So, before my http://karensphotoblog.com/2013/03/21/i-need-a-hug-x/ post, McBasil and I were last known to be living in the Cabin at Port o Spittal.
This obviously was only a temporary thing, at some point, we would need a proper home! And as lovely as Dumfries and Galloway is, I just knew my heart was not fully in it. It was up in the Highlands! Someone said ‘Move to the Highlands’! I knew I was not been true to myself by staying here at D&G, we had had a great time and explored the area, but the time had come to sit down with McBasil, have a Girl to Poodle talk and make plans!
But before we knew it, Christmas was upon us!
For the first time in my life, I would not be spending Christmas with my parents. It was decided, that a quiet Christmas in the cabin would be on the cards.
Andy would come up for a few days and cooking Christmas lunch on me little cabin stove, was going to prove to be a challenge. I was far from been in the Christmas Spirit and had already made my mind up to head out with the Nikon over the festive season.
Couple of days before Christmas, I was Googling Houses, when by complete chance and still do not know how, I came across ‘Island View’ here at Ardmair.
My heart totally skipped a beat!
There were only a small handful of photos and description of the property, but I just knew.
Knew this was ‘The’ House for us.
So, there I am, Christmas Eve, starting the ball rolling on securing the House.
It was going to be a very long Christmas, as obviously the agents were having holidays too!
And for those which know me, patience is not my virtue and when I eventually make my mind up on something, I like it done as in yesterday!
Andy arrived and after us both having scoured supermarkets in Stranraer and Newton Stewart, we had a lunch concocted of sorts.
Starter; easy to do, ‘Devils on Horseback’.
Main; Duck Breasts, Ready Meal of Roast Potatoes, Veg & packet Stuffing.
Dessert; Microwave Christmas Pudding (Took some finding) and ready made Birds Rum Sauce.
Already, I was desperately missing Mums Roast Goose!
And needless to say, McBasil was not in the least bit impressed!
If you saw me little tin stove in the Cabin, you would fully understand why Christmas Lunch was such a challenge!
Anyhoo, in the end, it actually turned out to be very tasty.
Christmas and Boxing day soon passed and we would head back down to Yorkshire to see the New Year in and to break the news of the Ardmair Hoose.
New Years Eve, I would head to the local Pub in Wetwang, to meet dear friends Jayne & Andy and to watch ‘Raving Rupert’ sing live.
New Years Day, delicious Duck lunch at my Parents, wonderful.
The next few days was spent packing things up at Walnut Cottage, as the house sale was imminent.
Friday 4th January 2013, I loaded up Basilika and McBasil and I would say our goodbyes to Walnut Cottage for the very last time and begin the drive north back to Port O Spittal.
Sybil the Sheep was waiting for us!
The following week was manic!
After getting the Cabin set straight, it was time to pack all our stuff away again.
I had received the news, that we had secured ‘Island View’, we were to move on the 11th!
No pressure, no panic (much).
But, obviously as things work differently up here in Scotland (and rightly so), I did not find out that it was 100% ours until the afternoon of the 10th!
To say my stomach was full of somersaulting Butterflies, is a complete understatement!
I was a bag of nerves!
4am, Friday 11th January 2013, freezing fog and I begin to load up Basilika.
There was no way everything was going to fit in!
And there was no way McBasil was going to be of any help!
After numerous coffees and repacking, at 6.30am we said our goodbyes to the Cabin and Sybil and began our drive to the Highlands.
The fog was horrendous, 30mph, this was going to be a very long day and we had to be at the Estate Agents by early afternoon to sign contracts etc.
Eventually, we reached Glasgow and the fog cleared.
We were bound for the A9 and up to Dingwall.
It soon became apparent to me, that I had overloaded Basilika, we had a bit of a sway on!
And to make matters worse, the vacuum storage bag with the duvet in, exploded open and completely blocked the back windows!
I was unable to stop and open the back door, as I just knew everything would fall out.
Friend Bruce kept me company on the journey and knowing I was craving a coffee as I had forgotten me flask, would direct me to a service station. I missed it!
McBasil slept throughout the whole of this, until he woke and made me pull over for him to sniff lay-by 41.
Onwards again, next stopping in a lay-by near Aviemore where there was a mobile cafe and I could get a much needed coffee.
There were a couple of Policemen parked up having a coffee break too, embarrassingly, McBasil was now fully awake and when they made eye contact with him, he would proceed to bark and growl at them.
I ditched the coffee and made a quick getaway in true Starskey & Hutch style, before McBasil got us into trouble and I would have to explain the overloading and duvet etc etc.
2pm, we reach Dingwall and find the Estate Agents.
McBasil would come in too!
And my thanks go to Fiona, who looked after him, whilst I used their washroom. It was beyond the call of duty for her.
And of course McBasil had to be involved and explore the agents office!
3.30pm, we leave Dingwall and take the A835 to Ullapool.
Snow and Freezing.
But, just beautiful. Playing Braveheart soundtrack, we were totally caught up in the moment.
Stopped of at Ullapool for provisions.
We reach ‘Island View’ at Ardmair, our new home!
Sadly, it was dark by now, so obviously was unable to take in the full surroundings.
I would get McBasil inside, fed and settled, light the fire and got Basilka unloaded in record time.
We were not late to bed, I was shattered and I just could not wait for daybreak, so we could view our new home for the very first time!
We would not be disappointed!
To be continued ….