Tag Archives: Skye

Due Date

A mother should never dread the due date of her baby. She might be worried or nervous, but in most cases she will be buzzing with excitement and anticipation. Not so the mother who loses her baby before the due date arrives.

We knew Ewan had died 8 weeks before his due date. I’ve written before about one clear memory I have of that morning when I went to get some petrol. As I was filling up, I remember thinking that ‘in 8 weeks our baby might be here, in 10 weeks it probably, most definitely will be here’. Not to be.

Very early on, I knew that we had to do something on Ewan’s due date. Whilst I know that very few babies arrive on their actual due date (it’s something like 4%), I knew that the day would mark a very important milestone. I just knew that I couldn’t spend the day sitting at home, watching the hours pass and wondering what might have been.

So Adam and I made plans on how we would spend 11th March. I have written already about our love of Scotland. At that time we had recently discovered the West Coast Highlands and Islands and so decided to head up to the Isle of Skye. If you look on a map, Skye is pretty far north. It’s about a 4 hour drive north of Glasgow, and that’s just to the southern tip across the Skye road bridge. I booked a cottage on the northern tip, a place called Uig, another hours drive. Looking at it now, it seems as though I was trying to get as far away from home as possible. That thought didn’t really cross my mind at the time. We just knew that Skye would be a beautiful place to escape to.

11 20

We split the journey up and stopped a night at a beautiful B & B at the southern tip of Loch Lomond. The following morning was the 11th March. We looked onwards and upwards. We had a weekend of amazing and wild scenery to look forward to.

The roads skirting along the length of Loch Lomond, onto the high ground of Rannoch Moor, through Glen Coe, past Ben Nevis and up to Skye give you simply spectacular views. They are a thousand times worth the journey to get that far north. There was still plenty of snow on a lot of the high ground after that particularly long and cold winter, which extended onto the mountains of Skye. The scenery was simply stunning. I’d like to think my photographs do it justice, but it doesn’t!

79 78

On Skye, we eventually found our tiny cottage, a former Granary, and settled in. Out of the three nights, we had two blazing sunsets over the sea, looking out across the Little Minch towards the Outer Hebrides. I love the photograph Adam took of me smiling with my head out of the window. Looking out at the sunsets brought real calmness and peace. On the day that could have been one of the hardest tests, I am happy.

31 87The next day brought cold, but fine weather. We threw our warm gear on and headed to the Old Man of Storr, Staffin and Kilt Rock. We did quite a bit of walking and in the afternoon I started to get tired as we were heading up to a summit for more spectacular views. I was frustrated with myself, even though Adam kept reminding me that it wasn’t 8 weeks since I had given birth and my body was still recovering. I reluctantly agreed to turn back (why is he always right??).

58 40 48

The rain for which the West Coast is famous for, joined us on the Sunday. Although it was tempting to stay tucked up indoors, we braved the elements and drove to the Waternish peninsula to go to the beach! I loved watching the wind whipping the water off the waves. Later that night we huddled up and listened to a wild storm raging around us outside.

104 97

With heavy hearts we packed up to go home and back to reality. It was only a short trip but we came back a little more energised and with the ability to carry on facing the difficult challenges life was throwing at us. We didn’t forget about Ewan whilst we were in Scotland, we took him with us and continued to talk about what had happened and how we felt. But the trip gave us an excuse to ‘do’ something and enjoy ourselves. Smile, laugh and be silly without feeling guilty. Be normal. Start healing.

117 114

How do I feel now on the 11th March? It’s funny. It’s actually not a day that I usually think or worry about. January is a huge focus for us as this was when Ewan was born. Being perfectly honest, when I thought about writing this post, I had to double check whether his due date was the 11th or 13th.  Most importantly though, it is now my niece’s birthday. She is 3 today (Happy Birthday Emma – see you tomorrow!). It’s quite fitting that we can now celebrate this day, laughing and smiling as we should. And I like to think that Ewan will be celebrating with us too.

 

A Scottish Love Affair

Later this month we are off up to Scotland with the boys for a week. Adam and I LOVE Scotland. In our 10 years together we’ve been countless times either camping, renting cottages or staying with friends, and there is still so much for us to explore. Even though, relatively speaking, it is only a small country, I feel as though we could have 20 different holidays in 20 different locations and there still be plenty more to see. I want to list some of the highlights of my experiences with you, and share why it is such a special place to us.

West Coast

Loch ness

Me & Nessie

This has to be my favourite region. The scenery is simply breath-taking. It feels like a real effort to go to the Highlands and Islands and so the locals are really welcoming. You could drive for 10 miles and count the number of cars you see coming the other way on one hand. It is so incredibly remote despite being part of the ‘overcrowded’ British Isles.

