Now for something a little lighter..
It's photostory time! :P
It's photostory time! :P
This should have been posted months ago but what can I say, I procrastinate like the proverbial boss.
Apologies for the quality of some of the photos - I took and edited them on my phone and the graininess was more obvious on the desktop view than I expected. :(
'We can't fit everything in the car, not with Bax coming too and all the food and clothes and things, you'll need to leave something behind, Juno'
'...I mean, just because I can't fit all my art supplies into one bag, and my suitcase is overflowing...that...that doesn't mean anything!'
'We're going away for a week; Ju, you won't use half of it!'
'I might! What if it rains? What if it's so horrible outside that we can't leave the house?'
Max rolled her eyes and continued to pack up her (far less full) bags.
'Fine, but I'm not carrying all those canvases!'
The house in the Borders they'd rented for a few days was modest but comfortable, dog friendly, (yay!) and in addition to being partway up a hill, had massive windows which granted some stunning views out over the coast.
'You can see for miles out there - I can't wait to get out on the beach and explore'
'Oh this is nice' said Max, scratching behind Baxter's ear absently as they moved into the bedroom, 'Plenty of space for all your, I mean our stuff, and there's a good spot over there for Baxter's bed too.'
'Comfy bed - there's literally nothing worse than an uncomfortable mattress when you're staying somewhere for more than a couple of days!'
'I have a feeling this holiday is going to be amazing'
As they'd made good time on the journey down, there was still most of the day left, so the three of them headed off for a walk. The unpacking could wait!
There were a myriad of interesting routes and places to explore in the village, which ended up taking most of the day to discover.
Baxter enjoyed his walk, though there were far less rabbits to chase than he'd hoped for
They finally made their way back to the house, chuckling as Baxter flopped down in front of the fire as soon as he got in. Before they could do the same however, there was the small matter of the unpacking to do...
'Somehow I've ended up with your shorts in here - didn't you manage to fit them in your 'practically sized' bag after all?' said Juno, one eyebrow raised mischievously.
Max mumbled something under her breath and looked back at her laptop, refusing to meet her eyes.
'I knew it. So much for 'packing like a pro!'
'Urghhh, I really need to get a new brush - this one seems to be running out of bristles...'
'Maybe you should use a paintbrush instead, you've certainly packed plenty of those' muttered Max, trying her best to suppress the smile she could feel growing on her lips as she concentrated on her book; the laptop now abandoned in favour of fantasy shenanigans.
'Hmmmph.' Juno tutted and slid into bed beside her, taking over the laptop and pointedly looking up craft supplies on eBay just to be annoying.
Eventually their eyes grew tired from reading and they both drifted off into a deep and comfortable sleep.
Much to their chagrin, they were joined at some point in the night by Baxter, who proceeded to drool all over the duvet. Ah, the joys of having a dog.
While Max shuffled off (uncharacteristically) early the next morning to make breakfast, still half asleep and followed by an excited collie who'd woken up instantly at the mere mention of bacon, Juno dressed for the day.
It was still a little cloudy, but the forecast was for a nice clear afternoon.
'Such a good day today, it's going to be great'
A shout from the kitchen caught her attention and she spun around.
'Everything ok? Max?'
'Yes and no!' Her girlfriend's voice was simultaneously annoyed and amused.
'There's good news and bad news. Good news, the dog's had his breakfast now, but unfortunately, he's gone and scoffed ours as well - even the beans! Looks like a nice cooked breakfast to start the holiday is out now - you okay with toast instead?'
Juno laughed and called back her affirmation. Nothing could dampen her spirits with that view beckoning.
Despite the breakfast incident, neither could stay grumpy at Baxter for long, and after vowing to keep him locked out of the kitchen for the rest of the week, all was forgiven.
With the sun shining and blue skies calling, Juno could resist the view no more.
'Let's go to the beach for a bit; it's a little blustery but it's lovely and sunny out!'
Juno would soon eat her words. 'A bit blustery' was something of an understatement.
Max chuckled at the sight of her, as she constantly tried to scrape the hair away from her eyes and narrowly avoided tripping over the dog on more than one occasion.
'You see, this is why you need to wear a hat, I never have this problem!'
Juno pouted and turned to face the wind, walking backwards across the sand.
'There, problem solved! Just make sure I don't walk into a rock or step on a crab and I'll be fine!'
Baxter didn't care about the direction of the wind, or the dangers of the seaside, he just loved the beach. So many smells and interesting textures and things to eat - though he did draw the line at gnawing on dead jellyfish - he'd learned his lesson the first time!
Being a rescue dog, he'd never had the opportunity to go to the seaside, so it was all a bit overwhelming for him. So much to smell, pee on and dig! (and not necessarily in that order)
It wasn't just him - the blast of sea air had quite wiped both Max and Juno out, and after a nice lunch at a cafe next to an old ruined abbey and another wander around the area, both had an unusually early night, though Max stayed awake just long enough to enjoy the sunset.
As per usual, Juno woke first the next morning. Fully expecting another glorious day, she found herself instantly disappointed the moment she got out of bed and looked through the window.
'Oh damn, I was hoping the forecast was wrong!'
By the time Max had joined her for breakfast, the rain was showing no sign of stopping.
'Hmmm, so I suppose you owe me an 'I told you so'? Today looks like a painting day after all!'
Juno grinned. 'Definitely a painting day!'
