Search

Latest posts

Eh look! A mysterious button. Let's click it!

Shauna Reid

Welcome, weary traveller! I'm Shauna Reid, an Australian writer who moved to Scotland ten years ago in pursuit of adventure and kilts

Sheep on neeps

10/Feb/2014

Over the past few weeks I’ve been enthralled by the sight of sheep feasting on fields of turnips.

Sheep on neeps

Forgive the shitty phone pic

Forget fox in socks and cats in hats, Dr Seuss missed a trick with these fellas.

Who eats whose neeps?
Sheep eats Sue’s neeps.

Who sees who eats whose new neeps, sir?
You see sheep eat Sue’s new neeps, sir.

Well, yes, that utterly stinks doesn’t it.

But anyway, on one particular farm I saw on the Black Isle, they’ve grown a big field of neeps and fenced it into sections. Then they let the sheep run riot in one bit at a time. I dunno why I find it so hilarious and wonderful to watch them plopped down on top of the neeps, munching row by row like big fluffy Pac Men. If Pac Men be the plural of Pac Man.

I like the guys sitting to the left of the patch. Looks like they needed a time-out, and maybe a massage before they head back in. Raw turnips are hard. They must take it out of you.

These sheep are such a stark contrast to the sheep of my childhood, who had to wander dry and dusty paddocks with barely a salt block to entertain them.

Four months in the north

03/Feb/2014

The novelty of living somewhere new has yet to wear off! I am loving it up here. Here are some highlights so far…

Eden Court is a theatre and cinema and restaurant and whatever else they can think of. I could merrily find something to see every night. Comedy, plays, National Theatre live screenings, photography workshops, yoga classes, stuff for kids; interesting and non-shite movies. Mary (who is doing well) and I had a blast at the ballet last week. I also went to a fantastic writing workshop, two hours of practical inspiration for all of £7. They also do capoeira classes which I have no interest in doing but I like living down the road from the possibility of them, y’know?

Plus, at night the building looks like an evil spaceship.

Eden Court

Leakey’s Bookshop is an incredible used bookshop and cafe. I’m yet to try the cafe because the books are so distracting. They’ve got interesting and weird and ye olde ones; not just 50 copies of 50 Shades. Best of all there’s a huge wood stove thing in the middle of the shop, snap and crackling away. The smell of toasty logs and old books is intoxicating.

Leakeys

(Image credit)

As mentioned before Velocity Cafe has the best coffee. I’ve done exhaustive testing around the town for you, but even if you never make it up here, you can sleep soundly knowing the work has been done.

Like so many places in the UK the high street is looking dodgy in parts, but there are also lots of interesting independent shops. There are two really great butchers, an ace fishmonger, two non-chain health food shops and the tiny but packed-to-the-rafters Saffron Oriental Food Shop. I love being able to walk up the road to find lovely ingredients, instead of needing a bus to Edinburgh! If that ever gets old, then kick me because I must’ve become an ungrateful git.

There is also a souvenir shop that sports a selection of jazzy skulls amongst the standard Nessie gear. And I can’t wait for summer to hit up this ice cream van…

skulls

One of the butchers always has this Dirty Carrots display out the front. The potatoes look equally filthy but for some reason they’re just labelled Potatoes.

carrots

I am arf the cakes at the moment but when I need a fix, Leachkin Bakery will be the place.

Leachkin Bakery

There are also some shops that you just don’t really get where we came from. Like the ones for all your wild beast stalking and salmon catching needs. This Christmas display must’ve freaked out the kiddies…

santa-jacket

The tiny tweed jacket above for the young squire can be found in the window of no less than three different shops.

I’m still loving the river walks, especially when you get to the bottom footbridge and look across to the snow-capped hills. They always take me by surprise. I forget we’re in the Highlands now… there’s going to be some lands with height, derr.

River Ness

I finally got round to exploring the Caledonian Canal, which runs kinda parallel to the river. The Caledonian is the fella that runs all the way across Scotland. Another one Great Feat of Victorian Engineering!

canal

And that’s just Inverness itself! Turns out there’s more goodness beyond.

Let it go: Food Blog Comment Rage

27/Jan/2014

I love reading food blogs. I rarely cook the recipes; I just like to ogle the beautifully-lit photos, fancy serving dishes and lush descriptions. I admire their patience in measuring each ingredient into a tiny spoon or Pyrex bowl, photographing them from above, then doing the washing up afterwards.

