On the road to the Isles…..with a virus.

On the road for another week – round Scotland – with a boot full of wine, a laptop and an optimistic eye. I will be blogging daily if you’d like to  follow the trail of nonsense here .

Imagine getting up this nose - not very pleasant.

But before I go If alisonsdiary has sent you an e mail trying to flog viagra, lend you money or other such nonsense I can only apologise. SORRY. It’s a virus. How this happens I have no idea and who are these anoraks who abide somewhere in the ether spend their time fiddling around to hack into peoples e mail addresses and send meaningless nonsense to millions of strangers anyway? Eejits the lot of them.

As you can see it gets up my nose.

They should get out of the house, take a walk, meet a human, speak, laugh, buy a dog, phone an old pal, go to the pub, read a book, turn off their infernal PC and  in other words get a bloody life.

Hackers turn off that computer - come on you can do it!

So that’s that off my chest. And as I say sorry about the random e mails if you were unfortunate enough to get one.  Off to fill up the car and get on the road………..

Sandy Lane Barbados? Nope Sandy Bay, Loch Awe today!

So long suffering husband and I are supposed to be in Majorca.  Now.  A finely tuned military operation was organised. Ryanair cheap as chips flights to Palma for a few days from Edinburgh. Then long suffering flies back to Blighty on the same day my Mum flies out so the Queen of Sheba – me – has a full 10 days in the sun. Perfect.

Then bring on the volcanic ash cloud and the whole thing went tits up. So what do you do? Huff, moan, cry and regret? Bugger that for a game of soldiers.  Get online and organise something closer to home.So here I am 5 days later, 5 days of sunshine and only 1 brief shower, I have a face like a well slapped babys bum, a smile like Oliver Reed after a bottle of rum and a feeling of deep love once again for this country we call home.  2 dogs, 1 man and me on tour in Scotland.  Just off a boat on a wee island in the middle of Loch Awe – as you can see every one is loving it!

PS the reason he has a life jacket on is cos I threatened to upturn the boat if I didn’t catch a fish!. Ho ho ho.

Where do you take a sick horse? Horsepital or the local restaurant?

You just couldn't could you?

The talk of the steamie last weekend in Edinburgh was that L’Escargot Bleu in Edinburgh’s Broughton Street are going to start serving horse and no I don’t mean inviting the odd horse to pull up a chair, enjoy an aperetif and a canape.
No Edinburgh’s most authentic French Restaurant is testing the boundaries of the Scots palate and introducing horse  to their menu. The gauntlet is down, well how do you carve horse with your gauntlets on? And rather than tuck it away in a stew or serve it as a steak the proprietor has plumped for the rather radical sounding horse tartare.

Definition of Tartare: a dish of coursely ground or finely chopped high quality raw lean horse that has been seasoned with salt, capers, onions and the tears of every pre-pubescent girl in Scotland (and my Auntie Joyce)

Raw horse. God the thought of taking your kids to pony club developing a long and loving relationship with a beast then when the going gets tough, or before it’s flanks get too tough, hell just shoot it and eat it just seems so wrong.

He's obviously heard the news

The arguments are valid. I eat cow. I eat pig. I eat lamb – aka baby sheep. It’s all true which is why I can’t quite understand the revulsion I feel that Dobbin local horse with long eyelashes, swishy tale and a personality is coming to a plate near me. Black Beauty, Thelwell, National Velvet they are icons of childhood and affection. I can’t recall one story in which a cow or sheep took a leading role. Babe was of course a world wide pig star and for some reason, despite the fact pigs are generally credited with being  more intelligent than dogs, I have no qualms about slapping them between to bits of bread and having them for breakfast. I know where this going. I am of course a hypocrite.

Def. of hypocrite:a person who pretends to have virtues, moral or religious beliefs, principles, etc., that he or she does not actually possess, esp. a person whose actions belie stated beliefs.

Yup. Guilty as charged as this picture below illustrates. Fed it, cuddled it, gave it a name. Ate it. Och well. Damn it tasted good though.

Pal Jennys pig. Now in the freezer. Bless.

Italian Students interfere with Arthur’s Seat

Arthur's Seat

 On a day like today the views at the  top of Arthur’s Seat  were remarkable! Specifically this one? Not only did they gub us at rugby but clearly they’re not finished with us yet. Those of a delicate disposition look away – students eh?
After the event – if you can call it that, we stood and admired the panoramic views the realised we were STARVING so rushed off doon the hill, jumped in the car and hit The Bake House on Broughton Street for a marvellous panini and large latte. Lounging in there for as long as possible before the wardens from hell were spotted glowering through the window and souring the milk.

The Bakehouse is a must if  you find yourself in Broughton Street.  Homemade cakes and wonderous tuna melts and the most charming staff to welcome you.

Table before heaps of food arrive - cute.
Outside about to rush in stuff faces. Hola.

In fact it is the perfect stop off  after a strenuous walk to get a lining in the stomach before heading over to The Barony Bar right across the road – a splendid hostelry which is still what it always was – a great pub. I LOVE PUBS. Oops sorry did I say that out loud.Especially ones that haven’t been bought over by multi-nationals and turned into clones of every other wipe clean surface in the world.  The Barony is a belter and well worth a visit.

Inhale 1 2 3 Hmmmmn you can just imagine that lager slipping down yer throat.

Ah yes many a happy evening, night, day, afternoon has been wiled away in this establishment. On ye go – you know you want to.

Friday afternoon Guffaw with a kilted lunatic – a real belter!

There are so many appalling Scots accents delivered by every other nation in the world but this one really takes the biscuit. His delivery of the word ‘ninny’ has to go down in history as the most ridiculous use of the word in the history of the world. If you are in a busy office beware there is a Guffaw moment only seconds in.

Ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho
It maybe the hangover but I think this is priceless. The geezer must be barking and you’ve got to admire that!

Dream find at Scottish Antique Centre.

Couldn’t believe my luck when Fiona found these little beauties. Rather over shadowed Dave’s purchase I’m sure you will agree.

Just after this we got back into Fiona’s mini with Dave and Fiona in the front and me and Sam the lab in the back.

Edinburgh Cat & Dog Home Girl too
The look of love is in your eye despite proximity to dubious trouser leg.

Dave a little quiet, Fiona and I high on her wonderful discovery. Yup. Back to the drawing board Dave. You can take the girls out of Aberdeen but ye cannae tak’ the Aberdeen out of the girls.

Wrap Yersel’ in The Saltire & Sing Flower of Scotland


The world of the self-employed is never dull and we’re in  Argyll for a day or two. We hit the road early Monday morning and as we whizzed up the road I shreiked STOP THE CAR! Poor Dave almost had the vapours but I just  had to show  you this… isn’t it amazing?

Staying in a B&B where the proprietor cooked us dinner last night. After a few bevs we are now best friends and he has agreed to do a special wee demo for later – drink will be involved.  Well we’re here for a good time nae a long time! See you back here later.

Can’t wait.  Alison x