How’s The Serenity?

For the first time in eleven years, I’ve just spent an entire week without the internet. Holy nerdypants, Batman! Gareth and I decided to take our sham marriage to the X-TREME and hole up in a log cabin for a week at Strathyre, without internet or digital television to distract us from the empty charade of our lives.

Mwahaha. It was bloody brilliant. Self-catering rules! The cabins are at the foot of Ben Ledi which is in the Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park, to which people in Scotland will say "duh" and the rest of the world will say "que?", so I don’t know why I bombard you with all the details.

Anyway, our digs were approximately twice the size of our flat and looked like this:


And here is a nice view of Ben Ledi from the window. "Ben" is Scotch for "Mountain". Hehe πŸ˜› Now everybody marvel at how my bike Valentino and Gareth’s (unnamed) bike sit nicely OUTSIDE and not in the bloody hallway for us to trip over 27 times a day. That was possibly the highlight of the week for me.


The above was one of the rare moments you could actually see Ben Ledi. Being Scotland and all it was obscured by rain and fog 95% of the time. But the good thing about the rain is eventually the sun comes out and everything is calm and still for lovely reflective moments like this:


So what did we do all week? Lots of walking, lots of writing, lots of eating. Gareth climbed some hills and we went on some bike rides.

There were moments when I just wanted to bloody cry from the sheer joy of being alive. Until now I’ve only been on the boring cycle path near our flat, but this time there were lochs and birds and tadpoles and waterfalls and twisty paths and mountains. And a big fat slug I accidentally ran over. Sorry mate!

I know I have been harping on this point for years but it never ceases to floor me, how amazing it is to move your body. When I started exercising it was purely to lose weight, punishment for being a big fat useless freak. But now the loathing is finally gone, being active is a way of life and not a chore.

I am still rubbish at hills, in both directions. At one point I was huffing my way uphill when Gareth shouted for me to check out some fantastic rock formation. I thought rather cockily, "I can totally pedal up and look at something way over there at the same time." Alas, no. I ran off the road and fell into a ditch and very nearly rolled down into the loch.

Now I read all the time about you crazy bloggers riding your bicycles all over town so I am kinda embarrassed to write this… but yesterday I took Valentino for my first solo ride. I’ve had him almost a year now but I’ve only went for a ride when Gareth suggested it, and only when he came too coz I was scared of the bike spontaneously falling apart.

But yesterday Gareth had set off early to climb a big hill and instead of going back to sleep, I was surprised to find I was really craving a bike ride. Maybe I’m finally getting Two Wheeled FEVER!

I worried my way through about 25 scenarios in which the tyres exploded, blood flowed, limbs maimed, etc etc… but somehow I got out there on the bike at 8.30 on a Sunday morning. I was so surprised I stopped and put my camera on a fence post and took a picture to commemorate the moment. And here it is rather small, because despite all the Great Leaps Forward in self-esteem I still retain some thigh paranoia, and cycling tights certainly don’t do me any favours.


And here I am on the way back to our cave. You can see why I refuse to get out of bed for less than 10 pence a day. I’m squinty, pasty and still half-asleep… but full of joie de vivre, I tells ya. And amazement that I put my helmet on the right way.


That’ll do for now coz I have many blogs and emails to catch up. Looks like it’s been a busy week for everyone, lots of ups and downs amongst us. Hope you’re all well and hanging in there. I missed my daily fix of reading about your lives. Long live the geek πŸ™‚

28 thoughts on “How’s The Serenity?

  1. looks amazing, glad you had such a wonderful week away in the hills!

    got to love the scottish weather!
    it definietly makes you appreciate the ,
    in it’s rare moments!

    i need to go check out that area!

  2. You continue to be adorable! πŸ™‚
    Thighs shmighs! You look like a pro!

  3. I remember the Trossachs (sp?) from when my mum and I were vacationing in Scotland and England in 2000…such a lovely area. I remember the misty mornings, too, and I once sent Mum out with the camera in hopes that it would find the loch for us because we couldn’t see it. (It did actually take a decent photo.)

  4. My family live in Strathyre, so IΒ΄m really glad that you liked it and impressed that you cycled there. The route to Callandar is easy, but the stretch between Strathyre and Killin is MURDER on a bicycle! Did you do the local Munroe, Ben Vorrlich? If not, you have a treat for next time.

