When I was a child, summer holidays were a bit of a burden for my parents so I was shipped off to different places. This gave them a break and I loved going on these adventures. I behaved much better during these summer visits than when at home. Therefore, over a period of some years, I ventured across the country to stay with relatives and friends. My favourite visit was to my aunt and uncle’s home in Northern Scotland. During my stay I became best friends with their beautiful Golden Labrador.
Some of our adventures would last the whole day. Sometimes we would explore the area and its surroundings. The town was built at the end of a sea loch with a harbour that could, at times, be bustling with boats and fishermen. I preferred it when it was quiet. Just along from the harbour was a small spit of beach. One day while walking past the beach I noticed a large object lying on the sand near the water’s edge. I went to investigate. There I stood looking down at a huge jellyfish which had been washed up by the tide. I had never seen anything like it or have since.
My aunt and uncle’s house was an adventure in itself. It was positioned at the bottom of a steep hill right down at the loch side. The garden rose up towards the house with a small patio sunk into it about half way up. The house was a grand two storey building with steps at the middle and all painted in brilliant white. There were walls on either side of the steps which gave an even more grand impression to the visitor. On both sides of these steps were immaculate flower beds bursting with summer colours. Above them were beautiful bay windows offering the most stunning views of the loch and the hills beyond.
Most of my family were good cooks. My aunt was exceptional. Every time we went to stay we put on a few pounds. This was another reason I liked going to see them. There was always lots of exciting food and goodies for me to eat. There was a different aunt who I visited and we had an ice-cream sauce that froze on contact with the ice-cream. At hers, we also had Hellmans Mayonnaise. I was addicted to bread and mayonnaise. I would make sandwiches and secretly share them with the dog. I even tried one of the dog’s biscuits. It was not that nice, but if I had been starving I would have eaten them. The dog was always fed in the back room which was like another kitchen. Some people now refer to this as a utility room.
At bedtimes I was allowed to have the dog in my room until I went to sleep and then my aunt would call the dog downstairs and put her to bed. When I got up in the mornings, I would go straight to the kitchen and greet the dog. Sometimes it was difficult to tell who was more excited, me or the dog.
Read the whole of The Gates of Ytan.