Our holiday got off to a flying start as we first headed up the coast to Whitby to visit with my godmother. As I feared she was terribly frail as the cancer is really taking its toll. I was scared to hug her tightly in case she might break. We talked about the good old times we had shared with my parents and Ken, my deceased godfather. We had so many lovely memories to share which was very comforting for us all. We talked of getting up at the crack of dawn and meeting them down at the fishing port to see what the catch was. Dad and I would hand pick the ones we wanted to eat for breakfast or for the evening meal.
Colin and I went down into the town once we left her and the smell of the sea, the salty tang in the air combined with the smell of fish made me long to be small again, with no worries ahead and the warm comfort of my dads hand as we walked back to the car with our bounty from the sea. So many memories were evoked in our little time spent here but we had to move on, our holiday needed to begin in earnest.
We called into a site at Edinburgh, such a beautiful city. We shopped until we dropped and we went for a drink on an avenue where we met three lovely girls from Glasgow up to see Wet Wet Wet. We shared their table and they were well into their third bottle of Prosecco when we sat down. What a pleasure it was to talk to these three nurses. They made us smile so much and told us where we should be visiting. We took it all on board and fully intended to go on our way home but sadly things intervened and this was not to be. Were it not for my absolute tiredness that engulfed me I would have loved to have spent more time with them I hope the concert was as good as they were hoping it would be.
Onwards then to Killin Falls and such a wonderful trundle through this tiny village. We went to actually sit on the rocks at the side of the falls and so lovely it was to feel the spray on our faces as we saw the magnificence of this water tumbling gently down the rocks at our feet. How I loved this place and long to return.
Going back to our motor home we went a different way and saw there were so many raspberry bushes full with their bounty. Of course my ever present little bag came out of my pocket and I picked enough to go on our breakfast dish in the morning They were big and luscious. A deer passed in front of us as we trundled back, not very old at all it stood amongst the bushes and watched us with its beautiful big almost black eyes. There was no fear at all to be near the human population and I marvelled at the beauty of this magnificent animal. When we all tired of examining each other it slowly walked away, its head held high. What a pleasure it was for me to see this.
Into the motor home again and this time to visit one of our favourite places, Fort William. Our site was at the base of Ben Nevis, a mountain that Colin has visited so many times, walking up and enjoying so many views from the top. Not for him though the tourist path, he always choose the difficult routes. One time he climbed it in winter using his ice axe and his crampons. He does not like easy stages in anything!
We went for dinner at the base of this mountain and what a friendly bunch they were behind the bar. I rarely drink, preferring generally water but hey, I was on holiday! Not sure of what to have the guy behind the bar proceeded to give me tasters of many of the drinks in the pumps. I laughed and said at this rate iI did not need to purchase a drink, I was very merry already. A lovely meal followed before we went slightly inebriated, only slightly, to our bed.
Our next stop was to visit friends in Ardtoe, a tiny place where in fact the cottages numbered just three! There were some of the old crofts around though no longer in use since the Scottish government gave them huge subsidies to build new crofts. It all added to the charm of the place. Colin went out in the boat with Philip, a family member who holidays here each year to pull up the lobster pots that were set every day. The family have a small boat and put out their pots daily. the catch was magnificent. Two beautiful lobsters and too many prawns to know what to do with. Philip and Trevor would boil these and prepare them for the freezer. We took sufficient prawns for our evening meal and they were truly delicious.
We stayed here for two nights and Colin fished and caught us a mackerel which we had as a starter for our evening meal. This place is truly idyllic, magical and holds many memories for Colin. Alas it was here that my back "went" and I screamed in agony. I had not been doing anything silly, did not bed down or twist, something happened in my body and this for me was disaster.
As I suffer from ph I know many medicines react with our ph meds so we are told to stay clear of them. Ibuprofen is one of them but for sure paracetamol alone would not even begin to touch this pain. Miles from the nearest doctor I had no option but to take them. I know for a fact they make our INR rise sharply but what could I do. I lowered my daily dose of warfarin and hoped for the best. There was no signal for a mobile phone here, no wifi, nothing so it was self help only. I knew if it did not begin to right itself it would be homeward bound for me but decided to try to get on with it and so off we headed on our journey once more.
