Life is confusing enough without names for every puff of wind coming our way. Apparently it’s so we pay more attention. So far we have suffered a series of middle class names with strange associations.
1. Abigail – a gingham clad extra in an Enid Blyton book. Irritating but not scary.
2. Barney – an irritating Purple Dinosaur who has driven many parents to hard liquor and reexamining the gun law.
3. Clodagh – Rogers, the singer of the Eurovision hit of many eons back. Long blonde hair and vintage 70’s trousers. Disturbing but again not scary.
4. Desmond – my Auntie Margarets fat dalmatian. aka a sap
5. Eva – Hitlers girlfriend
6. Frank – a boiler suited American form the 1950’s
7. Gertrude – a goose in a Disney film. And as of today
8. Henry – a tweed clad, blustering, red faced, upper class twit of the year.
I propose we ditch these no name names and go for something altogether more menacing.
We all remember Hurricane Bawbag our local vernacular for one of these great whirling twists of hell and so here are suggestions of alternatives;
The A-Z Scottish storms.
A Argie barge B Bahookey C Crabbit D Drookit E Eejit/Erse F Fankle G Glasgae kiss H Humfie-backit I Into a’thing J Jaggy Bunnet K Kerry oot! L Laldy M Manky N Numpty O Oxter P Plooky Q Quench the quine R Radge S Stoater T Teuchter U Up shite creek V Voddie W Watch yersel’? X Xactly why am off to tae Benidorm for ma holidays? Y Ya Bass!? Z Zip it or I’ll batter ye.
As a sausage dog obsessed woman it is always great when you find a gaff your hairy pal is made as welcome as your two legged one. Miss Dynamite and I as ever were stomping the streets this week with Doris Schnauzer and her admirer Charlie ChoriZo Sausage dog when we fell into Water of Leith Cafe relocated from its very successful Coburg Street address to the main drag of Inverleith down to Canonmills at 1 Howard Street it has been reborn and reopened which is a delight to its many many fans.
I knew a warm welcome, a sticky cake, a light lunch and a smile were on the cards but I didn’t realise they are dog lovers to boot.
An area is designated for the 4 leggers an immediate bowl of water produced and as you can see a little love nest blanket. Everyone was very happy and we stayed for hours.
I can recommend it for you and your Hairy pals – 2 and 4 legged like.
The Water of Leith Cafe
Dog lovers of the world unite. Have you heard of this fabulous new website BorrowMyDoggy.com
It is for the time-poor dog owner, for the lively and always ready for a walk dog and for the dog lover who cannot have a dog of their own for whatever the reason ….be it landlords rules, work commitments or a partner that has allergies or frankly can’t stand them (though why you would want to be with a person that didn’t love dogs is beyond me frankly). In fact this may be the catalyst, if your partner doesn’t like dogs get rid of your partner and join this site as there are a plethora of new hairy pals for you to walk.
Whether you are a dog owner or prospective walker all you do is register on the site, fill in a few details and your postcode then you will see the array of dogs in your area who are looking for a new human shaped friend to take them out for some fun and if you’re the dog owner you will see the people in the area keen to take out your quadroped pal.
There is no money that changes hands it is just a happy meeting of local dog lovers. ..
So have a look and get thee registered. Exercise, fun, happy waggy friends, whichever your situation if you ask me whichever way you look at it –
Get all road designers or engineers or Robert MacAdam fans to France now.
The roads are fabulous!
Its so easy to get from A to B ( – as long as you ignore you Satnav – “please prepare to continue straight ahead”) the old days of being told the drivers in this neck of the woods are wild is nonsense. Everyone cruises along quite the thing.
The motorway service stations are great too. Edible food by God and drinkable coffee.
Yes there are toll roads but honestly the non-toll ones are fabulous too.
I am a confused traveller.
Is this another country or another planet.
Sorry Scotland but we are years behind. Pockmarked, one lane each way on our main road to England in the East it is a piece of nonsense and frankly I’d rather we sorted this out rather than fiddle about with the damn useless empty ghost like trams of Edinburgh….
The A1 is a travesty.
A dangerous life risking horror show.