But it used to get a little messy when I scrolled down to the comments. There was no need to read the comments. I had better things to do than read the comments. Yet I could not resist.

Specifically, my eyes sought out the most inane, passive-aggressive or just plain annoying ones…

–  I HATE CILANTRO so I will not be making this.
–  Why no cilantro in this recipe? How can you not like cilantro?
–  How long would this take in my slow cooker?
–  What happens if you’re not lucky enough to own a slow cooker?
–  Well thanks. I’ve just been diagnosed with a dairy allergy so can’t even eat this.
–  My cake sank in the middle. What went WRONG?
–  Black eyed beans are NOT Paleo so what should I do?
–  How many Points is this six-layer cake?
–  This curry recipe was far too spicy.
–  This curry recipe was far too bland.
–  Nice photos, what camera do you use?
–  This recipe is not authentic. My mother makes this dish so much better and now I shall paste her 2,000 word recipe right here…

I’d scroll and scroll and scroll, making little pffffffftttt noises of outrage as the Food Blog Comment Rage grew…

OH GOD. That is so rude.
Who are these people?
If you saw Jamie Oliver or Delia Smith in the street would you use that tone?
Jeeeeeeeez…
You didn’t even say please!
Can you substitute ground almonds? Why not TRY IT and SEE!
How would he know what’s wrong with your oven? Do you want him to come over to your house and look?
She has a TODDLER and a FULL TIME JOB and she is DOING HER BEST!

Snort. Grumble. Eye roll.

It was becoming somewhat of a weekday ritual so I decide to think about what was going on there.

On a shallow level, it’s kinda delicious and irresistible to see the wild array of thoughts that humans posses. Even Gareth who’s not much of an internet person is prone to getting lost “below the line” on the Guardian website, oft yelling, “Come and have a look at these fuckwits!”.

But digging deeper, the Food Blog Comment Rage said far more about me than the commenters.

I realised I was still holding on to a fear of criticism and trolls that began when Dietgirl was published. The lovely emails and reviews have far, far outweighed the nasty ones… but the nasty ones cast a shadow that I wasn’t always conscious of. Looking back, I was writing quite tentatively and nervously, with a low background voice whispering you are shite! Fretting over sentences; trying to pre-empt negative responses. Hiding away or pulling back, curled up like a hedgehog.

So when I’d read these blogs, bristling defensively on the authors’ behalf, I reckon part of it was vicariously licking old wounds.

And the compulsion to read these beautiful blogs was not only because they are beautiful blogs, but because their authors wrote boldly, consistently and from the guts. Over and over they put themselves out there, staying classy and true whatever the feedback. It was easier to envy/admire their courage (and get hoity toity about their comment sections) than risk doing anything myself.

At new year I decided it was high time to let go of that and get back to having fun. I made a vow that in 2014 I will write once a week, no matter what. So if seven days go by silently around here, feel free to leave a nagging comment. I promise not to get my knickers in a twist about it!

This post is part of the Let it Go Project: a collection of stories leading up to a beautiful releasing ritual, hosted by Sas Petherick on the 30th of January. All the details for this free event are here. And you can take part. Be inspired by other posts in this project, and share what you are ready to let of of on the Let it Go Project Community Page.

Let  It Go - SasPetherick.com

The Ghost of Roderick Dhu and a new Pointless Project

20/Jan/2014

After joking about it in the 2013 Review Thingo, I’ve decided to make 52 Whiskys In 52 Weeks my new Pointless* Project. It’s just the logical thing to do…

