Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Crieff - Drovers Festival

One of the events listed was a minibus tour of stags fighting and deer in the mountains so we booked and went. Imagine our surprise on seeing the gilly, properly dressed in tweeds, beside Lock Earn with a huge telescope. We were all then encourage to look as stags stood on a hillside about 3 miles away not visible to the naked eye. The bus then went through an estate while the gilly kept saying "last night this was full of deer" as we passed empty field after empty field. Finally on the way home in the dark he said well there are a lot in that field....it was almost pitch black and all we could see were blurs...total waste of time and money 45 pounds for 4 of us. Even the Gilly said we should get our money back!
Link to Festival web site

Sainsbury - Kelso

Sainsbury Kelso opened last week. A nice design that fits well into the environment and not the usual boxy shop. Not very big, but it will be very much used as I think most shoppers in and around Kelso will use it rather than driving to Galashiels. Not the choices or the deals of Tesco, but I liked it, and the food is better quality I think. Its located over the river on an old industrial estate.


Enjoyed our visit to this small city on the ocean. The place was nicer than I thought it would be, it has a reputation for being dour. But we visited the Mall Overgate which exits onto the high street and the other big mall Westgate is only a short walk so a compact town centre with a huge Desperate Dan statue from the Beano days. As a child Beano and Dandy were my two favourite comics after Dan Dare and they were both born in Dundee. Had a poor quality Chinese at a Buffet restaurant on the waterfront. Also went to Cineworld, wouldn't buy their shares, empty and expensive 7 pounds for a popcorn and coke?

Avanti - Crieff

Had dinner at this very nice little Italian restaurant in Crieff on the high street. We had ravioli which was nicely done if small portions. The bruschetta was good and the whole meal for 4 was only 50 pounds.

Fingask Castle

took the family away for the October break at this lovely spot between Dundee and Perth near Rait. The castle belongs to the Thriepwood family and they have converted the stables into a few nice cottages to rent. The cottages are lovely and fully equipped. The one we stayed in was two bedrooms lovely bathroom upstairs and downstairs and open plan kitchen dining and lounge with big log burner. The lounge done out in red plaid and very cosy. I have two boys 12 and 15 and they appreciated the games room with table tennis, football and a good snooker table. The grounds are lovely with winding walks down the glen with hidden caves, springs dating back to pilgrim times and old wooden bridges lost in the reads. Very weel priced at 195 pounds for the cottage Monday to Friday.
This is a link to the castle website

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Our High Streets

I went to Musselburgh yesterday and took a good walk up and down the high street of this lovely small town, set on the ocean near Edinburgh. But I have to despair about the deterioration of the high street. I would think at least 40% of the shops are charity, the full range from Oxfam to SPCA. This is followed closely by discount stores such as Poundland, a few banks and finally a scattering of what I would call real stores, a local butcher a fishmonger a good local bakery. Being a wealthy sort of seaside town there was also a fair number of coffee shops and restaurants. Musselburgh is fanmous for its racing, having a track that is internationally known for the quality of the horses and the delightful venue right on the ocean.

The Loyal Mouse

Robert Burns reportedely saw a field mouse nest destroyed by plowing and wrote the famous ode to a mouse which starts:
Wee, sleeket, cowran, tim'rous beastie,
O, what panic's in thy breastie!
Thou need na start awa sae hasty,
Wi' bickering brattle!
I wad be laith to rin an' chase thee,
Wi' murd'ring pattle!

Until today I was sure he was correct. But the plowing is going on all around us of course as the season closes.This has driven field mice to try to enter the house for the winter. We set some traps and this morning my wife went into the utility room to wash clothes and saw a strange sight. A mouse had been caught by its paw in one of the traps, and another mouse spent the whole night gnawing the trap to free his friend or mate. The free mouse was so loyal and so brave that even when I moved the chair the trap was behind he refused to flee, looking me in the eye as if to say "do your worst, I will not abandon my friend!". My heart was touched so I contrived to catch them both in a plasic box and put them gently outside to run free again.
of course they will be back inside as soon as wink, but I couldna kill the poor wee things as Robbie may have said.