Ruggedness, family and wolves …

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Well it’s been a fantastic couple of weeks relaxation wise. I’m guessing I needed the break since I’ve done a lot of sleeping which isn’t like me. I’m one of those people who exists on little sleep as a rule, usually maybe 5 hours solid per night. So when I’m off work for a length of time my body goes into hibernation mode and I sleep for maybe 8-9 hours per night instead. Shame I can’t be off more often 😉

As you can see from the photos, my trusty digital camera has been out of the cupboard for play time. Me and Pete have been up to the beautiful Scotland to visit relatives and have a short stay in a hotel. The first night was spent at his granddad’s house in Nairn on a lovely working farm. He has ten head of cattle that he breeds and sells from. He’s getting on now so only a small herd. He is a fantastic baker however! Best scones ever. And his wife’s mac and cheese was amazing. We then headed further up north to the very top – my aunt and uncle live in a very remote location, 24 miles into a 40 mile single track road then up a dirt track, across a small river bridge, and up more track until we hit their genuine house on a hill. The nearest neighbour is probably about 4 miles away. It’s truly beautiful. Whilst there we enjoyed some down time, visited John O’Groats and partook in the kind of relaxation only such solitude can bring.

I’d like to say I got a lot of writing done, but to be entirely honest when I wasn’t out or looking at the view, I was chatting or sleeping! I’m still aiming to get finished before I return to work next week though.

After visiting with the relatives, me and Pete headed to a lovely hotel in Grantown-on-Spey – a small village in the middle of the Cairngorms. The hotel itself looked slightly like a fairy tale castle and was lovely for a short break. Making the decision to visit the Highland Wildlife Park while we were there was easy – I love animals of all kinds and the park houses wolves, You may or may not know that I adore wolves. So we headed over nice and early after booking our tickets online. The staff were very knowledgeable and helpful throughout the whole day. We gave a donation of a pound and did the land-rover tour – perhaps I should clarify here. The park has several enclosures but also a large expanse of land used as a drive around safari. You can take your own car and get up close and personal and can also pay for a guided tour where the guide teaches you about all the animals. It was well worth the pound! Thoroughly enjoyed looking round and snapping pics of all the animals roaming free. Got plenty of beautiful pics – the animals may actually have been posing for me – look at the beautiful snowy owl above for example! Or the mama wolf staring at us through the cage (hence the blurry lines in the foreground). I seriously could take my laptop to one of the seating areas and sit there all day. The park is so peaceful.

That’s pretty much been my two weeks – I’ve had a third rejection email through but still remaining positive – just because those agents don’t like my work doesn’t mean another won’t pick me up. It’s still early days yet! And the feedback I’m getting from the additional readers I’ve had read book 1 is very encouraging. I write because I love to write, and because I hope one day you will all enjoy my writing too. I actually had one crime reader tell me that my book was better than than Karen Rose – not sure how accurate that is as Karen is a fantastic author, but it made me smile 🙂

The aims for this week are to get book 2 finished so I can put it away in the drawer and forget about it until it comes to editing, and to settle back into being at home after my wonderful break. The good news is I get to go up again and visit the relatives in 3 weeks with mum this time! Two hols in a month – truly blessed 🙂 and the plan for next year is to visit much more often. Family is so important – sometimes we forget to appreciate the people close to us. Visiting gives us the chance to spend time together and create wonderful memories. I’m blessed to have family who live in the country of my heart – I love England, but Scotland is just so rugged and wild. Me and Pete will probably end up living there one day when the time is right.

For now though, I shall bid you all a good weekend – take care and keep smiling. Often. x