Escaping Scotland

The Caravan Club site at Edinburgh is located north of the city very close to, all but on, the southern shore of the Firth of Forth. Very close to the firth it may be but visible the firth isn’t, regrettably, mostly because there are large trees in the way but also because the firth is lower than the site. There is something else very close to the southern shore of the Firth of Forth: the inbound flight path to Edinburgh airport.

For a little entertainment on rainy evenings, we’ve been watching Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy in the original Swedish. Our choice to watch the original Swedish version was suggested by the irritating American over-dubbing of the so-called English version, which was available on the DVDs as an alternative, and was confirmed by the fact that, at regular intervals, jet airliners would drown out the sound during their trip up the firth as they made their low, final approach to land at Edinburgh. At least they weren’t flying in front of our laptop screen and stopping us reading subtitles. Mercifully, flights stop overnight so sleeping was not a problem.

After knocking myself out with a wee dram from yesterday’s sunnier-than-expected wedding reception, I was awake at some time during the night to appreciate a rain shower or two. I was also awake to savour the engines of Edinburgh airport’s first inbound flight of the day approaching just above us along the firth at 5:40 AM. The second flight made its final approach at 5:47 AM and the third at 5:59 AM. Then there was something of a lull in operations. Sleep did not return but that didn’t matter, I don’t plan to either – return, that is. Today we were heading south of the border back into England.

After a swift 10-mile round trip to collect the stuff we were to be ferrying back on behalf of others, I hitched up Guillaume, attached the towing mirrors and we were off on the 80-ish-mile trip to Seahouses on England’s north-east coast where Francine is hoping to get some moody photography done. I was a little sad that there appeared to be no “Welcome to England” road sign as your drive south on the A1. There’s an English Borders lay-by but no sign or triumphal gate. Poor show!

1:00 PM. We arrived at our campsite, a pleasant 1-acre field for just five units, three goats and sundry chickens, beside a farmhouse.  These Caravan Club “certificated locations” are what we always used to choose in preference to more organized sites and it’s nice to be back on one. It’s an adults only site so we were instantly attracted to it. We set up and began lunch.

2:00 PM. The rain began.

3:00 PM. All texture had vanished from the sky, which was now an even, solemn grey, and the rain had become persistent and quite heavy.

6:00 PM. The rain had abated but high winds began bringing back memories of Bunree. Guillaume was pitched oriented north-south; the wind was battering him side on from the west unlike at Bunree, where he faced the gale. Dinner proceeded undeterred despite the occasional shake and rattle.

2:45 AM. After a particularly alarming battering and rattling on Guillaume’s stays, and following not a wink of sleep since retiring c. 11:00 PM, we decided that enough was enough, got dressed and re-pitched Guillaume to face west into the wind – great fun in the pitch black of Northumberland.

3:00 AM. Back to bed. Just like a ship facing into a storm at sea, Guillaume is quite steady facing the source of the disturbance.

We may be back in England but we are still north of Hadrian’s wall, the frontier of civilization.

Posted in 2012 Scotland

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