a scenario later.
We have arranged to meet our friends at the Old Dungeon Ghyll for a 5pm Old Peculiar. They are there waiting for us, sipping hot chocolate, warm, dry, smug etc etc as we walk in a tad damp but feeling smugger than they. The dogs soon have a good shake, sharing their dampness with them and throughout the pub.
I go to the bar and return to let L know that there's bad news and good news. The bad news is that for the first time in over ten years of coming here there's no Old Peculiar, the good news is there's Snecklifter instead and it's so gorgeous. We have two pints each, despite the fact that this is only 5pm and we have a race tomorrow. L's theory is, drink early and leave more time to sober up... I like the first part of that theory.
We walk the two miles home whilst our friends race home in their car, they're not total miserable b******* for not giving us a lift, I fully understand that there's not enough room for us and two very wet dogs. In any case, we need the walk to work off the Snecklifter.
They compensate by having a roaring fire going when we get back, the missing parts of the fire lighting jigsaw sourced from the local shop, which means I now have problems getting L out of the cottage and to the pub for some food.
Tonight's Goulash is much more of a meal than last nights children's chilli was. Although funnily enough when my mate has the chilli tonight it's of a much more reasonable size, which is just so typical.
The Liberation is on tonight, so after a few of those we all stagger home, full of food and beer.