Friday, 4 February 2011

Over the sea to Skye...

The Castle at Kyleakin

Well, in precisely 5 days I will no longer be 'in my thirties'.  Even though S and a few of my old school friends have already reached this milestone birthday, I still can't quite fathom that I am going to be 40! Gulp.  I still feel 20 in my head (unfortunately this isn't reflected on the outside so much these days!)

The Old Man of Storr

Anyway, I've never been much of a party thrower - in fact, I can say, hand on heart, that I have never thrown a party in my life - not for my 18th, my 21st or my 30th (although I did have a great night at a comedy club in Liverpool with my sister and a few friends for that one), so I definitely won't be throwing a party to celebrate turning 40.  I enjoy going to the odd party and have a couple of invites lined up to friends' 40th parties later this year which I am genuinely looking forward to, not least because one of them will be 80s themed!

For me though, I'd rather commiserate celebrate the passage of time far from the madding crowd and with that in mind, S is taking me and the pups to the Isle of Skye off the coast of Scotland for a week (as mentioned in the Armchair Tourist post the other day).

Loch Langaig

For his 40th last year, I took him to Krakow in Poland (one of the few destinations you can fly to directly from Belfast).  It was an amazing place and one I totally recommend everyone visit at least once in their lifetime if only for the sobering experience of a visit to Auschwitz which certainly puts things in perspective.  It was freezing - it reached -23 degrees celsius while we were there in January!!  It meant leaving the dogs at home and so I arranged for my sister to come and dog-sit while we were away.  When S told me he was planning a trip for my birthday he gave me the option of with or without the dogs.  Bearing in mind we have to leave them for 3 weeks when we were in New York in November it was a no-brainer for me that we take them with us this time even though that obviously narrowed the field for where we could actually go.

However, S has absolutely come up trumps with the Isle of Skye.  I've never been before but he has and loves it.  He's rented a stunning cottage called the Old Inn in a place called Staffin which is located in the middle of nowhere and right beside a beach.  I am so excited because it will be our first 'family holiday' with the dogs and Skye has so many areas of natural beauty where we can go hillwalking and exploring - the dogs will be in walkies heaven!!


We head off in the early hours of Saturday morning.  I will be taking my Galaxy Tab with me but I'm not sure what the reception will be like there so am not sure if I'll be on the internet much.  I'll also be taking my sketchpads and watercolours as I think this may be my first real opportunity to draw from life (without people around to gawp!) - the cottage has a lovely conservatory where I can sit and sketch to my heart's content.
There is also a small chance we will get to see the Northern Lights - Skye is one of the top ten places in the world to see them from so fingers crossed!!

Credit: S the last time he went to Skye!

We're on the 3.30am sailing in the morning so it's an early night all round. 

Back in a week!


  1. This is truly an amazing way to welcome in the next decade of your life! Happy Birthday, I can't wait to see pictures - illustrated and otherwise. :)Enjoy it!!!

    That cottage/trip may have to be on the short list of ideas for my own 40th...(not that I'm in a hurry - I'll be hitting my mid 30's in November, and have much I want to accomplish before then!)

  2. Brilliant! My heart pitter-pattered when I saw the cottage. What a lovely birthday indeed.

    Congrats on turning 40. Can't wait for your sketches!

  3. What a beautiful place. I would love to visit and can't wait to hear about your trip and see your sketches.

  4. Please try to remember every detail because I plan to live vicariously through you when you return and post about your beautiful adventures. Can't wait to see your sketches! ¡Felicidades, amiga! Forty is a fantastic age!

  5. What a lovely post to read! I have been to Scotland many times, but never to the Isle of Skye (nor Ireland, for that matter).
    My husband is a very keen fly-fisherman and he turns 40 next year. Perhaps this would be the perfect place to take him!
    I am turning 40 this coming May - Eek!!! How did that happen???
    Oh well, it's just a number, right?
    And by the way, if you photo is recent, you don't look anywhere near 40!

  6. Hi Sandra thank you for your lovely comment. I'm delighted to report that my profile pic was only taken in November, so thank you! I can totally recommend Skye and renting the Old Inn at Staffin for your stay if you do decide to go- i imagine you would create some gorgeous landscape paintings there!


Your comments always colour me happy! Thank you for popping by.


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