Day 10 of my Scotland holiday started with cruel irony; after a week of cloudy, overcast, and rainy weather, today the weather was glorious. There was hardly a cloud in the sky, and it was lovely and warm.
Oh irony! What a ugly cow you are!
The first task today was to pack our things and tidy up, as we had to vacate the lodge by 10am. This gave me a chance for a final search for my ring (the one I bought from Skye Silver last year, and had brought with me this year). Sadly, after a long time my endeavours proved to be a fruit tree that has come under the scrutiny of trading standards after contravening the trade descriptions act: fruitless. There is a slim chance that my ring is somewhere safe amongst my possessions in a place I have overlooked, but I'm afraid that I am fearing the worst. But, at least I will have an excuse to go back to Skye Silver next year. And buy two rings.
Once we were all ready, we said goodbye to our lodge and drove down to the loch edge to take some final photos of the peaks that looked down on where we stayed - The Five Sisters of Kintail, and.....erm......another couple of peaks. But their names are not important; their beauty and majesty was. I can honestly say that the view from the loch was one of the most beautiful I have ever seen on my many visits to Scotland.
With heavy hearts, we drove away and headed on our way to Tillicoultry - the home of Leigh and Jim. But it wasn't a direct journey; we had stops to make enroute.
First up was Fort William, for a spot of retail therapy. I bought myself a 'Fat Face' t-shirt (that's the brand name, not what it said - who would buy themselves a t-shirt that said "Fat Face"? Unless it was someone who actually had a fat face and was proud to have it), and picked up some presents for my Girlfriend and her children.
What a lovely boyfriend I am - don't you agree?
Jim didn't do any shopping. Not because he is a bad Husband, but because he had to spend all his time restraining Jack who was particularly excitable after seeing a '3 for 2' offer on dog toys.
Shopping completed, we continued on our way. The next stop was the Clachaig Inn, in Glencoe. This was the place where I bared my bottom under the encouragement of my friends a week ago. I was a little nervous about returning, as I hoped that their motto of "We Never Forget a Face" was just clever advertising. Thankfully, I needn't had worried as we were welcomed as always. The food is always good there and we all enjoyed a good meal.
Well I did, and I just assumed everyone else did. I haven't heard any of the others complaining - so what do you want from me?
We left the Clachaig Inn and had a bit of a wander in Glencoe. Cain and Jim found their way into the middle of a small stream by stepping on rocks. Jack (being a loyal dog) followed Jim - even when Jim took a shorter route across the water back to Leigh, which meant that Jack had to get in the water - an experience he was clearly not used to or happy about. He had a distinct look of disdain on his face.
We then spent some time amongst the wonderful scenery of Glencoe. I took more photos, and will pick my favourite and will get it framed and put on my desk at work to remind me of one of my life goals; to eventually live in Scotland.
Having taken in our last views of Glencoe for a while (Jim and Leigh may be coming back up in a few months or weeks - the lucky, lucky, bar stools!), we got back in our cars and drove away.
This time, we were going to Tillicoultry. Well, via the Green Welly Stop shop (a few last minute purchases). Then we headed home.
Jim and Leigh's home.
And that is where we are now, all on our various devices, glancing up every now and then to watch the Champions League final on TV. Some of you might be thinking that we should not be so anti-social.
We have been living together for a week you know.
So I am no longer in the highlands. And my Scotland holiday is just about over.
But I am still with my friends. And that is very good.