This summer I traveled back in time. Or at least it felt like it.
When I was really little we used to go to a lodge my mum and dad had up in Scotland every year, bar some of the years when we lived abroad, and as I got older and hit my teens I started to resent the place. I started to associate it with being dragged away from my friends for a chunk of the summer holidays, to an area of Scotland so remote that there was nothing ‘cool’ to do. I remember there were tennis courts and a pool, and it was really close to Balmoral Castle and loads of whiskey distilleries, but these things did not interest me in my early teens. At 15 I stopped going altogether. I decided when my family went I’d stay home and hang out with my friends for a week instead.
In my head I had only grumpy, stroppy teenage memories of the place and this somehow stuck with me through my early 20s. There were years when my parents were living in Australia and couldn’t get back so the lodge stood empty.
Well, don’t I feel stupid now. In August me and the mister popped back. It actually sleeps 4 but I was reluctant to invite anyone to join us in case it was crap. So my parents gave us the keys for the week and we set off for the long drive up to Royal Deeside.
Getting there and walking into the lodge was a really trippy experience. Firstly you have to understand that, with growing up and moving a lot, across the world and back, I’ve never had anything that’s been a consistent thing for very long. I don’t really have access to a ‘family home’ or my first school or anything like that. But walking back into the lodge after 14 years blew my mind. It even smelled the same.
It had been done up a bit over the years, obvs. And many moons ago Hilton had bought the main house at the top of the path which meant they’d done up the restaurant, spa, pool, leisure centre and bar which was lovely. So here, we were in (what I quickly realised as an adult) was one of the most beautiful places in the UK, with access to a spa and the most picturesque little villages, all for free (thanks to ma and pa Bosson). And I’d been avoiding the place for 14 years. What a twat.
So we’ve spent a glorious week in the scorching sunshine walking up hills, nibbling Scottish smoked salmon, drinking wine in the sun, eating amazing food, queen-spotting, chilling in the jacuzzi, and generally becoming the most relaxed humans that ever lived. I already can’t wait to go back and preferably take some pals next year.