2 September 2013

Boo!

Boo! I am still alive. Did you miss me? Oh...I see! The kilted hordes failed to drive this fearsome Yorkist Sassenach into the North Sea. Remember Culloden! And we had a lovely time these last few days. The weather was mostly gorgeous - with me frothing at the mouth as I observed endless photogenic scenes bathed in glorious light.

The Scottish Borders are like "The Land That Time Forgot" - an ancient landscape of winding lanes, farmland, castles, villages and little market towns - enclosed by the wild North Sea to the east and by wild uplands to the north, south and west. And then we headed up to The Kingdom of Fife, finally arriving at St Andrews which is a unique little town.

It boasts the ruins of an ancient abbey, an old castle, the  world's most famous golf course, gorgeous seascapes, stolid stone university buildings and proud merchants' houses. Seagulls perform their acrobatic manoeuvres on the wind while bulky Americans and slender oriental students roam the streets, marvelling at the place like children at a sweet shop window.

While Shirley attended her day course at the university, I parked in a fishing village south of St Andrews. It is called Crail and it looks as if it belongs on the lid of a luxury box of shortbread. With boots laced, I marched off to Fife Ness and along the coastal path. Three hours later a young seagull seemed desperate for the cheese and pickle sandwich that I had bought in Crail's little "Co-op" store. Needless to say, its begging was not in vain.

The next day we bypassed Edinburgh - stopping at Dunbar -  birthplace of the famous New World conservationist - John Muir. Then after tea and scones we headed back to Merry Olde England, only stopping on the Northumberland coast to snap distant views of Lindisfarne - The Holy Island. Then onwards to Alnwick where Steve and Moira were perfect hosts.

We walked on the beach at Alnmouth and then drank Black Sheep beer in "The Red Lion" before heading back to their house for a lovely meal and wine. And on Sunday morning we visited the famous "Barter Books" second-hand book-store in Alnwick's old station. It was here in 2000 that an old "Keep Calm and Carry On" poster was re-discovered. This iconic design has now spread about the planet in different forms. Perhaps I should design an alternative "Get Angry and Fight!" poster.

A trip like this reminds me that we are very fortunate to live on such a beautiful island with its intricate history and its special character. We ought not to listen to the detracting "Boo!" boys and girls for this really is a land of hope and glory and when the weather is good, there really is nowhere finer....Gallery:-
Boarhills Church near St Andrews
Crail Harbour, Fife
Th Old Course, St Andrews
View to The Holy Island
The original "Keep Calm" poster in Alnwick
Later, I made this:-

16 comments:

  1. OMG ~ I just set off on my search ~ didn't get far and you turn up :) http://carolincairns.blogspot.com.au/2013/09/search-party.html

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    1. Lovely post and pics ~ nice to have you and Shirley back.

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    2. Thank you Carol! Interesting that no other members of the blogging "community" seemed to give a fig about my short absence.

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    3. Love the Get Angry & Fight On meme

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  2. That is not true. I gave two figs, a prune, and a peach -- not necessarily in that order. I just took you at your word that you were going to be gone from blogworld for a few days.

    Those first four scenes are some of the finest photographs you have ever published.

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    1. My heart is lifted now that I am assured that you also care Robert...darling. And thanks for taking the trouble to appreciate those photographs. Good subjects and good light make the process much simpler.

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    2. "Thank you Carol! Interesting that no other members of the blogging "community" seemed to give a fig about my short absence."

      A bit prissy for a Yorkshireman that!

      Dominic came to stay for the first time in nine months so we spent our time together fitting a kitchen, going fishing, racing my Jeep around and all sorts of other manly things so while I had a vague recollection of you wittering on about going north of the border, I never really paid any attention, after all, you are ALWAYS off somewhere.

      I seem to recall commenting on your post 'Scotched', along with about five other people.

      So what's the matter really? Why do you appear to feel unloved and unwanted despite the written evidence of our devotion to your ramblings, both pedestrian and verbal? With such an enviable lifestyle and a wonderful wife living in God's own country with as much Real Yorkshire Pudding as you can stuff down your neck, how could you be in any way insecure?

      Frankly, I am baffled.

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    3. Hippo - it's because my mother dropped me on my head when I was a baby.

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    4. Ah, I see what the problem is. It can be quite traumatic going north of the border.

      Take the following:

      A plate full of roast beef, Yorkshire pudding, roast parsnips and potatoes, greens, lashings of gravy, horseradish sauce and consume the lot washed down with a few pints of real ale. Follow this with at least half a treacle pud and a half pint of custard and another pint or two of heavy.

      You'll be right as rain by morning but just to finish the blues off, a full Yorkshire breakfast with black pudding, fried tomatões, home cured bacon, eggs, sausages, baked beans, fried bread, left over Yorkshire pudding and lashings of healthy HP sauce all washed down with Tetley's tea followed by a brisk five mile walk timed to allow you to arrive at the pub by lunchtime.

      Repeat as often as is necessary.

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    5. Oh my dear Mr Hippo, you have got me drooling like a teething baby! Now I feel so hungry I am going to have to leave this keyboard to prepare some good honest Yorkshire nosh. What will you be eating tonight sir? Ngonguenha with tarco on the side? Mmm...doesn't have quite the same appeal.

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    6. Alex is five today so the menu was his call. He chose pizza and chocolate cake. I think the home made pizza turned out well and is disappearing nicely. Once Alex has stopped effing around with his first iPad we might get to try the chocolate cake.

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  3. You had a wonderful week. Crail is a gem. Dunbar was also home to Black Agnes....an infamous, determined and aggressive lady.

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    1. Did you date Black Agnes Adrian? Sounds as if she would have consumed you for breakfast!

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  4. All looks lovely. I knew you were safe because you had Shirley there to take care of you. Glad you enjoyed the break. One of those huge seagulls that fly around St Andrews pooped on me when we were there. I know that's supposed to be good luck but it sure didn't feel like it. ( your seagulls are much bigger than ours !!)

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  5. It pooped on you! Ha! Ha! If only we could train them to "bomb" those we dislike such as President Assad of Syria and Michael Buble - the smirking Canadian singer.

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  6. I kind of like the second poster

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Mr Pudding welcomes all genuine comments - even those with which he disagrees. However, puerile or abusive comments from anonymous contributors will continue to be given the short shrift they deserve. Any spam comments that get through Google/Blogger defences will also be quickly deleted.