Morning Dad

Last night I felt my boy kick me through Kirsty’s belly.  He’s not quite ready to say “Morning Dad” yet but in a few short weeks he’ll arrive and we’ll both get to meet him for the first time and find out if his lungs are as powerful as his foot.

Seven months of pregnancy have rushed by like an avalanche of thoughts, fears and plans.  At 37 I’m a little older than the average new dad but I feel ready for this major step, something I certainly wouldn’t have said a couple of years back.  My thought processes have been fairly steadfast.  A week of “oh my god” in the beginning and a few “are we actually doing this?” moments since have been bubble wrapped in the excitement and trepidation that has taken over our every day life.  Our first day in Mothercare looking for a buggy was a crash course experience where everyone seemed to know what to do and which overly priced cart we should buy while we listened and learned like eager beavers.  After a few months of speaking to various professional parents (and hope-to-be’s and never-want-to-be’s) I see now how the grand baby plan works.

There isn’t one.  Every baby is different and everyone has an opinion and the only way we’ll know what to do is to try absolutely everything and find out what works for our little atom ball from day one.  We were in Alton Towers last year and I can see that our due date will be a little bit like being on the Oblivion ride.  Right now we’re riding away from the entrance, all excited and nervy, building up to the big overhang (which I did with my eyes closed I seem to recall…..). Once that little boy is here, we are dropped at high speed into a whole new world of challenge and frustration, love and devotion.

As I said, I rode Oblivion with my eyes shut.  In spite of the hugeness of what we are about to face, my eyes are and will be well and truly open.  Because I genuinely can’t wait to say “good morning” to my new born son for the first time.

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Our 7 Days of the West Highland Way – April 2014

This is the story of our West Highland Way trip. We walked the Way from Milngavie to Fort William in 7 days (Thank god we didn’t try for 5…). Those 7 days were some of the best days I’ve ever experienced with a mix of fun, adventure, banter, wildlife, gorgeous views and a great feeling of achievement. I’m genuinely sad it’s over (although my legs and I have been forced to disagree on this point). Thanks to all those who were involved, whether walker, supporter or feral animal.

1 long distance trail
10 mountain enthusiasts
96 miles walked
117 compeed used
141 litres of water consumed
1000’s of Scottish mountain views
Infinite memories…

Glen O’ Dee Hospital – Sunday 2nd March 2014

Our latest explore, the old Glen O’ Dee Hospital in Banchory. The original building was built in 1900 and started its life as Nordrach on Dee Hospital, a sanctuary for tuberculosis patients. When TB died down it served as a luxury hotel (when it became “Glen O’ Dee”), but was taken over during the war to serve as a billet for troops. It reprised its role in contagious diseases when the typhoid epidemic hit nearby Aberdeen in the 1960s, but its last use was as a residential home for the elderly. The original building closed in 1998, when a new purpose built building was built on the same site.

The original building has been featured on the BBC’s Restoration programme, but it has sat empty and deteriorating since 1998. It’s very much of it’s time and the outer colouring is beautiful, even if the interiors are showing the lack of care. Hope you enjoy.