Day 8: The End of the Road


Our plan to spend our final morning on another (more accessible) beach is scuppered by the heavy sea mist that rolls in overnight. So we spend the time chilling out (a necessary part of a holiday that is often missed in the rush to fit as much sight-seeing as possible into the available time).


While I catch up on the reading for my next book-club meeting, Sheila raids Margaret’s stock of musical scores and treats us to a recital of such old favourites as Sleigh Ride and The Wreck of the Titanic. Once more, I am transported back fifty years to the days when I used to play these pieces for our parents.

At lunchtime, the sun reappears and we head into Mallaig for two more traditional holiday activities. First we trawl the gift shops, hoping like gold-panners, to find just a nugget of worthwhile ‘stuff’ among the plastic tat and all things tartan. We compromise and buy fish and tablet plus the obligatory bookmark – our mother will never be gone while her daughters still record their travels with strips of leather or metal. Our search for the smoked goats cheese fails and we leave requests for Margaret to bring some with her next time she comes south. 

Finally, the three of us sit still and chat for a while, reminiscing about holidays past, while eating whipped ice-cream and flakes in the sunshine.

After supper, we abandon Scrabble – our final game after midnight last night, which I won narrowly, had been such a polite one with so much “oh, well done” and “great word!” that we didn’t feel we could beat it – and turn to Cluedo instead. 

As the sun puts in a final, magnificent sunset for us, we are all beaten by Geoffrey before playing ourselves to a standstill when we find the final envelope contains two murderers, one weapon and no location!


Next morning, Margaret narrowly beats Simeon to the top hospitality prize by providing not only a cooked breakfast, but a packed lunch as well. With a clear, dry day we make good progress – apart from numerous photo stops for DBP – until we miss a turning on the A68 and find ourselves heading for Newcastle! We decide we are not lost; we have merely readjusted our route somewhat. We arrive at Sheila’s nearly twelve hours after leaving Mallaig, tired and hungry, but thoroughly delighted with our road trip to the Highlands. Next stop the Alps – or maybe even further?

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By Elizabeth Ducie

Elizabeth Ducie was a successful international manufacturing consultant, when she decided to give it all up and start telling lies for a living instead.

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