Gareth in the wash room

  • Geography – Living in Inverness I’m surrounded by Highland distilleries. The famous delights of Speyside are a short drive away. Orkney and Skye are mere weekend trips now. It would be rude not to explore!
  • Cheap thrills – I don’t plan on buying bottles of the stuff so I’ll need to be crafty. Distillery visits = free tastings, sometimes even multiple ones. There’s local whisky shops and whisky events. Gareth has a modest collection that I can exploit. If I get desperate towards the end, there’s always miniatures.
  • Glamorous moments – I’ve budgeted in a monthly bar visit. At Christmas a client took us to the swanky Caley Bar at Edinburgh’s Caledonian Hilton. I said to a colleague, “Wouldn’t it be great to be the kind of person who hangs out in these places on a regular basis?”. Later I thought, what are you waiting for, woman? I’m not getting any younger so I’m scheduling in decadence, dagnabbit. Every now and then I’ll get dressed up and go somewhere fancy for one drink. At my slowass rate of consumption I can make a dram last for hours. Gareth, you can come too but you may need to upgrade your hoodie.
  • Sensory workout – I like the infuriating challenge of figuring out what’s going on when tasting whisky. So far it’s very much like the Perfume Project… “I know that smell… what the bloody hell is it?”. Wonder if I’ll get any better at it over the year?
  • It’s fascinating stuff – the history, the unpronounceable names, the mystery & myth; the marketing BS… it’s intriguing and I want to learn more.
  • Marital harmony - Gareth developed an unexpected interest in whisky during his MA Brewing & Distilling course (he had come for the beer). So it’s fun having something we’re both interested in. Try as I may, I can’t get jazzed about homebrewing or mountain biking!

The rules

  • The whiskys must be single malt Scotch whisky. No blends or foreign stuff.
  • Just to assure you that I won’t develop a problem – I don’t have to drink a whole dram for it to qualify as Tasted. A sip or two is all I need to make a verdict.
  • Tasting notes to be entered into swanky new spreadsheet (surprise, surprise)
  • Champion whisky to be declared on 31 December 2014. So none of this “winding up the project a year after the deadline” malarkey this time.

The story so far

I’ve tried a Lagavuillin 16yo and a Clynelish 14yo from Gareth’s stash. His parents got us Historic Scotland memberships for Christmas (free entry into all HS properties) so this past weekend we went to Dallas Dhu historic distillery near Forres, which promised a free dram at the end of the audio tour.

Dallas Dhu distillery

The distillery closed down in the eighties but it’s well-preserved Victorian goodness is open as a museum. There were shades of Scotland’s Secret Bunker with the creepy mannequins dotted about…

Creepy mannequins

… and the free dram was a blend, derr. We should’ve thought of that; they’re hardly going to give tourists a splosh of their ye olde single malt which now goes for hundreds of quid per bottle.

Roderick Dhu dram

But it was all totally worth it for the audio visual extravaganza at the end. While sipping your dram you get to watch a history of whisky as told by the ghost of Roderick Dhu. With stunning 1980s special effects, he pops out of the bottle like a boozy genie to impart his wisdom. Once you’ve got the lowdown he whizzes back down into the bottle bearing his name and beardy visage. If you’re ever in Scotland and want a side of cheese with your whisky touring, be sure to add Dallas Dhu to your itinerary!

Rhoderick Dhu

* Pointless = as in having no point, i.e. for the pure fun of it and not being about work and serious stuff.

Dubai desert sunset

2013 Review Thingo

12/Jan/2014

Here we go again! Previous episodes: 201220112010 and 2009.

1. What did you do this year that you’d never done before?
Moved to Inverness? Grabbed my finances by the bollocks at long last? That’s all I can remember. Must keep a note of this stuff during the year.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next this year?
Write every day. About 63% successful there. I also chose a word of the year: Focus. It was ace! But not in the way I thought it would be. I thought it’d be all about fitness/career, but with the unexpected happenings of Q3 it became about focusing on what absolutely, really needed to done… as opposed to the “problems” and “urgent tasks” of my mind’s invention. It felt rubbish at the time but I’m far less procrastifaffy these days.

Pancake Place, Dunfermline

Pancake Place, Dunfermline

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes! I lost count.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
No, thankfully.

5. What countries did you visit?
Australia, Dubai, Germany, Italy and The Netherlands. All work trips except going home to Oz via Dubai.

Burj Khalifa, Dubai

Burj Khalifa, Dubai

6. What would you like to have next year that you lacked in this one?
Fluffy baffies! (that’s slippers if you’re not in Scotland)

7. What dates from this year will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

  • March – briefly visit to my friend Paula in Dubai, en route to Australia. We drove out into the desert at sunset and I loved that sparse landscape. Thank you Paula!
  • April – a mini road trip with Rhi for a family BBQ with some happy reunions, topped off with a cake/coffee debrief/detour on the way back to Mum’s.
  • July – scorching day on Islay, paddling in crystal clear water with tiny fish scuttling about. Never thought I’d get in the water in Scotland!
SWOON!

