‘We’re all going on a summer holiday’, the one Cliff Richard tune that makes you smile rather than cringe. Trouble is, we invest so much into those two weeks that there’s hell to pay if they don’t deliver.
This year’s had, as usual, to be packed in between deadlines and despite an unexpected project things seemed to be going swimmingly until, that is, we developed a cracked windscreen. AutoGlass could not attend until the day before we were due to drive to Scotland but we answered all their questions and were promised all would be well. It wasn’t. Yes, they turned up but with the wrong windscreen as their system could not distinguish between our CRV and the older version. It would have to be reordered and fitted in Glasgow in six days’ time.
The drive up was memorable for watching that crack in the windscreen snake from the passenger to the driver’s side but we made it. The lodge we were staying in was as good as the photographs, complete with a welcome pack and a very welcoming bottle of wine. But as we made supper the second night the fire alarm went off, the first of several hiccups.
Suffice to say that the smoke alarm is now covered with a shower cap, the hot water which went on the blink has been mended by Robert the plumber but it inadvertently put the central heating on ‘constant’. After a night spent in sauna conditions we had just got this under control when the dog went sick, off food, could hardly drag herself upright, so off to a strange vet went we. A hundred pounds poorer (two hundred if you count the visit to our local vet the night before we left) we started wondering whether someone on high was trying to tell us something about holidays, particularly as by the weekend I went down with a bug.
But now, as we relax into the second week, and without having to get up in the morning to let the plumber in, or our landlord, or even AutoGlass…we’re starting to remember what holidays are all about. Off we went for a visit to the House for an Art Lover in Bellahouston Park at the weekend, followed by a culture fest of galleries today, an exhibition of comics at the Hunterian and a leisurely meander round the Burrell Collection.
Combine that with a trip to the coast, alongside the brooding Clyde, and more shades of blue and grey than I could hope to reproduce and I count myself content. It’s been a holiday that has revealed Glasgow as one of the greenest cities I’ve ever visited (four visits to Pollok Park, each time encountering new plants and livestock, including Highland Cattle) and living on the outskirts has proved a real eye opener.
We visited Whitelee Windfarm, which with 215 turbines is the UK’s largest onshore wind farm, and marvelled at what they looked like close up, shades of Day of the Triffids. And coincidentally the Scottish Government announced two days later that it had exceeded its target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 42% – six years early. Westminster take note.
In fact, truth be told, the air is so much cleaner, the people so much friendlier, and the cost of living so much cheaper that we have been looking at the price of houses up here (but don’t tell the kids). So yes, holidays are worth the wait but why is that you always need another one to get over the one that you’ve just been on? Ah well, we’re back up that way this weekend for a wedding in Liverpool. Will the trip be any more dramatic than the one we’ve just been on? I’m not holding my breath.