There is rustling outside. A snuffling, a snort. The tent guy ropes ping as something trips over them. The tent shakes. Slowly and deliberately the zip buzzes its way open.
Two heads pop through the flap, giggling.
'Morning!!' The girl’s chorus.
Dressed in fluffy, fleecy onesies they clamber into our tent, all legs, laughter and mischief.
Daisy snuggles up as close as she can get between Ross and me. Lily insists on dragging in an entire tree that she is carving into a weapon of some brutality - no doubt to be trialled on her sister.
It's one of those late June mornings. A light mist clings to the long grasses and trees, cool with the promise of a warm day to come. We are camping in a secluded spot in Royal Deeside next to lively stream with the birds outdoing one another to produce the loveliest song.
It's bliss. As have been the last two months.
Ok, ok. I didn't even pretend to hold out. I accepted Ross's offer and we moved into his place.
It was clear to me we wanted to be together more than separate housing was allowing. It was also clear that the girls would benefit from a more normalised routine. Every time Ross came over it was a carnival atmosphere and whilst fun, it was proving disruptive. Living together I’d have more time for work and schooling the kids would be easier.
As we were spending every spare moment together anyway, pooled resources make sense, right? And that's the rational explanation I try so hard to stick to.
But frankly, that's all bollox. Isn't it?
The thing is I'm an all or nothing sort of person. I've been on the nothing side of things. Even when I was married I am not sure that I was present.
It's taken years and a fair whack of therapy to get my head out of my ass and into the world. I always felt like I was observing everything but ultimately detached from it all. I suspect it was why I didn't rebel as a teenager, I wasn't that invested.
It's meant a rough ride for friends and relationships. Understandably people wanted a little bit more from me than a vague turning up once in a while. It's not a pleasant experience being around someone who is emotionally on another planet.
It's why I was so shocked when Ross was an ‘all’. By all, I mean obsession and insanity! No wonder I ran.
So at nearly 40 years old, I'm finally taking the plunge.
I have decided to be present. To show my girls that intense love affairs are worth every moment - however long they last.
There isn't anything to be gained in hoarding my small bit of space, money and time. Sharing and putting it all in the pot gives us all more opportunities.
More fun, more love, more abundance.
Motherhood is a funny thing. Here I am committing to living the best I can because I want them to see it's possible. I'm not sure I am ready to accept all that love and stuff for me...but I can on behalf of my children.
Yes, I’m scared shitless, yes, I am worried that it could rebound horrifically and damage the girls. Yes, I am very uncertain about being back in this town. What is the worst that can happen? It can all go to hell and I move away to somewhere new, reset and move on. After all, I am very practised at that.
What if it all goes right? We grow as a family, we bring happiness to each other and we move to Italy as soon as possible? OK maybe not that last bit, yet.
'Mumm, my finger's bleeding.' Lily has been over vigorous with her carving project.
'Mama, I'm rumbly.' Daisy is hungry.
'Darling, more wine?'
Yeah, I've made the right choice.
Apart from Emma and Ross. All other names have been changed for privacy. This memoir is set in the city of Aberdeen, UK but I have altered some of the place and business names.