Seriously, I don't know why but I love going up to Scotland! I even enjoy the long road trip up there on my own. This is because I don't have to worry about any passengers (people like to comment on my driving abilities and I have the touch of road rage too). Having people in the car makes me feel on edge, as I have to make sure that they are OK and not dying of boredom. When I am on my own, I can stop whenever I like, but the biggest bonus is I have full control of the music that is played in Charlie Red, (my little red Fiat 500). This is when I can bust out my karaoke skills and some dance moves, which are appropriate when I am driving of course.
This time round, I travelled up to the beautiful country of Scotland, was to see the band Snow Patrol. It would have been ironic that the weather would have stopped me from seeing them, (it was around the time when snow stopped half of the country). Fortunately, I was lucky and made it up to Glasgow safe and sound. I have wanted to see Snow Patrol for such a long time and finally I was able to see them live. I have to say that I love seeing artists and bands live. It's the atmosphere and being there in the moment, that makes it all worth spending the money on it in the first place. Snow Patrol, like I suspected didn't disappoint. We had seats and though we were in heavens, we had a good view. It was chilled gig, they were on point and they also played one of my favourite songs 'Crack the Shutters', which made the night even more enjoyable. Of course, they played 'Chasing Cars', which to finally hear it live on stage was amazing. I love the lyrics and the song always brings back memories of being a teenager (it came out when I was 16, which seems such a long time ago). I went along with my dad's long-suffering partner (joking of course) Jane, which was lovely as we both appreciate Snow Patrol.
My dad and Jane own their own houseboat, which is always such a pleasure to stay on. On this occasion though, it was bloody freezing. So much so, that in the morning I could physically see my breathe. Also, the fact that the barge had frozen over, which meant that the poor ducks were walking along on the ice. I adore spending time on the houseboat, it's so peaceful and still. It's the best time to chill out, settle down on the sofa and grab yourself a good book. It's a unique experience. I always look forward to staying, as it's a whole different lifestyle.
The view from the houseboat
On this trip up to Scotland, I also went to visit my mother and stepdad Philly. Oh sorry, and the cat Mya too (Dave would be upset if I missed her out). They upped and left Milton Keynes and deserted me! On a serious note, they decided to move to Scotland to find their forever home, which fortunately for them they did. They live in a lovely, quaint village in the middle of nowhere. The picture below, is the view that I woke up to each morning I was there. Not too shabby, it beats waking up to a concrete jungle very day. Their house is definitely a fixer-upper and hopefully the parents will decided to not go with yellow walls and a green carpet, like they did with their old house. They know how disgusted I was, when they chose to go with that interior. Fingers crossed, they will use tasteful colours and flooring, but I don't hold my breathe.
Anyways, while I was spending time with my mother, she took me on a tour of the Ayrshire shopping centre and town. Well our favourite past time is to spend money, (my mother always says I'm a bad influence, but she is just as bad!). We started in Topshop, where my mum suggested to try a dress on which was brought, along with a pink fluffy coat, which my mother suggested I get. I also convinced her, to also buy me a beautiful pair of metallic, pointy heels to go with the dress, which I wore for Valentine's day. We also raided, Newlook, Primark and Debenhams. Having a walk around the town we stumbled into this amazing art store, for the artist Steven Brown. Also, next door was an art gallery where I fell in love with one of his pieces. If I had the money there and then I wouldn't have hesitated to buy the piece. Alas, I'm poor and Dave is no sugar daddy, so I left the art gallery empty handed. Although, I have found a new artist, who I appreciate and that maybe one day I can say, I own a piece of his art work (wishful thinking).
Having done our cardio workout spending hours cruising around the stores, I told my mum that I was longing to see the coastal shore of Ayrshire. We popped into the car and headed for the beach. When we arrived there finally, (my mum's sense of direction is appalling). I literally got out of the car, decided there and then that it was way too windy to take a stroll along the beach. Though the view was stunning, 2 minutes standing by the beach was enough for me and I wanted to head back to my mother's warm and cosy house. On the way back to the village, I got convinced to go to one of the tearoom rooms that has some delicious cakes and views to admire, of course I couldn't say no. Phil met us there, after having a peaceful day to himself we came in to spoil that for him. He was kind enough to treat us to a cup of tea (that's comes in a cute little teapot with a cup and saucer), an enormous scone with a side of cream and jam. You cannot have a scone without cream, there would be no point to eat one in the first place. They ran out of clotted cream, but the lady in charge said that they could whip up some cream, if I like and of course I couldn't turn that down. Well, it was delicious and definitely worth the calories I consumed. After enjoying the scone and tea, mother suggested that we took a drive along the coastal route, where I will be able to take a few more snaps. The drive was so picturesque, it was also nice for once not being the driver and to able to admire the views, than worrying if I am going to crash into a tree or accidently run over a sheep.
After returning back to mum's and Phil's humble abode, we had a very hungry, moaning Mya waiting not so patiently for our return. Having spent such a wonderful time with mother dearest, I was sad knowing that I had to leave the next day. In the morning I was made spaghetti and sausage on toast (one of my all-time favourite breakfast dish) and then it was the long, slow journey back to Northampton. While travelling home, it began to slightly snow, and the country lanes were a nightmare. On a couple of occasions, I had to stop to take a couple of photos (I couldn't help myself). I also bumped into some sheep (none were harmed I promise), which I have never seen before. Just roaming around owning the country roads. I swear some of the sheep, gave me some dagger stares. Luckily the drive back down was smooth running and uneventful.
Next time I go up to Scotland I will have to drag Dave along with me (though he isn't a fan of the long drive or my road rage). He will come along as he knows that Mya, will be there not waiting for him and probably mildly tolerate him. I am always telling people that they must visit Scotland. There are so many stunning places to explore, the views you can witness are amazing. Glasgow and Edinburgh are two beautiful cities with stunning architecture, plenty of history plus there are great restaurants to try out too. If you like a spot of retail therapy both cities wont' disappoint. All I am saying is that you have to put Scotland on your travel bucket list, if you haven't already.