Wednesday, 8 August 2012

A Few Days Off the Road

Writing this quickly before the caravan WIFI drops out again. It seems that as soon as more than one happy caravaner logs on the speed drops to something like 1kb per minute.

After the three thousand mile trek that was late July, early August has been a little more relaxing and we’ve had a pleasant few days in Scotland and have a few more to come before we head back down to Suffolk on Monday. The sun even shone on St Andrews yesterday allowing me to get the bike out of store and get pedalling (which is a good job as, apart from walking around Rochester we’ve had very little exercise over the past three weeks).

I got riding with a vengeance and managed about twenty miles with a lot of climbs in glorious sunshine taking just a short breather to look at the wonderful ruined abbey in St Andrews. Obviously I’ve seen it a hundred times but I can never ride past without stopping and taking in the view and imagining what life was like there hundreds of years ago on that lovely headland.

Before I got cycling we had time for a trip to Cineworld in Dundee to see Pixar’s latest “Brave”. One of the benefits of being in Scotland is that we got to see it a week before it’s released in England. It’s yet another triumph from Pixar with all the fabulous LA studio’s hallmarks of humour, pathos and incredible attention to detail. Flame haired Merida is a headstrong young Scottish princess from the days when that abbey was in full swing. She’s not keen on the arranged marriage being proposed by her mum and dad (voiced by Emma Thompson and Billy Connolly) and takes steps to avoid it. What follows is a blend of the supernatural, sorcery, legend and adventure as teenaged Merida battles to get her own way and in doing so brings crisis to her family. Family bonding and love is a constant in Pixar movies and the relationship between mother and daughter is beautifully done without being corny or over-sentimental. Despite that underlying theme there’s still plenty of time for the expected comedy both visual and verbal with plenty of Scottish dialect that was very well received by the Dundee audience. The film comes along with a beautiful little short called “La Luna” that is quit enchanting. Don’t miss it.

On Monday I was given the “job” of looking after Rose while Marion and Sarah did some sorting out of Sarah’s pre-maternity wardrobe. What at treat! We went to play at the caravan park playground until she was shattered.

I couldn’t have had a better day.