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Posts Tagged ‘McDonalds’

Facts about Inverness (courtesy of wikipedia):

The name Inverness is Gaelic and translates as ‘mouth of the river Ness’.

Situated at 57.4717N and 4.2254W.

Inverness (Scottish Gaelic: Inbhir Nis) is a city in northern Scotland and it is promoted as the capital of the Highlands of Scotland.

The city lies near the site of the eighteenth century Battle of Culloden and at the beginning of the Great Glen, where the River Ness enters the Inverness/Moray Firth making it a natural hub for various transport links.   It is the northernmost city in the United Kingdom.   A settlement was established by the sixth century AD with the first royal charter being granted by King David I in the twelfth century.

Inverness was one of the chief strongholds of the Picts, and in AD 565 was visited by St Columba with the intention of converting the Pictish king Brude, who is supposed to have resided in the vitrified fort on Craig Phadrig, on the western edge of the city. A 93 oz (2.6 kg) silver chain dating to 500-800 was found just to the south at Torvean.

click here and scroll down for a map of Inverness/Scotland

The 14.11.09 approached both rapidly and slowly and it was with excitement and anticipation that we woke on Saturday and set off on our journey up north.  This is the farthest north we, my offspring and I have ever been – 57.4717N and 4.2254W!!!   Brilliant.

CJ reached Victoria station before I did and very naughtily filmed me walking across the concourse!   We took the Gatwick Express since it was almost £2 cheaper than by regular train.   Go figure.

Check in at Easyjet was chop-chop and with time to spare we went to MacDonald’s for a Happy Meal for a happy CJ 🙂

and a chocolate milkshake for me.

This is the first time wev’e travelled with Easyjet and although the flight is the same as any other cheap airline, I was totally unimpressed with the fact that they left our luggage out in the rain and when we arrived at our destination our clothes were wet.  Even more so since CJ was forced to check her bag at a cost of £18 because the bag was literally a zip width to wide for the onboard luggage sizer.

However, excitement reigned supreme as we boarded and finally took off, 25 minutes late.   We were off to the Highlands of Scotland, Inverness and final destination was the Great Glen Water Park, situated on Loch Oich (which we did not know beforehand).

The flight was bumpy but uneventful and flying over England was a treat as always.   The countryside is so beautiful and I never tire of seeing it from the air.   A great expanse of blue sky and great big tumbles of wonderful white clouds accompanied our flight, providing fantastic photo opportunities.

With no idea what to expect we suddenly flew over the highlands!

first view of the Scottish Highlandsand practically climbed out the window with excitement.   The view was stupendous.   Great open stretches of mountain and wilderness, huge lakes that spread for miles.    The sun shone down and touched on a mountaintop providing a glimpse of the splendour to come.

Scotland; land of legends, castles, humble crofts, high mountains and tranquil lochs, battlefields echoing to the cries of long ago and remote glens home to towering firs and magnificent golden eagles.

Touchdown was uneventful, no rain but threatening.   Collected our luggage, which was soaked!   A complaint coming up here!   Then over to Avis to collect our hire car.  I have decided to write up a checklist of things to look out for and questions to ask for future reference.

It was starting to drizzle again, so in the rain I checked the car over thoroughly, remembering the lesson from Ireland.   By the time I had checked for little bumps and scratches my hands were frozen and my sleeves soaked.

By now the light was fading and losing no time we set off, first stop Tesco, just 2 miles down the road for supplies.   We had fun whizzing round the store (which was massive and jam-packed with goodies) picking and choosing yummy things to eat and drink, mindful of our budgets.   By the time we emerged it was dark!!!  Now for the fun bit – finding our way through a foreign town in the dark.   Fortunately CJ had printed a fairly detailed map of the area and we made good progress to the A82 (I think) and then on to our destination.

At that time I had no idea how far the Great Glen Park was from Inverness and had considered taking a cab there!   Fortunately I had hired a car!   It was 54miles from the airport!   I had no idea.   We drove and drove, the rain falling steadily and with absolutely no idea where the place was, we anxiously scanned the map for landmarks.

1.5 hours later we finally arrived, just before 7pm and we had made the check-in deadline with 10 minutes to spare.  By now pitch-dark we had not an inkling of the beauty and magnificence awaiting us.   The A-frame cabins are darling and we made ourselves right at home.   The first thing that went on was the heating, as it was quite freezing cold.

