The last time Connie and I did something like take a spontaneous holiday, we ended up trying to force Frank to sleep in a tent with Connie and I. It ended poorly; Con ended up sleeping in the car, whilst Frank loved sleeping on her air bed. He was only a year old when we took the trip to Carradale Bay in 2013, but we thought it would be a fun test and a fun trip, and despite that sleepless night we have strong memories of BBQing on the beach, Connie drinking her prosecco a little too fast, and the sun beating down.
Also, we watched a family bring their small boat in from a further away bay, lower their anchor, only to return ten minutes later to find that, unbeknownst to them, the tide had been receding and they had a long walk back to wherever they came from.
That was, by my count, six years ago. So it was no surprise that people were surprised that we spontaneously did it again. It was basically mooted on the Thursday, decided on the Saturday afternoon, and within 20 hours we were on the road. Aptly, we chose to head back to the Mull of Kintyre, but this time a little bit further north of Carradale Bay, going for the sleepy village of Skipness.
If I had to describe Skipness it would be “houses on a beach”. There is very little there - no pubs, no park, no Subway, the very definition of off-grid. We found a single night stay Airbnb, a converted single floor apartment in a coach house, and took both of the children and that numpty Frank along for the trip too.
I will say this - Skipness was perfect for us. It had a castle five minutes walk away from the house, and another five minutes walk a beach. On that beach the girls played in the water as Connie and I watched, and Frank splashed about too in the stoney-beach. The girls had asked for fishing nets, so we went and found some rock pools, discovering what looked like prawns, crab parts washed around, small fish, snails, and anemones all in the rock pool, like in the book we’ve read. They got soaked and cold, but it was worth it, and on the walk back we stopped in at the Skipness Seafood Cabin so I could get a smoked salmon roll.
The next day saw us wake up and have no plans - we’d looked at getting the Ferry to Arran - the other Arran Ferry goes from a few miles outside of Skipness - but it looked like we;d get stuck on the island, as the Ardrossan Ferry was booked out on the way back to the mainland. Instead, we went to Tarbet and caught the Cowal Ferry to Portavadie, and then spent the day going to Ostel Bay and one of the most run down lunch spots I think I’ve subjected Connie to in our relationship in Tighnabruiach.
It was a fun diversion after a stressful few weeks of Joni starting school and a house purchase falling through, and it was a nice warm up for Part Two and more of our Scotland 2019 holiday, as in a few weeks at the October break we’ve hired a campervan, and intend on touring the North of Scotland in it, children and dog included.
Frank this time, at least, let Connie sleep in her own bed. Let’s see how he does with the campervan.