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What's this blog all about?

Hi, I'm Nicola - welcome to a blog begun in 2012 about family travel around the world, without leaving the UK.

I love travel adventures, but to save cash and keep my family's carbon footprint lower, I dreamt up a unique stay-at-home travel experience. So far I've visited 110 countries... without leaving the UK. Join me exploring the next 86! Or have a look at the "countries" you can discover within the UK by scrolling the labels (below right). Here's to happy travel from our doorsteps.

Around 2018 I tried a new way of writing my family's and my own UK travel adventures. Britain is a brilliant place for a staycation, mini-break and day trips. It's also a fantastic place to explore so I've begun to write up reports of places that are easy to reach by public transport. And when they are not that easy to reach I'll offer some tips on how to get there.

See www.nicolabaird.com for info about the seven books I've written, a link to my other blog on thrifty, creative childcare (homemadekids.wordpress.com) or to contact me.

Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Bat in the dining room

Nicola, Pete, Lola and Nell want to travel the world with a difference. We hope to get a taste of many countries without adding to climate change (with needless emissions from aeroplanes) or having to waste hours of holiday time in airport terminals. We hope our adventures inspire you to take a Grand Tour of your neighbourhood. This post is from Nicola

Just as it finally turns dark and the main course dishes are being cleared a bat spins into the dining room. The pipistrelle circulates round and round the central light avoiding hats, heads and big hair despite its speedy motion. Nothing seems to be able to get it to leave, and its speed is making all of us whoozy. Nell, sitting on my lap because she can’t get back to sleep, is transfixed by the bat. She is convinced that it is related to the swallow, nesting in the porch, which flew in while dinner was being made.

The animals have gone crazy today. There were so many midges in the dining room before the 11 of us renting the shooting lodge sat down to dinner that they had to be removed with an industrial vacuum cleaner. I guess they’ve set up home inside it now which will be an unpleasant shock for the unfortunate person who gets to empty it.

My brother had to stop casting for 10 minutes when a wren landed on his rod. Not much later a buzzard came hunting down the river banks – something he’d never seen before. At the same moment, 20 miles away, (spooky eh?) I was admiring the route Lola and I had just covered on our taster walk along the West Highland Way when a chaffinch flew on to my map and wobbled there so long that Lola was able to finish the ice cream cone she was enjoying (and she’s the slowest eater I know). I can now tell you with authority that male chaffinches are very pretty – puffed out pink chests and blue grey vests, some even have eye markings that look as if they are wearing dark glasses.

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