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What's this blog all about?

Hi, I'm Nicola - welcome to a blog 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. 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

Gaelic lessons at the doctor's

Nicola, Pete, Lola and Nell set off for their travels with a difference on 8 June. 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

“When you pick up your medicine ask to see the Assistant Post Master with a tail,” says the irrepressible Dr Adrienne Swan as we leave her clinic. Lola is already feeling better at having been given a treatment at the Dalmally clinic (25 miles from Oban) that includes a large chunk of Green & Black organic milk chocolate before and after the antibiotic she has just been prescribed… We have been found an afternoon slot – something our own doctor might well struggle to find if we’d turned up the same day asking for treatment – which interrupts Dr Swan’s filing. But she doesn’t seem to mind, and in addition to the treatment we also learn that she is soon off to Liberia to work in a rural clinic for five weeks.

“I haven’t flown for five years, but I figure what I’m doing in Liberia cancels out the flight.” It’s clear she’d stay longer if it wasn’t for needing to find someone to look after her dog Munro, or pay the mortgage. As a bonus Dr Swan also gives Lola her first Gaelic lesson…

maidainn mhath (say mateen vah) – good morning
feasgur mhath – good afternoon
oidhche mhath (say oichee vah) – good evening

Back in the pharmacy Lola’s recognized as the little girl who wants to learn Gaelic – we were looking for a phrase book or even printed tea towel or postcard earlier in the day - and so the introduction to the Assistant Post Master is both a treat and a lesson. “This is Ruhr (a golden retriever) which means rust or dark brown.” Ruhr puts his paws on the counter and gives a melting expression which leaves all the shop’s customers in a state of ooh and aah. Both Lola and I decide we want to move here, but of course if we did we’d want to spend all our time at the doctor’s. So for our health’s sake we better stick to the more brusque, albeit efficient, treatment that we thought was universal in Britain.

PS: Three days later we are back at the doctor's as Nell has picked up tonsilitus as well... (fyi [19 june] both children are now well)

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