Then a couple of days later we went to Stirling Castle..
The day after that we went to Edinburgh, parked in a park & ride carpark on the outskirts (nobody in their right mind drives in Edinburgh when they're unfamiliar with it - not more than once anyway), got the bus into the city centre and went to the castle. Now this would have been a tremendous disappointment if we weren't Historic Scotland members and would therefore have had to queue for a while and pay a lot to get in. As it was, we are members and got fast-tracked in so it didn't matter that we didn't really enjoy it. I think the problem is it's such a martial castle, and if you're not into military history, well, it's just a rock on a hill. It's all very well presented and the staff were pleasant and helpful but it just didn't grab us. As my Beloved commented Stirling Castle is all 'come and see how much fun history is' but Edinburgh Castle is more 'come and be impressed by our history'. We had our picnic, admired the views, were there for the one o'clock gun, mooched around for a bit trying to be interested, then gave up and pottered back down the hill. I took the picture above in Ramsay Lane which takes you down from Castlehill to the Mound, purely because I liked the shape of the metal balustrade.
Since that week it has stayed hot, which has been, well, weird. We've been out and about a bit but have been taking it easy. It's the longest hot spell of Miss M's life - I think it was a fairly nice summer the year she was born, but she was born in October so she missed it and I had all the joy of being pregnant in the summer. A winter pregnancy is much more bearable! It's the longest hot spell in the Boy's memory too, though I remember his first summer being pretty hot at times, such as the day he had his 3-month jabs and it was stifling in the health centre. All the babies were stripped down to their nappies and they were all miserable even before the needles got near them.
Consequently the kids have got fed up with this heat and having been hoping for rain and cooler weather.
It has cooled a bit now but has been very muggy so we've had some thunderstorms, luckily in the daytime so no sleep has been disturbed. Miss M was a bit nervy about them initially but has relaxed now. We just switch off the computers if they're on and retreat upstairs to read on the big bed, which is quite peaceful.
It was lovely on Monday though and my mother-in-law took the kids and me to Culzean Castle. Actually we didn't go to the castle itself (really more a grand house than a castle) but parked at the far end of the park, next to the play area and the Swan Pond, and then headed down through the trees to the beach, where we had a great time eating our picnic, paddling, exploring the rocks, drawing in the sand and so on.
And the really good thing about the warm weather is that our strawberries are doing well this year!
There's just under three weeks left of the school holidays - it's gone so fast, I suppose partly because we've packed so much into it for once. So much a for a knitting-ish blog though - it's been too warm for much knitting!