Merry Christmas from the Rudland family

Dad’s BIG birthday

My birthday was really in the winter, but Mum and Rowan planned a celebration for the better weather. The treat was to have the use of a classic car for a day - a Triumph ‘Stag’. Bright red in colour, a convertible and with a 3 litre V8 engine.

The trip started on Wednesday, 5 May when we went up to Bonkle and left our car there. When Tony got home, we all got into the yellow Meganne and went up to a B & B in Blairgowrie for the night. In the morning we reached the place where we picked up the car. WOW ! ! With me driving the road led up past the ski slopes at the Lecht and so to Braemar. Tony then had a shot in the hot seat and took us through Ballater and up to Alford. After that we turned up to Craigievar Castle, in the care of the National Trust, but it was closed. Nothing daunted, we parked in the roadway and got some pics with the car and the castle in the background. So back to the starting point and, with regret, returned the car to its owner.

From there, a short journey to Forfar, to a ‘Boutique Hotel’ for a couple of days. The idea was to visit Glamis Castle and that was wonderful. Toured the castle, had lunch and then a walk in the grounds. We even had time for a walk beside Forfar Loch before dinner.

A night spent at Bonkle and then Mum and I travelled up to Pitlochry for a few days in Alan’s caravan. Weather was not all that warm, but it did not keep us in and we had a great time - we visited the cotton mill complex at Stanley in the care of the National Trust, very similar to New Lanark. Of course the chocolatier at Grandtully and also St Mary’s church which had a fantastic painted ceiling dating from 1636

Sunday, 16th saw us back home to Dalbeattie, with a lunch stop at Bonkle. Altogether, a memorable time. My thanks to all for the planning and booking.

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