The difference a year can make! Last year we were camping out in the cottage. Oh it was smelly, damp, cold, and there was an awful lot of rustling going on. We huddled together in our sleeping bags in front of the belching woodburning stove. But it was an adventure!
This year it was the first time the children had seen it with the kitchen and bathrooms and carpets and beds built. We all were making home. Quite a different sort of fun. Finding places for things. Moving furniture around. Relenting that the coffee table was never going to look right in the space . . . The excitement of bunk beds didn't wear off all week.
Andrew's mum and dad had been our first overnighters the weekend previously and had generously left us goodies -- wine, toaster, kettle, coffee machine, all important mugs -- camping no longer! Our first visitors, while we were there, were Andrew's sister and her girls. The oldest one, aged 13, coped admirably well with the lack of Wifi (something someone in India is trying to rectify) and kept the younger ones on the straight and narrow on the monopoly board.
There were mountains to be climbed, yes, that one. The one we'd been looking at longingly every trip for the last year from the dining table. Meall a Bhuachaille, Shepherd's Hill. Cunningly we went with some experienced, fit and cheery hillwalking friends and their kids (thank you the McLuckies!) for our first family big hill walk. We were so lucky with the weather. The mist was lifting as we were walking up and we had stunning 360 views of the Cairngorms and all the way north to the Black Isle.
Back at Braenedin there were fires to be built and lit with flint and steel,
Landmark to be visited (twice), and a flatter Loch Garten to be walked round. Mix that up with an Inverness trip and a touch of DIY and the holidays flew passed. I've been saying it for a while but, we're nearly there!
Curtains are going up in a couple of weeks, a big clean, then the photographer. So you'll get first glimpse of inside the house. But you can contact us now. We're open for bookings!