I was sad to leave this place. I would wake from sleep to the sound of the waves nudging the rocks and this would lull me back to sleep, the gentle stirring of the water and the bleating of the sheep as they nestled under the tyres of our motor home. Don't worry no sheep were harmed by us at all.
On we drove, most of the time with me gritting my teeth against the pain in my back. We stopped at Eilean Donan Castle. This scenery was magnificent and the pine backdrop was mirrored perfectly in the water of the Loch, oh to be a painter and put brush to canvas to capture all this beauty. Sadly here though we saw a dead calf at the side of the road. We also saw signs that warned us to take care as there were Feral goats for the next two miles. These signs did not help this poor calf.
Sadly my back was truly bad and I wanted to scream in agony. I was like an addict counting the hours until I could take my next "fix" and this particular one being one I should not be having, the ibuprofen.
Our penultimate stop was at the Glenuig Inn on the side of beautiful Lochailort. Nestled on the shores of this loch we went to the Inn for dinner. I could not eat much but settled on Cullen Skink, a true Scottish recipe for fish soup. I have had it many tines but never one to beat this. As there was a smoke house only yards from the restaurant we assume their fish is so fresh. The bread that accompanied it was fresh and home baked. With two huge slabs of this and a whole load of butter, yes bad for the arteries I know, it made a magnificent supper for me.
We decided our last stop before home would be a place called Moffat and how lovely this small town turned out to be. Here we actually did a pub crawl, well to be honest we visited three pubs before going for a Chinese take away and taking it back to our van. Definitely made the list of our must visit places again. At the entrance to this site there was a home made pizza oven and the man that owned it was just stoking up the fire and advertising fresh home made pizzas. We thought about it and decided it would be one for next time.
I had wanted to stop at Gretna Green on the way home but by then I knew I needed to get myself in a more comfy position and relieve the jarring of the ride so we headed straight back to home. Oh the delight of seeing an envelope I had been hoping to receive with some good news in it, more about that at a later date. I rang my hairdresser to and made an appointment for a complete hair do, I really must get this "Back" of mine sorted out soon.
Whilst away sadly Lyz Clematis, one of our admins fell poorly and was admitted to hospital They are referring her back to the transplant clinic as it is feared her disease is progressing faster than was hoped. I am sure we all pray for her to get fit enough to return to her family soon.
Another source of great joy was to receive a post from Marc Facer with this superb news. HE NO LONGER HAS PH! It seems that he has a complex issues, well a few but what they believed was ph initially turned out to be a lack of vitamin D, he was totally without this vitamin in his body. Now I don't even begin to understand what this means so I asked Marc to please explain it more fully in a Facebook post before he left us. He kindly did. Now this is extremely rare so please don't all begin to wonder if your ph is a lack of this vitamin, would that it could be, for sure.
Home sweet home and our plan to call and see Izzy before she left for holiday the following day worked out so great. Colin rang her and was talking to her on the phone, not letting on we are outside the her door. We then rang the doorbell and as the door opened Izzy, who was on the stairs stared for a split second with wonder and said "is this true" with a huge squeal she ran to be enveloped in grandads arms and was so overwhelmed that she had grandad back again. She kept saying "are you back, are you back" and we told her we had come to see them all before they left for their holiday I was presented with two home made pots she had done at her holiday club and was pleased to put them in our airing cupboard to dry out further before they go on display.
So here I am home again with some wonderful friends asking how they can help. I cant wait to see them. I can get on Facebook all the time now and at last I saw all the lovely messages you all sent me when I last posted about my back. How truly lovely it is to see so much support and I thank each and every one of you.
All for now, cant do anything more about this silly back of mine until Monday but in the meantime there are exciting things to deal with.
So I love you and leave you with the words once again of thanks, thanks for being there for me, thanks for caring, for reading and for liking and commenting on my posts.
oh and for those on the transplantlist still waiting, remember I said generally somebody gets the call whilst we are away don't forget this one...... I still officially have a further 16 days of my holidays so don't hide your hospital bag away just yet!