The point of getting Dougal was that he was to be a catalyst for us getting away as a family before the girls stop wanting to go anywhere with us.
He was to act as a pressure valve for my tendency to work and fret about work all the time if I am within a mile or so of the workshop.
He was to give us the opportunity to force teens and pre-teens to spend time cooped up with the family (in a good way).
This weekend it was Katie's birthday, there was a holiday Monday, Zoe didn't have a Saturday drama class - it seemed the ideal time to escape, so we packed up and headed off as soon as the school buses got back on Friday.
First stop Red Squirrel Campsite at Glencoe
just in time to pitch camp and then head up for a pub meal at the Clachaig Inn;
Then the next day we drove North West up to the Camusdarach campsite north of Arisaig.
The lure being beaches like these
Harbours like this at Mallaig
I am now blocking out weekends that we don't have any commitments in 2011 - and marking them with a great orange cross - they will be our weekends to go Dougaling.