Summer Holidays - Weeks 3 & 4

Wednesday 20 September 2017

Time for a selection of highlights from weeks 3 and 4 of our summer holidays now, which started off in a very similar way to the previous two weeks (you can find the Weeks 1 & 2 post here) with a beach trip.

This time we headed to the north of the island, where there is a playpark built into the sand dunes by one of the beaches. 

We had arranged to meet up with the boys' cousins for a run around the park followed by lunch on the beach.

The weather had started out nice enough, but it soon clouded over, and since we were on the Atlantic coast of the island there was a bit of a breeze coming off the sea when we went onto the beach for our picnic.

Fraser and his cousin were nice and sheltered for the picnic though.

I think a Lewis beach looks beautiful in any weather.

And the boys and their cousins certainly enjoyed themselves despite the wind.

But nearly every day of weeks 3 and 4 of our summer holidays looked more like this...

This was the first of several trips we made to the beach in the village my mum is from, Bayble Beach.

The tide was going out this day, and Calum and David enjoyed jumping off the ladder on the pier and into the sea. 

Just to prove that I was in the sea with them on these trips too. Yikes it was cold though!

Calum and David really enjoy the chance to watch my youngest brother play football and so a few nights we went along to watch his team. We began to think that perhaps we were unlucky mascots though as the first two games we watched they lost! They won the third one though.

Of course we had to head back across to Traigh Mhòr again another day now that dad was with us too. 

I had a new cross stitch project with me for when everyone was busy building sandcastles.

Although everyone mostly wanted to be in the sea!

We had plenty more BBQs with Granny and Shen.

I enjoyed sitting in the garden working on my new cross stitch while the boys played on their bikes.

And on the odd cloudy/overcast day we went to the swimming pool.

One day some friends introduced us to a beach we had never been to before.

And I continued work on the summer cross stitch.

Our wedding anniversary is at the very end of July, and most years we are up in Lewis for it. This year we knew we were going to be busy at Shinty Camp when our actual anniversary fell and so we celebrated it a couple of weeks early. We went to see Calum Alex Macmillan at the HebCelt Festival, and it was a really great night. Flawless Gaelic singing, and some pipe playing too, from Calum Alex. I've been a huge fan of his latest album, Till (the Gaelic for return),  since it came out earlier this year and it was lovely to hear the stories behind the songs he chose for it.

Chasing around after Granny and Shen's mischievous dog Roscoe is always a fun part of the holidays for the younger boys.

One of the summer highlights for Ally (8) every year is the Lifeboat Open Day. The day starts with a charity 5k which has a prize for the family with the most members taking part in the 5k. We were pretty sure that if our family and my brother's family took part that we would have a good chance of winning it. 

Last year it was torrential rain all day on the Open Day. This year it couldn't have been more different. 

My brother, his three boys and our Calum and David all ran the 5k. My sister in law, my niece, Ally, Fraser, my hubs and I all took up the rear and walked. The 5k went up to a point in the Castle Grounds and then all the way back again, and all of the runners passed us on their way down before we had even reached the half-way mark!

However, we all finished it eventually and we also won the prize for the most family members taking part.

There were 12 of us in total, as James was still away at Army Camp.

I thought the prize might be a little plastic trophy or something similar, but was amazed to see that it was actually a really beautiful engraved slate plaque. Rather than pass it between our house and my brother's house we decided that the best place to display it would be at my mum and dad's house!

After some refreshments to recover from our hot walk, everybody enjoyed the rest of the open day.

The Lifeboat was moored right beside where my Uncle keeps his boat. As we walked past we saw he was sitting on his boat enjoying the sunshine and so we popped aboard to say 'Hi'. I love these pictures of us all sitting on his boat in the sunshine - complete with yellow lifeboat wellies!

I said earlier we paid several visits to Bayble beach. Here was another of those visits.

This time the tide was really far out so there was no chance of jumping from the ladders into the sea.

Ally picked up a little catalogue from Argos one day. It wasn't their huge one, but one that contained their big toy range for the summer in it, and he took it everywhere with him! He still has it by his bed all these weeks later!

The day after this trip I took the boys down to the beach again at about 9pm, after we had watched one of my brother's football matches, so that they could see how different it looked at high tide.

They loved the look of it so much that they asked me if we could go back again early the following morning so that they could go in the water. So we did. Complete with westsuits.

As our time in Lewis grew to a close, I managed to complete my summery cross stitch.

We had a final trip for Schmoos and fizzy juices at Cafe Roo.

And a final run around Bayble Beach, which despite the sunshine in these pics, was this day decidedly more chilly thanks to the wind.

And then, our four weeks were over and it was time to leave. But what a great four weeks they were. Crammed full of fun days and happy memories made with friends and family.

However, we didn't have time to be too sad about leaving Lewis, as it was on to the next adventure of our summer, and the busiest week by far - running the Shinty Camp in Skye.

More about that in my weeks 5 & 6 roundup.