Went to a friends birthday party on 21st in Shrewsbury. Had a nice time there and drank some wicked punch. We sat and heard the fire works from the end of the flower show.

On the Sunday we went up to Lauder (Scotland). We arrived there in the afternoon to a very nice site (Caravan and Camping Club). The site had a little stream running around the back of it and Jon managed to get himself soaking wet inside about five seconds flat.

Floors castle took up most of Monday. Very pretty and we went for a walk down by the side of the river. River running very wide and fast.

Tuesday we went to Glentress Forest Trail to do some mountain biking. Rosie didn’t have a bike that would suit and thought hiring one a waste of money, which annoyed me for some reason. We went for a short ride to the training area where Jon went over some of the raised things etc. but I had a hard time staying on them. We then went down to where there was a reproduction of a stone-age building with some blurb on it. Jon tried to stop on the grassy bit with a flashy skid turn and lost it. He didn’t hurt himself much.

Wednesday we did Edinburgh. Got there in the rain and went round most of the way in a tour bus. We jumped off and had a nice meal in Rock City and then did the rest of the tour from the top of a bus in the dry. We got off at the castle, which was OK, but there was a lot of it. Then we walked the Royal Mile and watched a few street performances.

That evening we went for a pizza near the park and ride and watched the lightning go around the valley. There was no power at the campsite when we got back, there had been a direct strike on the transformer. It was restored at about 2 am, one of our neighbours had TV and everything set up and they all turned on when the power came back.

Thursday we went to North Berwick, which is a beautiful stretch of countryside, and had a look around the sea bird centre there. The weather was glorious and we went for a nice walk along the beach. It was raining everwhere else, but apparently North Berwick is next to one of the sunniest spots in the UK. It was interesting watching the weather move around the place. I suspect the Firth of Forth has its own microclimate.

Friday we went to a place called “Pot a Doodle Do”, the idea being that you get a piece of pottery and then paint it yourself. Jon got stung by a wasp on the neck but they had some magic stuff that sorted him out. To be honest, the place wasn’t worth more than one visit but Cocklawburn Beach nearby absolutely fantastic. We realised we were near my sister Liz so we popped round to see her, she made us very welcome and the kids went mad for her dog, Dougal.

Saturday spent watching some of the kids at our club compete in a Kayak slalom in Fernilee and then going to the barbie in the evening. We were going to stay there and decided not to because of the weather but in fact it was fine, ho hum.

Sunday travelled down the A68 to Teeside White Water centre where I managed to get a quick paddle in before it finished for the day. The Happy Eater ate me a couple of times but my roll was on song, fortunately.

Monday paddled with some of the guys from the club. Hannah discovered why the Riot Air has its name: unfortunately we don’t have a picture of her in mid air. I worked on my fear of the latter third of the course and successfully got down Valentines and the Acid Drop several times (to be fair the tide wasn’t far enough out to make the Acid Drop more than an interestingly big wave for about half an hour).

Had a nice meal in the Talpore – it was Roger’s birthday. The water was running at 2 pm or so in the afternoon on Tuesday so we decided to pack up.

Back at work for three days but paddling in the evenings.

We were due to go to Bala with the Canoe Camping club but the campsite was flooded so we tried a different site in central wales, see http://www.gwynant.com/.

The only real problem I’ve had recently is that my feet start to hurt after about 20 minutes of walking (and I mean hurt). Possibly something to do with the circulation? Need to see the doctor.

Will post photo album here when I can find the time.