Weekend Coffee Share – Braemar

If we were having coffee it would be in the small village of Braemar, in the highlands of Scotland. A lovely feeling of remoteness where the main thing on offer is fresh air, relaxation and time away from the office.

A Sunday morning run in the bag, bread in the oven and the paper to read, the week is starting well. Trying to forget the shower incident. The call from son number 1 who managed to break the shower, or to find the only thing with the potential to stop working in the place. Mainly we couldn’t get the shower to switch off. A hunt for the stopcock ensued, cutting the water off at the mains. Perfect timing in terms of me needing a post run shower!

Back to the coffee though, and breathe…… the shower now fixed post a quick visit from the owner of the place. The cottage is tranquil and warm, surrounded by great views. In April the camper van although an option is hard in damp, dreich and cold climes. The four of us for a week, we’ve tried in the past, no one comes back happy from being cooped in a small tin on wheels. The highlands at this time of year is still cold, below zero overnight and the mountains still covered in patches of snow. The appeal of a cottage was too great to ignore and the boy needed a place to revise with Exams kick in when we get back.

The main agenda of the week, to cover some of the hills in the area, mainly soak up the air, detox from the office and spend some time with the boys.

….…the week went by quickly, we were blessed with blue skies, albeit very cold days.

Managed a couple of Munro’s in the area. Carn Bhac….One of the less visited and we suffered for it struggling through peat bogs to get from Beinn Iutharn Mhor albeit we did it in reverse to the route suggested from walkhighlands. Mountain bikes to altanour lodge were a godsend for the way back.

Carn a’Mhaim from the Linn of Dee my favourite of the two hill walking days, the lush green scots pine against the blue skies, the rivers and the views from the top were just amazing. Another one of those if you could bottle up the feeling for the day and take a drink when you’re back at the office in order to deal with 200+ emails a day kind of moments….would make the office a better place if you could share the feeling. The mountains have been there for thousands of years….and will be there for a little longer.

Back at home and eager to get a few things done, my pc running like a dog, a week of being switched off has put the final nail in the coffin….I feel a rebuild coming on….but the whole recovery disk and Windows 10….has moved on…they don’t make it easy……..more coffee?

Various pictures on route to the top of Carn a’Mhaim

This is my post for the weekend coffee share, thank you for popping by, if you like my ramblings and want to hear first hand how I’m getting on in the kitchen as a cook then please subscribe at the top right, to either my WordPress account or my picture diary (instagram feed).

Weekend Coffeeshare

The weekend coffee share, is a great place, gives me something to aim for, thank you for popping by.  Hosted by Eclectic Alli

Table #13 – Galloway Forest

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The coffee has been poured and I’m struggling.  I have a bit of stiff neck and a few aching muscles this morning.  The effects of a 36 mile big country loop on the mountain bikes and a solid 9 hours sleep in the camper van afterwards.

We camped at the Glentrool campsite which was just under a mile away from the Glentrool trails and all part of the plan to be in situe for the big loop.

Managed to get to the visitor centre for 10.10, to find it didn’t open until 10:30.  Plan was to have a coffee and hopefully sample some local produce.  Those precious minutes were going to be costly, it was too cold to hang around and we had a plan B in the pannier.

By 11, we were ready for our stonking chunks of choc banana loaf that I’d baked at Christmas.

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Lunch half way at the 18 mile mark, nice to see…Old Edinburgh Road.  I was certainly starting to feel broken.  The trouble with forestry routes like this, is that you start to feel like you in some large construction site.  Mile after mile trees have been felled for timber use, to make room for the new.  On reflection a tree graveyard.

Post lunch the boys miraculously switched personas, energy levels transposed, the youngest up front with zero moans starting to sing Disney songs and the eldest now at the back.

The 2nd half felt the best part of the loop in terms of scenery and lack of forestry work, a mixture of lochs and hills.  We also came across one of the seven stanes.

Can’t beat a campsite that plays radio in the shower block, but annoying to hear tales of blue skies and BBQs when we had dreich mist and fog for most the day.

In terms of a rewind (which sadly I’ve just found out will not be continuing, all good things come to an end!)….living off the wall was playing in the shower block and couldn’t help tapping my feet whilst waiting for my boys to free up the showers.