Hunting around the cabin it took ages for us to find all the switches to activate the various appliances, and the only one we could not find was the switch for the hot water!   The following day we enquired at the office and the handyman came along to show us where it was – right behind the box of oats I had placed on the counter!!! Go figure.

Then a toss-up on who would get the double bed!  CJ won for the first 4 nights since she was only staying till Wednesday, so that was fair enough.  Then time to unpack, hang clothes up to dry and have supper!   We had bought a pizza for convenience and popped it into the oven.   Hahahaha, we ended up with – a burnt pizza for supper!  The oven settings were unfamiliar and we set it too high.  It tasted just fine actually and nicely crunchy round the edges 🙂

Relaxing and watching TV, Strictly Come Dancing was on and not to be missed, followed by X-Factor, we settled in for the week, cosy and comfortable.   Later that evening just after getting into bed, I had a summons from CJ to quickly get my jacket and shoes on and come outside.   I duly complied and stepping out back behind the cabin I lifted my eyes to the heavens and gasped.   A blanket of stars covered the night sky, brightly twinkling and sparkling in the night sky.   I am reminded once again of the fact that because we are creatures of the daytime, we miss out on this glorious spectacle every night.

We shivered and giggled, somewhat nervous that we were so close to the forest, literally feet away, it was dark and eerie and every rustle had us squeaking with fright. With wolves and ghosts in mind, and things that go bump in the night, I did not last long when finally my nerve broke and we skedaddled back inside, laughing and giggling fit to bust.

We had no idea what was awaiting our eyes on the morrow.   And so to bed, I slept like the proverbial baby.  Utter peace and quiet.   Bliss.

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A LESSON WELL LEARNED

“I am a mother of three (ages 14, 12, 3) and have recently completed my college degree. The last class I had to take was Sociology. The teacher was absolutely inspiring with the qualities that I wish every human being had been graced with. Her last project of the term was called ‘Smile.’

The class was asked to go out and smile at three people and document their reactions. I am a very friendly person and always smile at everyone and say hello anyway, so, I thought, this would be a piece of cake, literally.

Soon after we were assigned the project, my husband, youngest son, and I went out to McDonald’s one crisp March morning. It was just our way of sharing special playtime with our son. We were standing in line, waiting to be served, when all of a sudden everyone around us began to back away, and then even my husband did.

I did not move an inch…an overwhelming feeling of panic welled up inside of me as I turned to see why they had moved.

As I turned around I smelled a horrible ‘dirty body’ smell, and there standing behind me were two poor homeless men. As I looked down at the short gentleman, close to me, he was ‘smiling’. His beautiful sky blue eyes were full of God’s Light as he searched for acceptance. He said, “Good day” as he counted the few coins he had been clutching. The second man fumbled with his hands as he stood behind his friend. I realized the second man was mentally deficient and the blue eyed gentleman was his salvation.

I held my tears as I stood there with them. The young lady at the counter asked him what they wanted. He said, “Coffee is all Miss” because that was all they could afford. (If they wanted to sit in the restaurant and warm-up, they had to buy something. He just wanted to be warm).
Then I really felt it – the compulsion was so great I almost reached out and embraced the little man with the blue eyes. That is when I noticed all eyes in the restaurant were set on me, judging my every action. I smiled and asked the young lady behind the counter to give me two more breakfast meals on a separate tray. I then walked around the corner to the table that the men had chosen as a resting spot.
I put the tray on the table and laid my hand on the blue eyed gentleman’s cold hand. He looked up at me, with tears in his eyes, and said, “Thank you.” I leaned over, began to pat his hand and said, “I did not do this for you. God is here working through me to give you hope.” I started to cry as I walked away to join my husband and son.
When I sat down my husband smiled at me and said, “That is why God gave you to me, Honey. To give me hope.”
We held hands for a moment and at that time we knew that only because of the Grace that we had been given were we able to give. We are not churchgoers, but we are believers.
That day showed me the pure Light of God’s sweet love.
I returned to college, on the last evening of class, with this story in hand. I turned in “my project” and the instructor read it. Then she looked up at me and said, “Can I share this?”
I slowly nodded as she got the attention of the class. She began to read and that is when I knew that we, as human beings and being part of God, share this need to heal people and be healed.
In my own way I had touched the people at McDonald’s, my husband, son, instructor, and every soul that shared the classroom on the last night I spent as a college student. I graduated with one of the biggest lessons I would ever learn:

UNCONDITIONAL ACCEPTANCE.

Author Unknown
as read on and borrowed from Knowledge is King.

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