SWOON!

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Getting through the fucker without too much whinging!

9. What was your biggest failure?
Ignoring my instincts on a particular decision. It’s turned out even more crapfully than the instincts predicted, d’oh. Never again!

Also failed to progress beyond the dishcloth, knitting wise!

Also failed to progress beyond the dishcloth, knitting wise!

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
No.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
A julienne peeler.

12. Where did most of your money go?
Moving.

13. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Going to Oz.

Blurred due to excitement

Blurred due to excitement

14. What song will always remind you of this year?
Jailbreak by Thin Lizzy. The CD has been in the car for months. Tonight there’s gonna be a jailbreak / Somewhere in this town. Somewhere in this town? Let me guess… AT THE JAIL!?

15. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder?
Happier!

b) thinner or fatter?
About the same.

c) richer or poorer?
Poorer. Moving is pricey.

16. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Read fiction.

17. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Emotional eating of KitKats.

River Ness pedestrian bridge

Christmas lights on the River Ness pedestrian bridge

18. How did you spend Christmas?
At home in my jammies, just me and Gareth and many 30 Rock episodes.

19. Did you fall in love this year?
Nooo… but would I write it here if I did?

20. What was your favourite TV program?

  • 30 Rock – I got into it after watching all of Season 5 on the Dubai – Glasgow flight back in April. Gareth and I have been going through the archives this winter.
  • Parenthood – Pure comfort telly. Good stories with mostly non-annoying characters. And everyone has perfect hair. Sometimes you just need that.
  • Sgoil nan Cuileanan/Puppy School – last spring we got hooked on watching a bunch of dogs learning to be obedient, in Gaelic. Who knew we’d end up living in the Highlands? It makes me want to get a dog just to try and get on the second series.
Sgoil nan Cuileanan

Sgoil nan Cuileanan

21. What was the best book you read?
Life After Life.

22. What was your favourite film of this year?
I didn’t see any new ones that really struck me but my Netflix favourites were All About Eve and the Senna documentary.

Birthday slice

Birthday slice

23. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
Turned 36, took the day off work and pottered around Inverness. I went to Velocity (best cafe in town by far) and had a wodge of outstanding lemon marscapone cake for breakfast. Then I went jeans shopping. What kind of masochist does that on their birthday? Which led to dressing room tears which led to pondering the cake/jeans connection and vowing not to feel that shite on my 37th birthday which led to Googling personal trainer Inverness which led me back to weight training and the rebuilding of healthier habits. So not a bad day really!

24. What kept you sane?
Friends near and far.

25. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I can’t remember! I need to keep a Lust List during the year.

26. Who did you miss?
Everyone in Oz. It got worse after the visit!

Aussie pubs are awesome

Aussie pubs are awesome

27. Who was the best new person you met?

  • My blog buddy Helen, finally in person, 13 years after we met in the diet blog olden days when we paranoidly blurred the faces of our progress photos.
  • Sas at last!
  • Shona the Personal Trainer
See ya, 2013!

See ya, 2013!

All’s well that smells well

30/Dec/2013

It’s time to wrap up my 2012 Perfume Project! Technically the end of 2012 would have been the timely time to do it, but let’s crack on anyway!

