I freaked out slightly when the telly decided to turn itself back on at 3.30am as I was walking by to the loo. Pushing all thoughts of a poltergeist or telly watching intruder to the back of my mind I eventually fell asleep, thanks to a very large dose of Rescue Remedy. As a precaution, I also pulled the plug out. If it had come back on after that, I might have started screaming.

After a breakfast of bacon and scrambled eggs we all piled in to Cyn’s car for the obligatory trip to the Asda in Tain. It definitely gets the award for the quietest Asda, if not the quietest supermarket full stop, which made it perfect for Rich and I as we hate shopping in busy places.

With the groceries packed away, Rich and I decided to make the most of the good weather and follow the trail around the Tarbat Ness Peninsula – an absolutely stunning coastal walk. I’m not very knowledgeable about birds but even I could tell that there was a particularly interesting array of seabirds along the shore. Starting just above Portmahomack – a very pretty fishing village with a beautiful sandy beach, we made a mental note to come back for a swim later in the week. It’s a good looking place without being twee or kitschy, with it’s own Post Office, fish restaurant, and a cafe in the village hall. The sort of place that I’d come back to again and again, or even live.

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We continued along the coastline to the Tarbat Ness lighthouse – one of the tallest in the UK. It even has a little holiday cottage attached to it if you’re slightly doolalley about lighthouses. From there it was just a short hop back to Rockfield. Whilst the weather was slightly windy it was lovely and warm – a rare occurrence for these parts in October, but it made the walk all the more enjoyable. We didn’t see many other walkers, but were followed for most of the day by a French group, who seemed to be relying on us to show them the way at the trickier stretches.

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As expected, by now I’d fallen back in love with Scotland again. I’d forgotten how stunning the landscape is, and how welcoming the people can be – but not in that annoying overly friendly way. And the food – how had I not remembered how good the food is up here?! It was my turn to cook so courtesy of Pete’s fishing skills we ate baked salmon stuffed with lemon and dill, buttered potatoes and salad. Wild salmon really does taste different to farmed, but I do understand why we need to eat farmed so as not to exhaust wild stocks. We’re very sustainably minded. I promise.

After lots of conversation, chocolate, whiskey and wine we called it a night. I like to meditate and read before sleep, and sat pondering about how much we all need peace and quiet, and time to just ‘be’, but often don’t get enough of it. I refuse to take my ipad with me on holiday as I think that going offline for a few weeks at a time is good for the soul. But I do enjoy writing this travel journal and reliving it when I type it up over the coming months. And Rich enjoys reading it and reliving the memories too. Coming to a place like this reminds us that we love the simple things in life – the wild landscapes, the local food, the making friends, and the time to enjoy each others company.

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