She gathered up her equipment - Max eventually relenting and giving her a hand getting the easel out of the car whilst Baxter rolled in the now utterly filthy grass - and got to work.
There's nothing more intimidating than a blank canvas.
Luckily, she'd brought some of her sketchbooks with her, so she had plenty to draw from.
While Juno got stuck into her art, Max caught up on some books she'd been meaning to finish, and edited a few of the photos she'd taken the day before. After being encouraged to 'go outside and enjoy the rain' by a friend on Facebook, she really wasn't convinced by her brief foray out into the downpour.
'This is horrible, anyone who voluntarily goes outside today must be completely mad!'
'How are you getting on? Ooooh, I recognise that - Sweetheart Abbey, right?'
'Yep! I did loads of sketches when we were there yesterday so I had plenty to work from.'
'It looks brilliant, babe, I love it!'
The weather forecast still hadn't improved by the afternoon, so the painting spree continued, with views from Southerness...
...as well as an old castle they'd visited months before that Juno still had a few sketches of in her notebook.
By the time the rain finally stopped, it was too late in the day to really do anything else..
Perhaps tomorrow would be better.
To their great delight the following morning was a vast improvement on the previous one. They explored another beach, this time coming prepared with swimwear just in case it was warm enough to venture into the water.
A clear blue sky, warm sunshine and only a light breeze - it was definitely worth attempting a paddle. They meandered down the shoreline for a while until they found a nice sheltered inlet with lots of rockpools.
'Well' said Max, a broad grin now splitting her face. 'Who's going to be the first in?'
'Not me!' said Juno, frowning at the still surface of the pool. 'It looks a bit chilly in there to me...'
'Oh psssshhhh, don't be such a wimp, I'm sure it's fine once your extremities have numbed enough...I..erughhhhhh...bugger!'
There was a sudden shriek, followed by a loud splash as Max lost her footing and faceplanted into the water, coughing and spluttering as she surfaced a moment later.
'Oh god, whose idea was it to go in, it's bloody freezing!'
'Yours?' Juno couldn't suppress a giggle.
Juno scoffed. 'Oh come on now, it's can't be that cold' she said as she dipped her toes in delicately.
She slid into the water with all the confidence of someone about to be proved right...up until the moment the water went well above her ankles and she let out a squeak of anguish.
'Oh god, you're right, this is awful. Why did we think this was a good idea?!
It might be summer but it's still Scotland!'
'Never mind the blame, let's just get out before our legs fall off! C'mere, I'll give you a hand.'
'Let's not do that again'
'Eurgh, my hat's soaked...'
'I never have that problem, what with not wearing a hat and all...'
'Do you want to go for a paddle again?'
'Okay, okay, truce, truce!'
While they scurried around for the towel they knew they'd brought with them but somehow couldn't find, (which swiftly degenerated into a water fight with much splashing and throwing of seaweed) Baxter surveyed the shoreline. He wasn't entirely sure about the contents of the rockpools, especially after his owners' reaction to them but the rocks were safe enough, and loaded with interesting smells to investigate.
They spent much of the rest of the day getting warm and cosy back in the house; mugs of tomato soup and a shared warm blanket taking the chill from their bones.
The following day they went for another walk with Baxter. The sun had gone in since the morning, and the temperature had dropped with it, but the air was clear and fresh and they appreciated the change of scenery.
Baxter was having a whale of a time - first he'd run into the long grass following a particularly tempting smell, then had a roll in some dead bracken, then, best of all, he found a stick.
That was him happy for the rest of the day, or at least until Max grew weary of throwing it for him and he was forced to carry it home by himself.
The forecast for the next day was extremely positive, and they were delighted when for once, it lived up to all expectations.
'Oh my god...what...what is it?' said Juno, her voice hushed with reverence.
'It's like this big bright orb in the sky...could it be...the legendary...sun?'
'It's a miracle...'
With that it didn't take Juno long to find a comfortable rock to settle down on.
Max frowned. 'You'll roast, Ju, are you sure this is a good idea?'
'I've got factor 8 million suncream on, and a hat, I'll be fine...hopefully...now go away, I need some vitamin D and you're blocking my energy.'
With a chuckle, Max left her to it and unpacked the football she'd remembered to stash in the car before they left.
'Come on Bax, can you get it...?'
'I bet you can, go on!'
Baxter spent the next couple of hours galloping full pelt across the sand in pursuit of his new quarry, occasionally getting distracted by an interesting clump of seaweed or another dog, or at one point, an abandoned plastic bucket, which he decided must be chewed immediately.
Max spent the following five minutes chasing him around, trying to get it off him before he actually ate any of it.
Once Baxter was suitably worn out and flopped down heavily next to Juno's rock, Max gave him some water and did a spot of beachcombing. It wasn't the best beach for finds, but she managed to find a few shells.
'You know what I haven't made in years? A sandcastle!'
For a first attempt without tools (she didn't dare bring out the remains of the bucket in case Baxter got any ideas) it wasn't completely bad, but was more of a hill fort than an actual castle.
Baxter did try to 'help' by digging right next to it, but he was swiftly distracted by a clod of sand that was thrown a suitable distance away.
'It's been a good holiday, hasn't it?' Juno said softly, gazing out at the sea as a few gulls cried overhead. Neither of them were looking forward to heading back north the next day.
Max nodded. 'I wish we could stay longer - I bet you anything it'll rain as soon as we get home.'
'Yeah, probably, but it's sunny now so let's try not to think about it!'