For many years John has fancied walking to Sandwood beach, proclaimed one of the finest in Scotland, where in theory we have been on a fishing holiday.
On the second morning, with the sun again prepared to beat down and no fish in river or loch, we set off for this mythical beach. It was miles there and back. Nine miles. As we came over the last hill and the beach lay before us I was in a state of collapse. John may be fit but I am little less athletic.
Actually the last section down through the dunes and onto the beach, where breakers that have rolled in three thousand miles across the Atlantic crash against the shore, was the hardest. And the bit back up again.
Since then we have found other beaches which are far more accessible and just as good.
Highlight of the week has been sea fishing and buying fresh haddock for an evening meal at a local fish auction. Boxes of hake, catfish, monkfish, pollock, coley, cod, ling and haddock were up for sale. All destined for France or Spain. The same with the crabs and lobster we saw landed at another port. Wonderful fresh produce landed and all destined for the continent because there is not the local demand.
At home our house sitters have texted to say that they have been kept awake by a fox calling early in the morning. It must be the juvenile foxes from the litter of the vixen who was harassing our hens, banties, chicks and guinea fowl.
As Andy is a professional gamekeeper it has sent him into high anxiety mode and I should imagine he is conspiring with my brother-in-law Geoff who is looking after the cattle and sheep, as to what to do about the threat.
What has kept us awake, apart from the almost perpetually light nights has been a manic cuckoo. It never seemed to stop. It cuckooed for the entire week ..
But despite the lack of fishing opportunities we still had a wonderful week. Hot hot hot, and no airports to come back home through.
I have however come in for a lot of stick from the friends we went with for my penchant for gadgets. Star of my week was an electronic fly zapper where the fly goes off to fly heaven in a shower of sparks and an aroma of charred insect.
My gadget mania came into its own though when one of our friends, lacking a bottle opener for their trip to the beach, requested the use of my multi-tool gizmo.
As they parked up, a horrible grating noise heralded something nasty and boken. Miles from anywhere but luckily with network coverage.
The tiny call out garage were uncertain how to deal with the problem but a call to our friends’ own dealer, told them how to rectify the fault, but “You’ll need something to prise the console off with, have you got anything handy?”
Of course they had. Mrs Gadget saved the day.
Mrs Downs Diary