So how about putting this on the agenda for the big vote on September 18th?
Yes a ranting post but hey ho – better out than in.
Funny how conversations go. I remember when the Black Panther was at large I was staying in a Caravan with my cousin in a field beside her Mums kennels we were about 10. We got ourselves in o such a state that when my Auntie Wilma came up and banged loudly on the window for a joke and we both became completely hysterical and had to decamp with tour sleeping bags back onto the floor in the house. So as were driving south I was retelling this story when we heard on the radio that there as an escaped convict on the loose.
“He’s called headbanger” said Mum in a most authoraritive tone. “Or is it nut cracker ? Or the big stabber? What was his name? ” pause forebrain to engage again ” I know Hammerhead!”
This went on for a while until eventually Google saved the day Skull cracker!” I announced triumphantly. So we agreed we should be keeping our eyes peeled for him on our way to Yorkshire – our first night away. It was a lovely place delicious food, comfy beds and dangerously great wine.
The General Tarleton Inn in Ferrensby. A delightful, delicious, comfy, friendly, warm, open Yorkshire hospitality. Fabulous food, comfy beds and somewhere I would go back to in an instant.
As we settled in the bar I texted the long suffering husband the wine label.
“Oh God” he said “Beware first night away syndrome, I hope they don’t have a piano or a banjo ukulele”. Well we have been together 20 years he knows me too well. Luckily for them they had neither.
The food was superlative. Delicious. Brilliantly cooked and we didn’t hold back.
More details about that later for now…………..the skull cracker is back inside and all is well with the world………packed and ready to roll tomorrow …
So we’re off. Mum and I are heading off to Europe today in the car. In preparation last night we drank a lovely bottle of wine and toasted the next few weeks of driving, travelling and “mindfulness” Yes the buzz word for the middle aged crisis sufferers the world over of which I am one. Obviously. Mum is neither middle-aged nor neurotic so that must have come from my Fathers side of the family. The mad, hairy, ones. Ah yes there’s the clue. Still back to the trip.
The first hurdle in leaving is pictured here. The dog.
Nellie the lurcher. She got a bit twitchy when she saw Mum pack her bags and spent last night pacing the flat then when we got up this morning she was glued to Mums bags displaying her doleful eye.
I took a different approach as my dogs are 15 and 13 respectively if I had said goodbye to them it would have taken 2 hours and involved a lot of wailing and snottering so I gave them a biscuit a cursory scratch on the head and they walked off rewarding me with a lazy wag.
As they disappeared off into a bushI ran in and gathered the next armful of extraneous goods to stuff into the boot before leaving the flat for the last time tears threatening.
For those considering taking a car. First revelation.
Travelling across Europe by car is a joy. No one to winge about the size of your cases or the number you have of them. So we have spread out…..there’s just us and over the boot and back seats we have:
The Library; Selection of books to read on the road. Travel books, thrillers, sci-fi-romance, history it’s all in there. NO WE DON’T HAVE A KINDLE and NOW WE DONT WANT ONE.
The larder. Food for stuffing into the face in times of desperation which we plundered on day 1 more details to follow…..
The digital radio – yes I must have @BBC6music at all times when in transit
The footwear. Shoes, flip flops, trainers, wellies, boots, flippers.
The rumbley rolls of clothing. Warm stuff, sandy, old summer stuff, winter stuff, spring and Autumn stuff – fully prepared for all eventualities.
The drugs. Not illegal ones but the ones you end up accumulating. Ibuprofen, aspirin, paracetamol, a couple of back supports as my back as been chronic recently, vitamins, Nytol for the insomnia and then Mums array of stuff for blood pressure. I wonder when you see Posh Spice (Yes I still call her that) swashbuckling through Heathrow with all her bags if they are filled with Berocca and painkillers in case of a cracking hangover after a wild night out with Gordon Ramsay and his wife Tana.
But seriously to the untrained health freak we probably look like a couple of dealers. There are a serious number of bottles with pills in them in the boot. I hope we don’t get stopped at customs.
Shampoo. I ordered it twice by mistake on Amazon and thus have 12 bottles of shampoo in the car which we can sell if we run out of money, or petrol, or the will to carry them round Europe.
