We normally have 1 week off during Autumn ‘half term’. You may recall how long it has taken me to get my head around the UK school calendar’s ‘TERMS‘ when I wrote about it in the post Terminal Leave. You can click on the link if you want a refresher course…except this year we had TWO weeks off. Yep…10 working days…14…days…OFF…
Grammy came the first week so I wore everyone out with lots and lots of activities. We went on a couple of day trips outside of London, we saw a couple of shows, we went to a couple of exhibitions and by the time Halloween showed up, I was exhausted. I didn’t need a costume as I looked and felt like an old haggard witch.
Grammy comes every year now for Halloween but this was the first year that C1 and C2 no longer wanted the cutesy pumpkin theme that I have obviously been promoting every year.
Now…they want blood and guts…and gore. They want to be S C A R Y.
See…C2 opted for some kind of Headless Horesman turned Pumpkin Ghoul.
When just a few years ago, C2 was ELMO.
And I’ll have you know as I say with pride,
the ONLY ELMO to walk the streets of London.
I know, I know…not very S C A R Y…and not EVEN very Halloweeny for that matter but LOOK HOW CUTE!!!
Definitely NOT… S C A R Y
(Of course if C2 ever reads this, I will of course blame Grammy for importing the Sesame soprano suit…of course…)
Anyway, it was a fun filled fab first week so back to school for the second half of the First Term of the year…
BUT WAIT! We have another week off…
We planned a last minute long weekend away to Scotland again since we all enjoyed it so much last year. We decided to go to the same spot as last year, although this time we flew and didn’t take the ‘sleeper car’.
You may remember (if ANYONE read it?) that CSr and I walked around in a daze for a day after that train ride but I digress…(Sleepy Scot).
Since we’re flying, it seems we have more time to explore a bit more. After arriving in Edinburgh, the plan was to drive to Glamis Castle. C2 was writing a report on Scottish legends and C2 and CSr had researched and prepared some information about the stories and legends surrounding Glamis Castle. Apparently it is one of the most haunted castles in Britain, so you can imagine C2’s delight with the prospect of more blood, guts and gore to explore.
Oh, and a ghost of a woman with no tongue…apparently, as well.
Hmmm…not the kind of visits we used to plan but hey, I’m a product of corporate culture so what do you expect…and I digress…again.
It was all rather refreshing that CSr did the project with C2 and since this is CSr’s heritage (the Scottish bit…not the ghosts), I honestly had absolutely nothing to do with it…this was CSr and C2’s thing…
Settling in as we drive an hour north through the bleak, cold, dark (but yes) beautiful Scottish landscape, C1 and C2 are fast asleep.
I ask CSr if we can drive to the Orkney Islands (and no, this is not possible as they are islands but what parent hasn’t experienced the desire to keep driving…ANYWHERE… just to enjoy that silent slumber).
As we approach Glamis, CSr startles me from my own blissfully unaware silent stupor and says rather a bit too casually,
‘I suppose I should have checked that it is still open.’
I am sort of torn how to respond.
My kids are sleeping and technically I am on holiday (vacation) even if I am in somewhat of hot pursuit of phoney phantoms, and I don’t have anything to do with this project so I really…REALLY… don’t want to hear anything other than the snorts and sniffles of my tiny travellers in the back seat.
It is not my problem!
Except of course it
IS my problem as C2
IS my monkey !!!
My mind now pings from WHY on earth one of Scotland’s castles would be closed (I am from Disney’s World don’t forget, not to mention the city that never sleeps)
and then pongs to HOW on earth could CSr not have checked?!?!?!?!
C1 and C2 of course wake as the car stops and C2 asks immediately,
‘ARE WE AT GLAMIS CASTLE?’
Yes, we are…
It is November 6th
As I sit in the car looking at the sign, there is still a part of me that cannot comprehend that it is closed.
I get out. I start walking around. I’m not sure who or what I am looking for but I’m sort of hoping that someone with a badge or some type of customer service rep shows up and apologizes for the gates being closed.
Surely SOMEONE will come and unlock the gate?
Is there a bell?
I am still standing there waiting (for what? or who?) and now wondering what the Scots would do if they flew to Florida with their kids and arrived in Orlando only to be greeted by…
I know…I know…I’m not in Kansas anymore and Glamis Castle (and apparently the ghosts) are REAL…but REALLY?!?
Where does everyone go from November 3rd until April 11th anyway?
As it starts to rain, I accept that this is as far as we are going to get…
I zoom in so C2 can have a glimpse of the part time palace…
But that’s really not enough material for a school project now is it…unless…
MAYBE…just maybe…I use another castle for C2’s school project. Y’know, one that I am more familiar with anyway…and one that we DID visit…during another HALF term…
Just not this trip…and just not this year…
I know, I get it…definitely NOT S C A R Y and not at all what C2 wanted…
More monkeys…but DEFINITELY no ghosts…
Well, we’ll just have to hope that the Glamis Ghosts are still haunting around the same time next year…and that half term holiday coincides with haunting hours…
(note to CSr to keep an eye on that schedule)
Pour over ice and relax…no ghosts
Pour another and think of new school project
Pour another and