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MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: Summering in the Highlands

Do you have any summer plans in the works?

We could not decide on what to do this summer so our plans were made a little at the last minute.  I love Jools Holland and his band so we are going down to Harrogate to see him in concert at Ripley Castle.  It is one of those picnic concerts with fireworks at the end.  We have seen him before at a concert like this and it was great.  I hope that the weather will be nice so that we can really enjoy it.

On the way to Harrogate we are stopping off in Edinburgh.  It is a great place to visit with lots to do for all of us.  We will probably go to Butterfly World when we are there as I love butterflies (I have about 5 butterfly necklaces).

When we are down in Harrogate we may visit York as this is another favourite destination of ours.  The narrow windy streets with all of the little shops is just fab.  My husband proposed when we were in York many years ago so it holds a special place in our hearts.

When we come back from Harrogate we are setting off to Dornoch for 5 days.  If it is good enough for Madonna it is good enough for us!

Dornoch is going to be all about relaxation.  We have all bought books and will get lots of magazines to read.   Dornoch is a little place in the far north of Scotland.   We are going to a caravan there and it is right at the beach.  The beach is gorgeous and never too busy either.  Planning lots of long walks breathing in the fresh sea air.  Should give us rosy cheeks.  When we are up there we are planning on visiting John O Groats and some of the towns at the very top of Scotland as my husband and daughter have never been.  We will also take a trip to the Falls of Shin – you can watch the salmon leaping here and then go to the lovely gift shop that sells a wide variety of stuff – even some things from Harrods!

We also have a couple of parties to fit in, one at the beginning of the holiday and one at the very end. The first on is a party my sister and I are throwing for my mum’s 65th birthday.  It is a combined birthday and retirement party. Should be hard work but fun as we are doing all of the catering and stuff ourselves. The other party is a “Crazy Party” we are having for my daughter’s 11th birthday. She has invited 7 friends and I have ordered loads of balloons and party favours off of the internet and we have lots of games and stuff planned.  Should be great fun.

What do you like best about summer?

  • Long summer days with light nights
  • Sunshine
  • Barbecues
  • Walks along the beach listening to the sea
  • Going for picnics
  • Pretty summer flowers and butterflies
  • Waking up to sunshine
  • Drinking wine in the garden
  • Birthdays (nearly all of our family has a summer birthday)
  • Holidays
  • All the summer berries like strawberries and raspberries
  • Eating ice cream from a cone
  • Salads

What will be different this summer vs. last summer, if anything?

I think that things in general (shopping, days out, travel) are more expensive so we may have to spend more time at home than last year.   Have promised I will take my daughter berry picking as I could not drive before so we have never been.

What is your favorite thing to do around the house during the summer?

I love to see my washing (especially bedding and towels) hanging outside and blowing in the wind with the sun shining down.  I also like to have my house smelling fresh so I have windows open whenever possible and like to see my bathroom sparkling and smelling nice and fresh and clean.

When I am not washing sheets and towels and cleaning my bathroom I love to lie on my bed with the sun streaming through the window and read either a good book or find cooking inspiration in Delicious Magazine.

How, if at all, do you care differently for your home during the summer?

In the summer I feel more energized and I normally go through a getting into shape phase.  This normally involves me trying to keep as busy as possible so that I do not eat loads of junk.   I get a lot more focused and plan what I am going to do and when so that I do not lose track. I normally write down a plan of action at the beginning of the day (when I am not at work) and I score things off as I have done them.  I feel like I have accomplished something when I see all of the jobs scored off my list! I put a lot more energy into my cleaning in the summer as well.  The whole house looks and feels a lot nicer when the sun is streaming through the window and it is sparkling clean.   When my daughter is on her school holidays I do feel guilty if I am spending a long time doing housework so rather that having a whole day focused on getting the house ship shape, I will do some one day and more the next day and so on so that I can spend time with her as well.  However, I am certainly no cleaning saint and I have days that I cannot be bothered and the place looks like a bomb has went off.  I try and get a balance of cleaning and living!

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