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Memories of Speyside.

So, where to start on this ? I guess by bearing in mind that cherished as my memories are, they may not hold the same fascination for others, so whilst I ramble on, there is a big green button on the right to eject you from this page back to the Cameron's Entry Page and subjects less brain-numbing.  Having said that I now claim carte blanche to ramble on as long as I want, seeing as nobody actually has to read it.

From as young as I can remember, until my Nan's death in 1972, we made an annual pilgrimage to Speyside staying with Nanny at Chapelton. I can just remember driving there when I must have been very young but mainly I remember putting the car onto the train and waking up almost there.

After Nanny died it was six years before I got back, in my fourth or fifth year at University I invited myself to go and stay with Uncle George and Auntie Edith for a week when they lived in the old farmhouse at Chapelton.

 

Over many years whilst I still lived at home in North Harrow, once or twice a year the phone would ring and it would be my cousin Rhona, with her standard opener of " Hello Uncle Joe / Auntie Marguerite I am at Euston Station can you put me up for a night". following  a rapid game of musical bedrooms, Rhona would arrive. To be fair we were always delighted to see her and she sure did liven the place up a bit !! This did of course have the spin-off benefit that when I would ring George & Edith looking for a free meal and a dry bed they could hardly say no 

 

working as a Junior Doctor in Greenock on the Clyde, I spent a couple of weekends at Boat of Garten visiting childhood favourite places and visiting relatives. Following this it would be eleven years before I was able to return, much had changed.

In the summer of 1992 with Linda heavily pregnant, with what would end up being Simon we were

 

A).....broke

B).....In need of a break

We had taken over the Farndon Practice late in 1990 and whilst we were doing fine, it would be another year or so before it started to Pay out.  After moaning to Mum & Dad about this and our lack of any holiday since 1990, Dad made a suggestion.  If they booked a holiday cottage near The Boat for a couple of weeks at their expense, could we get the requisite locum and join them?  

We sure could and a good time was had by all, Caroline was two at the time so having Nanna & Grandy  along meant that Linda & I actually got to have a holiday rather than child-mind in a pretty place. In subsequent years we repeated this holiday format twice more so both Caroline & Simon both came to know and appreciate the area.

 

I must say that being there with my Mum & Dad but not staying at Chapelton felt strange and on our final visit "en famille" Mum's old home at Chapelton had gone and was being replaced with a  modern house, more suited to the climate.

 

To be fair Nanny's house had been a huge bungalow with thin wooden walls and a tin roof. It was a long thin house With seven bedrooms opening from a long corridor and at the far end a huge sitting room and an equally huge dining room. It was a house designed to be at least partly let to summer visitors. During the Highland Spring & Summer it was spectacularly located to make the most of the stunning view across the Spey Valley to the Cairngorms cut by the unmistakable V of the Larighru Pass.  For the other eleven and a half months of each year, it was bloody freezing.

Following Mum's death in 2012 The following summer Michael,Barbara & Linda & Myself met up in Boat of Garten to carry out her final wish and scattered her ashes around the (by then full up) family plot in Carrbridge Cemetery.

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