The one downside is the amount of time it takes to get there. Even though we live in the North of England, it is still a good 7 hour drive. When Dylan went as a baby he got fed up with the long drives, even though we took breaks every couple of hours and built in an overnight stop each way. When they get a bit older though, we’ll definitely start to explore again. I’d love to take in a trip going from Skye to the islands of Lewis, Harris and Barra.

Mull

Tobermory 2

Adam and Dylan in Tobermory

Dylan’s first journey north of the border was to Mull for a week when he was 8 months old. We were able to explore the island mainly with Dylan in the Baby Bjorn carrier (so much so that he refused to go back in his pram after the holiday was over!!). There are beautiful beaches, islands, walks and hills.

I love the photographs below I have taken of Iona (a tiny island off Mull). When I posted them on my Facebook page, some people thought we were in the Caribbean (ok maybe not with the cardies!).

Iona         Me and D

PrawnsThis picture was taken on Ulva, another small island off Mull. We explored the island with after taking a tiny passenger ferry across. The prawns were caught about 20 metres offshore. It was  one of the simplest, yet most delicious meals I’ve tasted.

Skye

Skye

The view from our cottage in Uig, Skye

This was a particularly poignant journey, in more ways than one. We booked a short break to coincide with Ewan’s due date. I know about only 4% of babies actually arrive on their due date, but I couldn’t bear to be sat in the house, drumming my fingers and thinking of what might be. We decided to get away to take our minds off it. I don’t think it is uncommon for families similarly affected by stillbirth in a similar way to do this.

Sunset Skye

Sunset over the Outer Hebrides

Our cottage was in the far north of the island, near a small village called Uig. It was March, so the weather was cold and bleak, with some snow still on the ground. But it was beautiful. My photographs don’t do it justice. During the daytime we explored the island, battered by the wind, rain and (some) sun, energised by the fresh sea and mountain air. I wanted to do lots of walking, but remember getting frustrated at being tired. Although how many people go hiking 8 weeks after giving birth?? Not many. At night we watched the sunset over the Outer Hebrides and then battered down the hatches in our little cottage.

Glen Coe

Glen coe pink coat

Snow covered Glen Coe

clachaig band

The Clachaig Inn

Wow – What a spectacular place. It’s pretty impossible to get to the highlands without going through Glen Coe so we have driven through a few times and it never fails to impress. It is often described as one of the most beautiful places in Scotland. We once stopped a night at the Red Squirrel campsite. It was a bit of a miserable drizzly night and we almost had an early night after our long drive and a bland pasta tea cooked on the camping stove. Instead we decided to head on up the road to the Clachaig Inn for a drink. There was a band playing covers and the place was full to bursting. I’m pretty sure sweat was trickling down the walls! It’s hard to describe but it was possibly one of the most unplanned and random, but best nights out ever!

The Small Isles

Eigg Rum  Eigg

Camusdarach overlooks the beautiful Small Isles of Eigg, Rum, Muck and Canna (great names!). We spent 3 nights at a campsite next to the beach. I would sit at sunrise and sunset each night trying to capture as many photographs of the islands as possible. We took a trip to Eigg one day and attempted to scale the Sgurr (the distinct hump shape). Unfortunately we never made it to the top. We were surrounded by swirling mist and at the point when we couldn’t see more than a metre in front of us and with a sheer drop into the Irish Sea below, we turned back!

Edinburgh

Edinburgh

I am so lucky to have visited Edinburgh on numerous occasions with friends and family. One of my brothers used to live nearby and a good friend married a Scotsman and ‘emigrated’ here so we have seen it from the perspective of locals as well as tourists. I have been to the Fringe festival and spent a memorable New Years Eve there. It was also the location of my first (and only so far) marathon! Edinburgh is one of my favourite cities. It is beautiful, easy to navigate and walk around. There is so much to see and do. Again after plenty of visits I could still go back time and time again. Hopefully we will take the boys soon. I’d love to take them to Edinburgh Zoo to see the Giant Panda (and maybe a baby or two!).

 

This list is by no means endless, and there are lots of wonderful places I haven’t included. I’m sure I will get round to sharing some of our experiences from Dumfries and Galloway after our holiday, an area I haven’t really explored since a family trip when I was 4 years old!

I hope you enjoyed hearing about my Scottish Love Affair. Are you a Scottish fan? Please share your favourite places. If not, have I converted you?

    

 

You Baby Me Mummy