Mid November there is always 2 in-service days, meaning a long weekend for the children – most parents don’t understand why teachers need these two days of training at this time of year, and would rather they were tagged onto on of the established holidays, but that’s another matter. It is hard to know what to do with the kids at this time of year, because the weather can be anything less than pleasant. We decided it would be lovely to get away for a few days and visit the Christmas market in Glasgow.
We thought it would be nice to take the Old people with us. It was a tough decision with the way they both behave towards D in particular, but thought it would be a good idea for the boys to spend special time with them both while it was still an option. We also thought some quality time in unusual surroundings for us all might mean less distractions which seem to be priorities over the boys. Biddy was dubious about coming, thinking she would be a burden on us, while MIL saw it as a free lift down to the central belt to do family visits!
We decided to get a cottage for the weekend, and found one via Farm Stay UK. We stayed at Drumboy Lodge – http://www.drumboy-lodge.com/, near Strathaven. It seemed perfect for us, plenty of room, close enough to where we wanted to be and all on one level so perfect for Old Person. The booking was made.
When we left home it was a beautiful sunny morning, but the closer we got to Glasgow, the rain started – I have never been to Glasgow without it raining! We found the cottage and it was beautiful. I could live in a house like that, but maybe not in such a remote location. It had a huge kitchen diner, and lovely lounge with views of the surrounding countryside. The 4 bedrooms were all massive, 2 of them en-suite, and a massive bathroom which the boys enjoyed lounging in the bath together. We worked out who was going where, and then chilled the rest of the day.
Sunday morning we headed into Glasgow in the rain. The market was lovely. There were a few dozen stalls all really Christmassy. The boys were so well-behaved, and the Old People weren’t too bad either – we took both wheelchairs, as MIL can not walk very far, and she was happy to use it. We bought a load of gifts, and totally got into the spirit. We ate hog roast buns as we walked around. The boys drank hot chocolate. It was a lovely day. At several stalls M asked if he could go and pay, of course I let him, while keeping a firm eye out. He was really proud of himself and kept telling me after each time that he said “good manners”! I think he was enjoying pushing himself in an environment where there was nobody he knew judging him. It was lovely to see his confidence grow. We also went into a few shops – we needed to escape the rain for a while, and the Olds needed a coffee. There was free face painting in the mall, and D became a Minion.
We then went off to the Botanic Gardens – http://www.glasgowbotanicgardens.com/, to see their electric garden. It was amazing to see the beautiful lighting making the plants look absolutely stunning. The boys found it a totally sensory experience. There was a tunnel of lights where they stood for ages, just spinning and loosing themselves in the moment. As the rain got heavier, we headed back to the cottage. It was sad to cut the evening short but the weather was the boss.
Luckily Hubby was driving as it was a horrific journey because of the weather. There were loads of flooded patches, but we made it back in one piece.
When we got back, Old Person headed straight to the loo and managed to catch her zimmer frame on the threshold of her bedroom and went flying. She was unhurt all but a few bruises on her knees, but very shaken. Unfortunately the wall of the room did not fare so well as she must have banged into the door as she went down and the handle dented the wall. The owner of the property was very understanding, but I felt terrible for it happening.
We decided to make the Monday a time for the boys, as the shopping the previous day had been more an adult thing. We headed to M & D theme park – http://scotlandsthemepark.com/. The main park was closed for the season but the animal area – Amazonia was open. As the name suggests the animals are from the amazon. It was fascinating. M fell in love with a tucan that was flying fee within the area – and even bought himself a cuddly bud one when we left. D however found himself a tarantula to look at, and yes, he did bring a cuddly one home with him! The bats were what I found most fascinating, especially as we were there to see them fed, and hear a talk about them. We had a lovely lunch in the coffee shop, which was luckily open as the only other food place open was not accessible for wheelchairs. The boys were then allowed to go wild in the amusement arcade there. They won various bits and bobs. D had a lovely moment and spent some of his money on getting cuddly chums for myself and his 2 grannies. Sometimes he can be such a sweetheart and I wish they would think of moments like this before chastising him when he finds the world a difficult place. It was a nice day out, but I have to say I was a little dismayed at the mess in the park on the walk to Amazonia. As I said the main area was closed for the season, but that really was no excuse for the rubbish everywhere.
It was another horrific journey back to the cottage as the weather worsened. Hubbys Uncle and Aunt came over to pick up my MIL that evening. They didn’t stay long, as they wanted to get back because of the weather. The rest of us had a lovely quite evening, before packing up ready for the morning.
Tuesday was time to head back up the road. The boys wanted to go to Ikea, for breakfast on the way – it’s not a holiday without a trip to Ikea for breakfast. We did a little bit of shopping while there – you have to visit the food hall! The rest of the journey home was uneventful, but there is nothing like a cuppa in your own home. After fish suppers for tea, it was time to get the boys preparing for back to school after our little getaway.
I would highly recommend anyone looking for a place to stay near Glasgow to look at Drumboy Lodge, and if you are in the city before Christmas, enjoy the market.