  • After sniffing 52 perfumes over 52 weeks, the winner was the first one I tried, Chanel’s Coco. Deemed “earthy, dramatic and foxy” when first scooshed in January 2012, it’s remained earthy, dramatic and foxy every time I’ve retested. I haven’t got round to forking out for a bottle yet, but it’s nice to know there’s the potential to smell that way. In my own mind, at least!
    Coco by Chanel
  • The runner up was the orange blossomy goodness of Elie Saab, followed by Vanilla Freesia & Lychee by Korres. The latter was a gift from The Mothership and is a nice everyday fragrance which makes one smell like an exotic, summery, fancy cake. In a good way!
  • The worst: Rive Gauche by YSL. I love the packaging – it looks like a canister in which an evil madman would store a lethal gas that would DESTROY THE WORLD if broken open – but I agree with Gareth’s verdict that I reeked, “like an old piano teacher from the 1970s”
    Rive Gauche
  • It’s so easy to be seduced by packaging. Would the Project outcomes be different had it been all Blind Sniffings? I love Coco’s classy glass; would I be half as enamoured if it looked more like a bottle of Irn Bru? I was also gutted that I didn’t like any of Tom Ford’s perfumes no matter how hard I sniffed… the packaging is so swanky! And even if I had liked Marc Jacob’s Daisy, I probably would never buy it as the dorky bottle reminds of an Avon kids’ fragrance I got for Christmas in the 80s.
    Daisy
  • The best part of the Project was testing the wee samples donated by Debra. Many were tiny, plain vials attached to a handwritten label, so I had to use my nose and not be led astray by fancy packaging. Debra, if you’re out there, thanks again! I passed them on to a good friend doing her own Perfume Project. I hope they will keep jetting around the country ’til they’re all snuffed out.
  • My favourite of Debra’s collection was En Passant by Frederic Malle Editions de Parfums. My notes were, “Vanillaish? Aquatic. Warm. Not old lady.” The professional reviews I read afterwards used words like stems, leaves, linen, cucumber. Are these things really subjective or is my nose making shit up?
  • All in all, it was a great project and I missed having a pointless yet absorbing project (with accompanying spreadsheet) this past year. Where to for 2014? 52 malt whiskys in 52 weeksWhen in Rome, and all that? Hmm… back to the drawing board.
    spreadsheet

Back to the bar

19/Dec/2013

Moving from Fife to the Highlands has been like moving from Oz to Scotland, in miniature. My brain wandered down the same path as ten years ago:

First stage – running around like a mad chook securing employment, with a cloud of self-doubt lurking overhead. You suck! You have nae skills! Get set to live in a cardboard box, CHUMP! 

Second stage – frazzled by all that putting-oneself-out-there, giving in to urge to hide from the world in my tracky dacks and eat chocolate.

Luckily I recognised the pattern in early November and deployed the same solution as I did in 2003: lift heavy objects!

I was digging the river walks, but my exercise was missing the RARRRRR Factor. Walking generates feelings of zen and goodwill, but I wanted to generate some badassery!

Initially I thought I’d join a gym, having sold off my dumbbell collection due to lack of space at Chez Nessie. But then I randomly found a personal trainer who was not only very affordable but a big fan of ladies lifting heavy weights. And she’d linked to a Stumptuous article on her Facebook page, the very website that got me hooked on weights way back in 2001. She had to be a good egg!

And she is. I’ve had weekly sessions since the start of November and I feel bloody awesome! She has proper weighty weights with the chunky bar and big plates; it’s all very She-Ra. And there’s boxing gloves and pads too, so we can extract the very last of my energy with a final flurry of punches.

I don’t know why I didn’t think of this earlier! I get to do the kinds of exercise I love most, but customised to my dilapidated knee situation. It took a bit of budget shuffling (I became obsessed with budgeting this year. Anyone else? Is that too dull of a thing to write about!?)  but it was so worth making a priority.

The heavier the weights get, the lighter I feel. I’m daydreaming of doing a pull-up someday. And that optimism is spilling over to other areas of life. I didn’t notice how ordinary I’d been feeling ’til I started feeling good. POW!

(I realise this is a random rubbishy kind of post but I just want to get back on the writing wagon!)

Loose ends:

  • After four months inside, Mother-In-Law Mary left hospital at the end of October to continue her recovery at home. She is an absolute champ!
  • The Bed Bits never surfaced. Methinks I chucked them away in my downsizing frenzy. But I called the manufacturer and they’re are sending us a “Replenish Kit” with all the bits. The fact that it has a name shows I’m not the only dickhead who has done this!

 

 

Shinty 101

04/Nov/2013

On Saturday we went to a shinty match. According to Wikipedia shinty is a “Scottish twelve-a-side game resembling hockey, played with curved sticks and taller goalposts and derived from the Irish game of hurling.”

This particular match was the annual hybrid shinty/hurling Scotland v Ireland smackdown. It hardly seems fair for the poor Scots; look at that whopping big stick the Irish bloke has.

Shinty

See that labrador in the right hand corner? He had his butt up in the air like that for the entire match, wagging his tail at something fascinating on the ground.

