I didn’t find as much time to keep my holiday sketchbook as I usually do! I naively packed lots of activities – books and drawing work and so on – thinking that there would be time for lovely hobbies on holiday. Of course, the baby doesn’t do quiet hobbies. I managed just three sketchbook pages but they serve as a record of our First Family Holiday.

Things I learnt about holidaying with a baby:

  • Even with a roof-box, your car is not big enough.
  • You haven’t packed enough nappies
  • Journeys take four times as long as expected
  • You still have to do laundry even though you are on holiday
  • Bath-time is lovely in front of an open fire
  • Everything is joyful

We went to a quirky little cottage near Taighnabruaich on Loch Fyne. The Cowal Peninsula has been branded ‘Argyll’s Secret Coast’ and it is as magical as it sounds – the loch looks different every hour as the light changes; the skies are huge; the colours are rugged and wild. It feels like a landscape full of secrets as us humans just pass by oblivious.

The combination of the noisy poodle (7 years old now and still bonkers) and having to bounce up and down to keep the baby asleep made bird-spotting a bit trickier than normal. We did see lots of waders though, including a lot of Curlews (especially at Ostel Bay) and dozens of Ringed Plovers (on a day trip to Bute) which are both red-list species according to the RSPB. We also enjoyed watching Red-Throated Divers pop up from nowhere and disappear again as quickly.

A highlight was a very wet (wet from the sky above and muddy-wet from below) walk in Glenan Wood amongst the gnarled old oaks along the shore-side. I was almost pleased it was raining. It felt like a peaceful rain-forest. When we got home and dried off we were having some playtime before the bath-time ritual began and I discovered that the piglet has sprouted a tooth! By the time we got home from holiday one tooth had become two. So our First Family Holiday was a big week for our little pig!

Ringed Plover
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