I’m grateful for the head-space that the countryside and fresh air gives you, even through the moans there are moments of tranquillity where you get to put your troubles into perspective.  The office is miles and away and the DIY is parked for those precious few moments.

On the table was a broken sausage and pasta dish….so easy to get on the table when your on two hobs.

Two pans….Pasta in one pan cooked to packet directions.  In the other, soften a diced onion, throw in  5 de-skinned herby sausages which you can break up into bits. Stirring until colour changes, add sliced mushrooms, a glass of white wine if the bottle is open! Add half tub of crème fraiche.  Stir through.  Drain the pasta and add the sausage mix

Back to the coffee at the weekendcoffeeshare, the aroma fills the camper van and a day of adventure awaits. The stirring of the boys up top and the promise of a real mountain bike trail. We move camp today as well….a visit to Port Patrick and the Mull of Galloway….most southerly part of Scotland apparently.

 

Weekend Coffee Share – Week 2 of the challenge

Saturday and we woke to the sound of rain on the cupola.  Peeking through the curtains confirmed it and essentially made our decision on a stay at home day……homemade scones were in the offing and this just tipped the decision in their favour.

Come on in, you have arrived just in the time….the smell from the oven is lingering in the hall.  The scones have just come out the oven, the coffee freshly made.

We had a late night last night, I’ve lived in Edinburgh 20 years now and never seen the Tattoo and finely scratched it off the list.  The cost had always put me off and I never seemed to be in the right place when the tickets go on sale.  This year the stars were obviously in alignment and I put the money thoughts aside.  We all had a great time, such a great setting up on the castle esplanade and the bands were just pure brilliantly rehearsed.

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#edinburghtattoo great show @edinburghtattoo

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So where I am at with my thirteen week get organised challenge!…..well I’m back here having coffee, haven’t managed to get a recipe up and my daily journal has had some sporadic entries.  I have sat down and thought about things though.  Resulted in biting the bullet on a few things rather than procrastinating.

  • Had a knotted hamstring for some time and went to see the physio….crumbs to say I’m a bit in a mess when it comes to stretching is an understatement.  I’ve been given 20mins exercises a day for 6 days a week…..not sure how I’m going to fit those in!
  • I signed up for a beginners cookery course – vegetarian India, mainly to catch up with a pal once a week.
  • Time to start the DIY season again….open for business with such an old house the list is mounting.  This morning, I took out the dead water tank……..grim
  • I’m starting to sort out my recipe system……….I know the new cookery books are going to start appearing on the shop shelves….I don’t need any-more honest, except they are a guilty secret, except they are not being used and I need to do something!
  • My daily photo has been kept going, think my favourite from this week is the Olympic torch that was hung on the wall of the Physio

Thank you so much for popping around, I’ve given you too much of my chat!….Hope your doing OK and your keeping your chin up.  I’m going back to looking at a few more recipes and the boy and I are going to harvest the miracle basil that grew in the summer before it turns black….too late for some of it…..Pesto for the freezer.

The Weekend Cofee Share is hosted by the Part Time Monster

If We Were Having Coffee #4

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If we were having coffee  we would be sharing from my flask, which would have been made up from the cafetière at the campsite.  We’d have cycled a good 5 miles before we got to the base of the Munro we were going to walk up.  Coffee would be served with a piece of fruit loaf and we’d be arguing over the piece with a full on juicy glacé  cherry versus the thickest slice.  Either piece a win win.

The morning started dry with a mist present from the rain in the night that we could tell was going to burn off.  Today was the day we were going to conquer the un-conquered Munro.  Last year we’d tried but aborted about 40 minutes from the top.

The spot we’d picked for coffee came with its own waterfall, that fell into clean pools before  it joined the beautiful Glen Tilt river which we’d ridden along to get to this spot.

This was a fuel stop, a chance to catch our breath and gather our strength before the climb.  This was fuel in another way too, a way to replenish the soul.  The Scottish landscape rolling before us, the fresh air and some warm sun on our backs.  Fuel that makes you forget about being in the office, the mobile signal dropping out and being all but none existent.

….we made it to top and took in the view, we congratulated each other on the achievement and breathed deeply with our success.  Carn a’Chlamain had been bagged.

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Lunchtime view #munro on route to the top of #carnachlamain

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The Weekend Coffee Share is hosted by Part Time Monster.  You can join this week’s Coffee Share on her blog or by clicking on the “Linkup Linky“.