  5. mwahaha! you WILL come over to the dark side and be A WHIZ on your bike!
    Well done DG, glad you and the good doctor had a lovely restful break πŸ™‚

  6. Aaaah the serenity!! How did you manage to find Bonnydoon in Scotland??

    I love this sort of holiday. To me holidays are minus all the technology but as long as there is a flushing toilet and a shower somewhere.

    You sound like you had an absolutely lovely time and I love how slim and “outdoorsey” you look – okay, minus the fluoro yellow jacket, they won’t win you any camoflage awards.

  7. Hiya DG! Good to hear you had a great time outside on your bike. By the way no need to worry, to me you look fab in your biking outfit. Now i know these tights do not hide anything (me myself i have to wear them sometimes, and i loathe them :)) but there is no need to hide Shauna, you looking good πŸ˜‰
    And great for your motivation too, i wish i could get me some of that. Me, i’m just a lazy brat like that…. too tired to do unnecessary movements in case i just fall asleep right where i am!!! xxx

  8. Aha! Fear of the bike! Well, there is a task for you then: take one of those Edinburgh Co-op ‘we help you take your bike apart’ courses. Being alone, at night in a dark Luxembourg forest suffering from chain-suck, but knowing your bike, means all you think is ‘pants! Chain-suck! I’ll fix this then potter off home’ as opposed to ‘aaaaiiiieeeeeeee’.

    Bizarrely, I climbed Ben Ledi…with the Post Office. Um, yeah. Apparently it is the site of ancient human sacrifice. Or at least the Post Office tells you it is.

    I am very jealous of your trip away. I periodically look at the newest most snazziest tents, and look at what fine bikes are on offer… but the bloke, he likes his luxury these days AND I can’t afford a new bike never mind a tent. A week without technology somewhere back up in mighty Mother Scotia might be the very dab.

    Good to see you back!

  9. I have to agree with Argy… thighs? woman you look great, seriously πŸ˜€ So jealous of your getaway, still looking for a good one to escape to in 5 weeks. Looks like you two had a bunch of fun πŸ˜€

  10. I look forward to the day when MY body craves to be active…it was like that many moons ago *sigh* you’re an inspiration!

  11. If it’s any consolation, cycling tights don’t do a thing for ANYONE!

    Yay, you! You look like you belong on the bike.


  12. On the way there, did you sing? “We’re goin’ to Ben Ledi. We’re goin’ to Ben Ledi.”

    Looks like you’re no longer dreamin’ about being a fit chick. Hooray!

    Kada – betting there wasn’t the smell of two stroke at Ben Ledi to love. LOL

  13. Hi DG,

    Love your blog, simple and engaging. You are a diamond tucked away in the coal hole that is the interweb!

    You most defintely rock my girl – keep it up.

  14. Totally jealous! I have a week off next week but my plans are yardwork and housework. Lovely.

  15. Too funny with the “punishment for being a big fat useless freak” comment!! Hit the nail on the head, that is exactly how I treated exercise and am only now just starting to enjoy it. Light bulb moment!! Cheers for that chickey!!

  16. So jealous of you and your Loch and your Ben and your lovely, lovely attitude about life and Valentino and the adorable sham husband and just how great you make me feel every time I read your blog entries. You rock, lady.

  17. What a great entry! Made me determined to get a bike and cycle to work – no lochs on the way, but on the other hand no major hills either.

    Don’t worry about squashing slugs. Any time you care to come to my garden, I’d be happy – delighted – ecstatic – for you to do it as often as you can. As long as I don’t have to watch.

  18. It’s great having a “internet free” week. Reminds me to have one soon.

    The digs look amazing! I really love your photos and how gorgeous being able to cycle around so freely and just write.

    LOL I’m such a newbie on my bike too. I’ll only go riding with someone and never by myself. Sydney is too nuts and the drivers hate cyclists but I’m booked in for a City riding course next month now.

    Funny that you’d think your bike would explode!! I think it’s so great that you still went. Isn’t that sense of achievement such an awesome experience πŸ™‚


  19. That cabin looks awesome, and the area too! I can’t believe you survived a whole week with out the net! I just got back from holidaying in Australia and had to get my “fix” every day, even on holiday! I’m a sad tart.

  20. the thighs don’t look in any way abnormal. and in any case big thighs just mean more power to get you up the hills…

Comments are now closed on all Dietgirl posts. For fresh conversation please visit me at