It’s the last day of March. I sit in the upstairs lounge as wind and snow whips around the house. I say house – but who has a full-size sauna in their house?
I wrote my last post from Derby, noting our upcoming adventure to Scotland. Now we’re here, and a few of you have been asking how we’re getting on. So here it is; a wee insight into our fleeting Scottish fling.
Firstly, let me give you a brief summary of our journey from Breaston to Darvel…
Our last move
We left our Breaston house sit on 14th March at 5:45am to cycle to Long Eaton.
Catching our first train to Derby, and our second to Crewe without a hitch. It was all going to plan. Then we missed our connection in Crewe, so had to kill an hour. But what a joy to ride 5 minutes from the station to find this little gem…
We missed a second connection in Carlisle, but somehow it was still more fun and exciting than travelling by car. It was all part of the adventure and we happily chatted to passengers along the way. They couldn’t quite believe we were so lightweight – moving house with just our backpacks and bikes…
Five train journeys and one minor injury later (I knocked the skin off my shin as I negotiated my bike and pannier off a train), we arrived in Kilmarnock. Now there was only an hour left – to cycle.
We battled busy roads and hit steep hills on cycle tracks. With my 15.5kg combined baggage weight, the hills were hard. I got off half way up this one, but Lyden toughed it out.
We felt lucky; the skies remained clear and it was still daylight. On this occasion, Google Maps didn’t take these hills and our baggage into consideration…
Two hours later (ten hours after our journey began), we arrived at our new home. We greeted our new house owners with champion arm waves and laughter – we made it! Our sense of achievement was massive, and we were knackered. Friendly faces and warm handshakes guided us into the fold for bacon quiche and tea. What more could we ask for?
Our home for 8 weeks is ‘up the Glen’ in a little Ayrshire village called Darvel. It’s a trek over a couple of fields to get to one of the 3 neighbouring farms, but we can get to Co-op in 5 minutes of adrenaline-fuelled downhill cycling. It’s beautiful here.
The wild life
We have two cats who bring us mice. Some dead, some alive – they like to mix things up. The bullfinches are nesting in the roof, jumping up from the balcony like puppies on a work surface. Hundreds of birds come to the feeder each day, and a pheasant sits beneath to catch the falling seeds. We often see deer on the slope just metres from our bedroom window.
The night we arrived, we gained insight of a different life in the armed forces. The house owners have a family history as engineers and pilots in the RAF. We’re looking after their house while they travel in India, Australia and New Zealand. The exchange for living here is to keep the house clean and safe, to look after the cats, and to enjoy.
It’s a fair deal!
And I wasn’t joking about the sauna. In fact, I think it’s time for our little workout and sauna now… who says you can’t keep warm in the snow?