The Scamp and the Writing Challenge: Week 16

….or, the Scamp Glamps with other Scamps

That’s right, I went Glamping!

glamping
ˈɡlampɪŋ/
noun

BRITISHinformal
  1. a form of camping involving accommodation and facilities more luxurious than those associated with traditional camping.
    “glamping is likely to satisfy any city slicker seeking a little refuge in nature—without foregoing any of life’s luxuries”

This trip came about because two of the other Flamingos went glamping and it was awful. While on that trip they booked a spot for us at Ecocamp Glenshee. For those of you not familiar with Scotland beyond the city (which is really just me saying I had to do some research to figure out where exactly we were), here is what Wikipedia has to say about Glenshee:

Glen Shee (Scottish Gaelic: Gleann Sith) is a glen in eastern Perthshire, Scotland.[1][2] Shee Water flows through the glen. The head of the glen, where Gleann Taitneach and Glen Lochsie meet, is approximately 2 km north-west of the Spittal of Glenshee; it then runs south-east to Bridge of Cally where it merges with Strathardle to form Glen Ericht. Once known as the glen of the fairies it takes its name from the Gaelic “sith” meaning fairy and the old meeting place at the standing stone behind the present day church is called Dun Shith or Hill of the Fairies.

It is known to the locals for the chair lifts and sky centre, as well as the Devil’s Elbow, a crazy scary road full of twists and turns. It has been featured in adverts, on Top Gear, and has claimed the lives of many a driver who was not careful. It is also home to some of the best views in Scotland.

It was cold, and snowed a tiny bit while we were at the top of the chair lift, but it didn’t rain, and we had a nice wood burning stove in our Wagon to keep us warm. We all needed a bit of a break from the city. We needed to be away from laptops, cellphones, and people. Ecocamp Glenshee was the perfect place to be because it was less than two hours from home, and was easily located using GPS.

The camp is stunning.

Ecocamp-Map2016

*photo courtesy of Ecocamp Glenshee

The four Flamingos stayed in the wagon that overlooked the llamas. It was a very cozy car with nice beds and a stove to keep us warm.

IMG_1684

The owners of the farm and the keepers of the Llamas were incredible. They were very welcoming, made sure that we had everything that we needed, and gave us a tour of the grounds. We met chickens, goats, the Llamas and the donkeys. We named the goat Gary, the Llamas Harry, Larry, Barry and Carry, and one of the chickens Cecil.

*Llama photo courtesy of Ecocamp Glenshee

We had snacks and food for a BBQ, a bothy ( a small hut or cottage usually for farm workers that is open and free of charge to use) where we could charge our phones and do dishes, and enough booze to keep us well happy for the weekend. Everything at the camp was recycled or reused, even table scraps were used to feed Gary the goat and the chickens. Sustainable and organic towels, soaps, and teas, and very little electricity.  We spent a lot of time chatting about life, playing Zombie Dice, and playing the best game of Cards Against Humanity ever. I have the American edition, and I am the only American, so I was about pissing myself with laughter when they were asking me who Rush Limbaugh was, or what the 3/5 compromise meant. I also got to explain a rather graphic sex act, which also had me laughing. Being that they did not understand the humour in some of my answers, I got my butt kicked big time.

I would not have changed a thing.

We were surrounded by the smell of campfire, bundled into bunkbeds and discovered the joys of walking to a toilet at 3:30 in the morning.  We saw stars, a tiny bit of the Northern Lights, and all came home in a good mood. Scotland is also small enough that I ran into one of the programme leaders who helped me with my research last year!

The couple of days away was exactly what I needed to recharge a little before a busy couple of weeks. On a happy note, I finally got the green light to submit my feedback paper for publication! Almost two years of work and 14 drafts later, I am ready to see if I can get something published.

Hopefully, fingers crossed, the academic world will like what I have to say.

For anyone who would like to visit Ecocamp Glenshee, you can find all the info you need here: http://www.ecocampglenshee.co.uk/

Peace, love and llamas

 

The Scamp and the Writing Challenge: Week 48

The Edinburgh Christmas Market is in full effect and I survived November. Barely. It seems I have caught a bit of a cold and now I am feeling pretty crappy. In two and a half weeks I will be headed to Budapest for Christmas, and then back to Scotland for the start of 2017. I’m holding on to that timeline.

I am looking forward to the end of 2016. I’m looking forward to a fresh start.

I feel like I say that a lot. I’m forever saying that.

The challenge for this week is to write about my favourite ways to relax. I’m not sure that I relax so much as shutdown and hide from the world. When I lived in California my favourite way to relax was to lay by the pool and get a tan. The beach worked just as well for me. I like to spend as much time as I can near water, and even trek to the beach here just to stare at the water. If I can’t stay here once I am done studying, the next place I live will have an ocean nearby. There is a beach town in Spain that could work quite well for me.

Beyond the water, I am very happy to curl up in bed with a book. I don’t have to think when I am reading. Not thinking is a good thing for me.

I like laughing. Being able to laugh with my friends and family always makes me feel less anxious and depressed. Most of the time they aren’t laughing at my jokes, but I like social contact and feeling loved.

I think the biggest way I relax is through traveling though. I could be on my feet out all day, go to bed late and get up early, but I am happy to do it if it means soaking up a new place and seeing a bit of the world. I know that my wanderlust is not the healthiest of hobbies, but whenever I come home from a trip I feel on top of the world. I get my work done, I don’t feel the dark and twisty, and I actually manage to sleep through most of the night. I love it.

For the day to day unwinding, I have been doing a lot of walking, yoga and mindfulness exercises. I’m a big fan of yoga, and although it was my therapist that mandated the mindfulness, it does seem to be working on some level. Here is a link to one that I really like:

https://rodalebooks.s3.amazonaws.com/mindfulness/index.html

I think that it is time for some peppermint tea, my lamb hot water bottle, and my collection of J.D. Robb detective novels…..or, the perfect Saturday night.