Wednesday 25th of July

Well, we’re half way through our week on the Isle of Cumbrae, staying in the town of Millport. It’s such a peaceful, tranquil place, it’s lovely.. (well except for one major issue, read on to find out more..)

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On our way from Dumfries we drove to Glasgow to visit Hayley and Rebekka, friends of mine and Amy’s. They were over for a wedding from New Zealand and having just arrived the night before really late they were a bit tired! But we had a nice visit and it was great for Amy to spend a little bit of time with and old school friend.

We arrived at Largs late on Saturday and found the grocery shop, then went across on the ferry to Isle of Cumbrae. The ferry only took about 10 – 15 minutes, and was not enjoyed by Daniel who was looking at all the life-jackets on display and staring at the cold cold water and not enjoying the logical progression of ideas at all!

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Out apartment is spacious, modern and looks over the waterfront, right in the middle of the shops. We are on the third floor (the top floor) and look out to sea. We can watch all the people walk along the waterfront and see the boats go in and out.

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It rained the first few days, so Peter took the kids out and discovered the amusement parlour. They had a great time putting coins in a machine and watching money fall out the bottom. Cost them 3 pound – but they had a lot of fun unfortunately! Amy wants to go again, but Daniel objects! The owner of the apartment left 3 pound each in small change for the kids to use at the all the kids things, including the amusement parlour, so they think that is pretty cool! Here and in Largs there are seaside rides for the kids, bouncy castle and amusement parlours. Great places for losing, err.. spending your pocket money!

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The only issue that has caused some horror was finding out that in the island across the bay is a Nuclear Power plant! Peter talked to someone who told us how in the 70’s he was delivering a car to the factory, and the guard told him to turn around and get out of there because they only had 5 minutes to get the reactor under control or everybody in a 50 mile radius would be dead! Presumably they got it sorted as the guy was alive to tell the story! Anyhow, it’s too jolly close for me! PC just says we wouldn’t know anything about it if it blew, so don’t worry! I love nuclear free NZ!

Monday was Daniel’s twelve birthday – no sightseeing allowed! We watched a lot of TV and he played on the internet and did no school! A great way to turn 12 apparently!

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Wednesday we had sunshine so we hired 3 bikes while Peter started a run around the island (10.25 miles). By the time we got going Peter was long gone and we didn’t manage to catch up with him till we were all three quarters of the way round. We cheered him along and he made it all the way back – his longest run yet (16 kilometres).

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We enjoyed cycling too, it was great to ride along by the seaside. At one point I rode beside a lady on her horse and had a nice chat as she trotted along.

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We got home and had some lunch then the kids and I biked to the playground and I got to sit and read my book! Lovely and relaxing, like a proper holiday (as compared to a busy sightseeing trip!).

Then we went back and Peter came with us to the beach where we had a coffee while the kids played on the rocks! I even got to read my book again!

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How’d he get out there?

Later on Amy and I went out for one last ride! We were going really well until we turned around and came home, when Amy fell off her bike and badly hurt her leg, bruising it and causing it to bleed. It took a little while to recover, but brave girl, she hopped back on her bike and we rode home. Not the best way to end a biking experience!

Thursday we did just a little school, then went down to the beach and looked for sea critters in the rock pools.

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We went geocaching around the crocodile but couldn’t find the treasure so Peter took the kids all over the island looking for other geocaches while I had a luxury afternoon sleep!

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They had a great time, and so did I (away in snooze land!)

Friday was fun going to the museum. Funny how kids are so different – Daniel was fascinated while Amy sat by the door bored out of her tree! There was a mock scientist desk with heaps of bottles with specimens and catalogue cards. I could just imagine Daniel having a desk like that! He’d have to have everything in just the right order!

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After the museum we ventured to the island lookout and stood in the cold, but not for long.

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Amy was excited to get back to try the penny arcade. Daniel refused to come because he didn’t want to waste his money. Amy and I went by ourselves first and randomly choose the machines that seemed good to us and then quickly lost most of our money. But (thankfully?) Mr Logic (Peter) came along and scientifically picked the best machines and soon we’d won our money back, and lost it, and won it, and lost it.

We got home to the end of week pack, slightly (well, majorly..) interrupted by the opening ceremony of the Olympics. Wasn’t it fantastic? We’d just watched a programme about Brunel and the ship he’d built and we’d studied lots of the history shown, so it was something else to watch the ceremony. We all really enjoyed it.

Saturday dawned and it was time to move to the next place, so a sad goodbye was said to Millport, and our holiday island, the Isle of Cumbrae.

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Millport: 21-28th July 2012