Lotions and Potions required for maintenance. This is a biggie.
You know the sort of things Cleanser. Moisturise, Veet, conditioner, body moisturiser, deodorant, anti-pespirant, perfume, my make – up which we did consider putting in a separate trailer. Mums make up – pictured. Is slightly less high maintenance.
Laptop. Phone. Chargers. Camera. Batteries.
Vital equipment: Maps. Addresses of where we are going. Instruction on how to use the Sat Nav.
By now there is barely enough room for Mum and I.
If it doesn’t just burst I will report back tomorrow…..
So the road trip plan is going on – and on – and on. I am the culprit. I could organise I piss up in a brewery but other than that organising anything confuses my brain completely.
I need to drive from Edinburgh to Barcelona by car.
I can’t fly. It’s not that I don’t want to. I can’t so I have no choice.
So I look at the map.
I can see where I am and where I want to go but how do you plan it?
How do you know where to stop?
When to stop?
How many miles you can realistically drive on a day to day in a right hand drive car in France or Spain?
A pal told me I need a breathalyser – thanks I said – no he meant legally in France you must have two in the car. Oh. OK
Also on the list are two high viz jackets.
Where do you get those? I said arriving to buy some tea lights from IKEA and instantly stumbling into a huge pile of high viz jackets for about 90p each. Weird.
But as it’s IKEA not only is it weird – its a bargain.
Though I do get distracted with why one earth do IKEa sell high viz jackets?
Is it for people who fall asleep half way through building a flat pack so their family don’t trip over their prone exhausted bodies as they go about their business. Anyway it was a happy coincidence whatever the reason.
So I bought 2 for me and 2 for him and so he got the breathalysers so all we need now is the route.
Even the drive to Dover is confusing.
Drive all the way in a day or stop over somewhere and if so where?
Or get a ferry from Newcastle?
And so it goes on so prevarication wins out as usual.
Speaking of which it’s Good Friday – Happy Easter – I am off to stuff my chops with chocolate eggs in the hope the rush of sugar to the brain will effect a shift in my capacity to plan…
I can’t fly. No that is not a comment about my personal feathered wing situation. Fact is I am not permitted to fly on a plane due to an ongoing health condition – yeh I know – yawn yawn. Don’t worry I wasn’t going to splurge out all that stuff – I was just telling you all about it cos I am in the process of planning a road trip with my dear Mum.
Road trip consists of
Her – passenger seat.
Me – driving seat.
Her – old crumpled map. See below.
Me – GPS
I would be lying if I said I didn’t laugh when I saw this map proving my suspicion that she is no Christopher Columbus.
Her – finely tuned destinations decided and confirmed.
Me – fly by the seat of the pants. Oh I do fly! By the seat of my pants I forgot about that.
My Dad once navigated his wee sailing boat round the coast of the north of Scotland with an AA Road Map. It didn’t end well. So I do understand why she is pushing for some definitive answers as to where we are going. She thinks I take after him. I do too.
In May we are off to Spain.
So I am reinvigorating this blog to tell the tale of a road trip with me and her.
Or as she would say “You and I, Alison! Not Me and her”. Yes the travails and travels of this middle aged daughter and my octogenarian Mum on the road.
I can’t you how angry I am having just come home from a full days work to a smell that just about knocked me out when I opened the door.
Oh God the aged dogs have combusted I thought uncharitably but one look at them proved they were as horrified as I was as they pushed past me to get out the door.
A cursory sniff as they scattered took me to the source – Teenwolf had decided to whip up a snack for his pal – smoked mackerel. He’d manfully opened the package, sliced it on a chopping board all left there with fishy knife . The pan is also in evidence as are the plates they ate from with the leftovers, a few further fishy wee shards.
All of this has been sitting in the warm house left to emanate fishy fishy smells all day long. Ggggggrrr.
Our pals are coming round in an hour so I have to decide whether to open the windows and freeze them to death or invite them into fishy hell.
I am off to dig out jumpers, rugs, hats and gloves – they will thank me for it if and when they ever thaw out.
My mood will take longer to thaw out when the Teenwolf slopes in. I guarantee it.