I think for now I’m bored of the holiday-porn going on over here, aren’t you? I’ll take a wee break and whip out more sunny photos of Seville and the mountains at some unexpected (read uninspired) moment to bomb you with some vacay-envy later in the month.
Meanwhile, I’ve been back to Scotland for a week or so, and back to work too, however painful. Okay, it’s not that bad just now – I developed a habit of finding hiding places in the office, cracking out my noise cancelling headphones (c/o awesomest boyfriend) and ploughing through a pile of pixel-pushing work. It’s kind of relaxing like this, gone into hiding. This allows me to ease back into office life in a productive way; at my own desk I would get distracted endlessly by my colleagues.
So instead, I usually scout out an empty and preferably sunny space on the call centre floor where nobody knows me and noone knows to look for me; the neutral noise of staff on the phones helps me zone out completely and I get through heaps. Complete days can go by without speaking to anyone and this suits me just fine in the January slump. Feeling productive will carry me through to Spring and then there will be light again.
For our first weekend back we took a similar approach to falling back into the rut and hid — we stole ourselves away to Norton House. This was one of my post-xmas presents, and a wonderful treat. It kicked off with a spa day (relaxing) followed by afternoon tea (yummers), more water fun, then dinner at the hotel’s restaurant (reasonably good) and finally snowy walks around Ingliston, Ratho and Cammo the next morning (bliss).
Dan found out about this spa hotel via a friend and it was just the perfect mid-winter treat for us. I was too content and relaxed to bother taking any photos, went from sitting back at the poolside watching snow falling quietly outside, to sinking into giant cushiony armchairs with my drink after dinner… Not enough of a “blogger-type” to obsessively document these moments… sorry Readers! :)
What I can say about Norton House though is that it’s super-easy to get to from Edinburgh by car. If you’re after a treat or just warming up in the cold weather, their facilities complete with a giant frothing indoors jacuzzi thing, a heated pool for swimming and a dry sauna and a steam room too. On the Saturday towards late afternoon it got quite busy with both couples and families with small children, but I imagine you could have the whole place to yourself on pretty much any weeknight. They also offer all the usual spa and beauty treatments if that’s what you’re into, and the staff is really friendly.
On Sunday morning we headed over to Ratho village. Dan cycled out there in early December and was really keen to show me the bridge and the waterside… I think he wants a house there! On the way we saw heaps of animal prints in the fresh snow, even a giant owl or hawk-like bird taking to wings high above us in the trees. It was nice to leave behind this Georgian sandstone jungle that is Edinburgh and spend some time in nature.
After the walk we upped camp at the hotel and headed back via Cammo Estate. We’ve been driving past its ancient-looking water tower (which I always assumed was a folly) and the neighbouring tree-circle topped hill too, saying we’d go climb both one day. Well, turns out Cammo Tower cannot be climbed, but there’s a delightful walk up the hill and all around the estate, which boasts quite a few epic trees, such as the biggest monkey puzzle I’ve ever seen (I collected a handful of seeds). Very popular with dog walkers, and if you’ve had enough of nature, you can go window-shopping around the streets of Cammo for your posh dream house too.
But that’s it, enough rambling! I leave you with these slightly abstract looking photos of snowy fields to now rush off to cook an epic chili (recipe on Pinterest) that I’ll proceed to eat for the rest of the week. Godspeed, and until Friday!