Our Scottish Roadtrip Part 1

One of the things that I have learned to become since having Joshua, is flexible and adaptable. I tend to avoid making too many plans, as inevitably they have to change for a variety of reasons and not all of them down to Joshua. Most recently this has been the case for our trip to Scotland. I felt very pleased with myself that about a month ago, I booked bargain rail tickets and a Disabled Railcard. First of all the journey looked in danger due to threatened rail strike action, but they avoided our travel dates. Secondly, when I lost my mobile phone on the beach, I lost Joshua’s online railcard and rail tickets when they did not re-appear on my new mobile when I downloaded the apps. But I made a few calls and managed to retrieve both. Finally at the weekend, extreme weather forecasts for our Tuesday travel day and advice only to make essential rail journeys, meant that I changed my plans and decided to drive instead of taking the train. We can go at our own pace, will have the benefit of air conditioning and it meant that I did not have to travel lightly any more. With Covid cases on the rise again too, it will be better to avoid public transport for now too. The only downside is that my bargain tickets were non-refundable, but I am still convinced that this is the right way to go now.

So Joshua went to daycare yesterday, while I packed the car with far too many clothes – we won’t wear half of them! -, our new lightweight wheelchair (bought specially for use on the train!) and some home-baking for my friends. We all had tea together and I had hoped that if we set off at 7pm, the heat would have started to fade, but I drove through towns that were still enduring 32 degrees. We were very comfortable in our air conditioned car and Joshua ate most of my snacks for the main journey already! He cleverly noticed the contents of the carrier bag at his feet and kept pointing at it until I relented and opened a jumbo bag of hula hoops for us to share. I tucked the bag down beside his hip and he beamed each time he reached in himself and pulled out an enormous hula hoop. He seemed to be super-happy.

After just over two hours we arrived at our holiday cottage, where we were stopping overnight to break up the journey, so it was somewhere very familiar to him. As we drove up the village at 9pm, he said ‘Thank you’ to me. I unloaded the car and then him, throwing open all of the windows, although to be fair the thick stone walls meant that it felt much cooler than outside. As soon as we were both indoors, Joshua asked for ‘Giraffe’ so we went to his bedroom and read ‘Giraffes Can’t Dance’ together. He never asks for ‘Giant’ here , he knows that is a story for home and likewise, he saves his Gerald requests for here. He had Weetabix for supper and then tucked up in bed, not getting out again until 4.30 am, so he must have been tired out. I watched some TV, called my husband then was tucked up in my bed by 11, ready for the next leg of driving today.

I was tempted to get up when Joshua woke and came onto the landing at 4.30am, but I told myself that I had another 3.5 hour drive ahead and I needed to be well rested, so I managed another hour of sleep. I cannot go for my usual walk this morning as I cannot leave Joshua alone, so I plan to cut the grass for my morning exercise once it gets to after 7. It feels very odd to be here without any dogs at all, so a solo walk would seem like sacrilege anyway. But I was still able to capture the most beautiful sun rising over the village, by standing on the garden bench. It promises to be another hot day but at least we are moving away from the high temperatures as we head north of the border. Wish us Luck.

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