At the end of last week we said 'bon voyage' to my youngest brother, Uncle Ally.
We call him Ally Mòr (ally more), which is the Gaelic for Big Ally, and our Ally is known as Ally Beag (ally bek), little Ally, when he is around.
Ally Mòr has always been a talented footballer and when he was leaving school last year he had the option of trying out for a couple of big name Scottish teams. He chose instead to work towards getting a scholarship in the US so that he could also get a qualification along with getting to play lots of football, and so took a year out after school to work and save hard, as well as to get through the lengthy application for a scholarship.
A few months ago he was offered, and accepted, a place at a college in Georgia.
When I was his age I really wanted to visit Georgia too, as I was a huge fan of Gone with the Wind! I loved Scarlett O'Hara and her strong spirit, quite the opposite of mine which was more like that of mild mannered Melanie Wilkes, although I could never understand why she messed up so badly with Rhett Butler!
Anyway, I'm digressing a little here.
Back to my wee brother.
He was due to fly out to the US on Friday, along with my mum and dad, via an overnight stop down with us, and so we held a little farewell barbecue for him here.
Pinterest came up trumps with some patriotic printable bunting, and we added any other American things we could find around the house.
The boys wanted him to try and memorise where all the states fit in the jigsaw.
Again, thanks to Pinterest for the US flag inspired fruit kebabs.
And of course no celebration these days seems complete without my current signature bake...
I actually really wanted to use some special US packs of M&Ms I had seen recently in the shops. They had red, white and blue sweets only in them, but I couldn't find them anywhere!
The weather behaved itself for once, and the sun made the occasional appearance.
Although as the evening went on it did get a bit colder. Much colder than a late July evening should be.
We came inside to the warmth for the cake cutting, which was followed by a ten pin bowling tournament on the Wii.
Before everyone left it was time to grab a farewell shot of the boys with Ally Mòr.
And of course they had to have a few out-takes too...