A few months back I set off with an incredible bunch of friends for a weekend away just outside Auchterarder. It was no mean feat getting a date that we could all do, but after some perseverance (I think it took us over a year to get a date girls?) we prevailed and thanks to a very generous offer from the fabulous Nicola and Cha we were all set to spend a few days at Duchally Country Estate in the gorgeous county of Perthshire. A few of us had recently turned 40 and it seemed like a great reason to head off for a girls celebration….but hey who needs a reason to celebrate?
It was a pretty spectacular place and we were all quite astounded by our stunning lodge. I hadn’t taken a lot of notice of where we were going (I know, I know…that’s my usual!) and in my mind’s eye I had created a picture of a lodge. You know the kind, wooden, bunk beds, big commercial style kitchen…okay so clearly I have spent too much time on kids camps! No sirey, none of that here, it was luxury from start to finish. Wow! So as the 5 girls settled into our location we were still awaiting the arrival of our final girl…no not the duck…though it was rather cute!
The sun was setting and I couldn’t resist nipping outside to capture a couple of sunset shots…
And as I arrived back at our home for the weekend, look who I saw! Our final girl! Meet Lee. Whilst we girls all mosied our way up to Perthshire in comfortable cars (technically it wasn’t that much of a mosey for Kirsty either if I recall!) but no, not Lee. Nope, she left work and cycled there, on a cold, damp March evening. Now you may be wondering why I am writing a blog from back in spring when we are into Summer Solstice. WELL….there is one very very good reason for that. As Lee is doing something really rather spectacular…starting today…
Our Lee is doing none other than CYCLING THE WHOLE OF THE TOUR DE FRANCE route. Starting today – Saturday the 22nd of June 2013, she is part of the Tour De Force 2013 Team and is raising vital funds for the Walter Wates Memorial Trust. This amazing team set off in front of the professionals and take on this astounding challenge. You can track their daily progress on their daily blog…I know I will be following it closely (in fact Lee is centre photo on the blogpost from last night!)
Now I need to confess I didn’t really know the finer details of the Tour De France, yeah I knew it was LONG and HILLY…and there is something about yellow shirts BUT! AHEM….that will be 3500km (over 2,100 miles!) over a 3 week period, starting in Corisca and finishing in Paris on Bastille Day, the 14th of July. These endurance athletes will cycle on average of 130miles a day and burn in excess of 7000 calories a day! So to say we are unbelievably proud of Lee is possibly the understatement of the century. She has trained like crazy, and as Claire says, she is fit as a fiddle for this ultimate challenge. So this is Lee…and this blog post is in her honour as she sets off today… Go Lee, we are all behind you (well not literally as that would make for a disaster for your team!) Though I can’t wait to welcome you under the Eiffel Tower as you finish…See you there! x
So as the sun sets we get ourselves ready for a night of food, fun and friendships. Honestly, we had the time of our lives. If laughter is a therapy then we girls left there as the healthiest, happiest girls on the planet.
A new dawn, it’s a new day…and we’re feelin good! Of course I had to fit in a bit of camera time…here’s who was hanging around on our deck and beyond.
This little robin below was a bit coy to start with…keeping a safe distance up in the tree. But as time passed he headed on down to say hello and grab a spot of bread.
And here we all are, one of the photographs that I can actually publish of us all (as there were a few that won’t see the light of publication on my watch haha!)
Well well well Lee, Nicola, Morag, Claire and Kirsty. We ate, we partook in a small shandy or two!, we spa’d, we walked, we talked, we laughed…oh boy did we laugh and we cemented our friendship and learned a little more about each other on the way. There are so many funny one liners from that weekend that my eyes still have tears in them thinking about it! Thank you so much for an abundantly fun weekend together.
Did I hear someone say we would do it again? Count me in, Jacqui xx