The weekend we’ve been waiting so long for finally arrived.
Dad came down on Friday night, and after a slightly sleepless night for both of us (him nervous, me excited) we went to pick up my gorgeous little red Yaris hybrid. Toyota were lovely, and had the car covered in a big red sheet that I got to pull off to reveal my new ride, while they took photos for their Facebook page. Since I’d bought the car over the phone at the Highland Show and never actually seen it in person, this was pretty cool. I fell instantly in love with my shiny, sporty little motor (although it was slightly less sporty-looking once we’d slapped the nerdy big green P plates on to it…)
Picking it up out at Newbridge was a bit intimidating as it was straight onto big roundabouts and then merging on the M8, not something I enjoyed at all, but after several hours of driving around, with a very patient Dad, I’d got the hang of most things. I might be the only person in Edinburgh who quite likes the 20mph speed limit, as it gives me plenty of time to figure out where I’m going and what I’m doing!
We collected Archie and put him in cousin Benji’s old crate in the boot, and he took to it immediately. He squeaked a bit and rattled the crate when he first got in, but as soon as the engine started he piped down, and was silent the entire time. The crate is perfect – it only just fits in the boot but gives him plenty of room to move around, sit up and lie down, and means that he can’t leap into the back seat, or dive out of the car the minute the boot is opened. I can open the boot and give him some air, with the crate closed, when we arrive somewhere while I sort myself out. The only downside losing the space in the boot for wellies, walking boots and other outdoor accessories, so I might have to get some seat covers for the backseat to dump all that stuff there. It’s a bit of a downgrade for Archie from previous position as backseat passenger, but he doesn’t seem to mind.
On Sunday we went for our first mini adventure. Ok, it was just a walk in the countryside, but it felt like a beginner’s expedition as it was our first proper solo drive. It’s a very straightforward route, and I felt pretty confident, and so so happy to finally have independent propulsion. No more relying on the bus!
We had a lovely walk in the Pentlands. There’s a big carpark at Flotterstone (and a cafe being built, which is exciting – looking forward to soon being able to enjoy coffee and a cake at the end of a long walk) and a perfect Archie-friendly route. He was straight in the little river, and LOVED his morning out. I’ve rarely seen him so happy, with his wet muddy paws, tongue hanging out and tail wagging. So much more fun for him than a city park.
I’m so happy! The life I’ve been planning for us is finally coming together. After a long wait and the disappointment of losing my dream house, I’m thrilled we can finally enjoy an outdoor life together. There are so many hills, woods and beaches that we can finally start to explore. This is what I came back to Scotland for, so I’m incredibly excited to get out there.
Archie did pretty well too, with a combination of long-lead and off-lead walking. He’s getting much better at ignoring most people he comes across, although some still need a bark. I’m trying to figure out who gets a reaction – definitely anyone who looks at or speaks to him, people in fluorescent or bright clothes, and runners – but sometimes I can’t figure out the reason he ignores one person, then barks at the next.
We have our next training session with Linnea on Wednesday, so hopefully she’ll be pleased with our progress and help us figure out the next step.
Here’s to new adventures!