I really loved the game… it was fast and brutal. It poured rain the whole time and the players were not fazed. They carried on clattering into each other and swinging their sticks with wild abandon.

Free frizz for all

Free frizz for all

The brewery ran a beer tent for the day which proved very popular in the dreary conditions. Here’s Gareth looking worried at the large amount of people drinking beer that he helped to make.

Gareth

In other news, in the madness of the move we’ve somehow managed to lose a large bagful of screws, bolts and plastic thingies that are used for assembling the bed together. We finally got around to the task yesterday, only to discover the missing essentials. We searched everywhere and tried in vain to find spare parts. Cue amusing passive-aggressive huff and puffery on both sides… how could such a vital thing go missing? / well you’d ponced off north to put flowers into buckets of water, how was I sposed to remember everything!? Eventually we declared a truce and put the mattress back on the floor. Moving rocks!

Thingies

Missing: these bloody thingies

Inverness Castle

Dispatches from Chez Nessie

25/Oct/2013
  • I’ve been in Inverness for four weeks now, but I found good cake on the first day!
Vicky sponge

#priorities

    • I’ve been going for morning walks along the river. In the mornings there are blokes fly fishing, standing in the middle of the river in waders. I never see them catch anything; I think they just like standing there. I also like watching dogs who’ve been let off their leads. They zoom straight to the steep banks, and when I look across from the opposite side it’s a series of zig-zagging hound shapes, snuffling up and down the slopes.
    • Most of all I dig the spectacular trees that flank the river. They’re all yellow and autumnal, and sparkly with fairy lights at night.
Nighttime trees

Nighttime trees

    • Do you ever wonder why humans find water so soothing? All crabbitness dissolves as soon as I get to the river. Why don’t I feel the same way about a tarmaced carpark or a brick wall? I guess water has been around for a long time and our brains evolved to find it pleasant. Maybe in a million years our tastes will expand and we’ll be fighting to buy houses with exclusive waste-dump or maximum security prison views.
    • Chez Nessie has an abnormally small kitchen/living room. The movers actually laughed when they brought the couch in. “Where should we put this? Oh how about RIGHT DOWN HERE, coz there’s naewhere else!”. You can sit on the couch and just about reach out with your leg to switch the light on with your foot on the opposite wall. I dig that kind of energy saving.
    • You’d think with the kitchen being right there next to the couch we’d stop arguing over who carries the plates to the sink after dinner or whose turn it is to make the tea. NO and NO.
    • For almost ten years of togetherness, Gareth worked from home while I trudged off to work in the real world. Now revenge is finally mine! He starts brewing at 6AM most days, so while he stumbles around in the dark it’s my turn to open one eye and mumble faux-innocently, “Oh… is it getting-up time?” then pull the duvet over my head.
Morning walk

Morning walk

  • Good bits of working from home: pajamas and radio. Bad bits: too many cups of tea. Rubbish office banter. About 45 steps per day on my Fitbit if I forget to move!
  • Any other remote workers out there feel the need to overcompensate for their lack of bodily office presence? I am doing my work twice as fast and responding to emails like a demon. Whereas back in Dunfermline I would have spun around on my chair for awhile or revived the Isn’t It Funny How You Get Hungry Five Minutes After Eating An Apple conversation or made a round of tea before opening the inbox.

Fife is like a box of chocolates

25/Sep/2013
Dunfermline Abbey

Dunfermline Abbey

Tomorrow arvo I’ll train it up to Inverness to finally join Gareth, so I’m feeling temporarily nostalgic about 8.5 years of Dunfermline and Kingdom of Fife life. And not just for the proximity to Edinburgh! I will miss…

The Fife accent
I’m sure there are sub-Fife accents (so pendants, hold your fire), but in general there’s a porridge-thick accent that took me years to comprehend. You hear a lot of “ken?” or “eh” at the end of sentences and may be greeted with “Arright pal?” in the way Aussies do with “G’day mate”. Somewhere along the line I swapped “no worries” for “nae bother pal” and I sound bloody ridiculous.

Carnegie statue

Carnegie statue

The Glen
Ol’ Andrew Carnegie didn’t forget his home town when he went to America to make his millions – he left the Dunny with Pittencrieff Park, better known as The Glen. It’s where I did my 5K training, had our Scottish wedding and got blinded by the pale bare torsos of local lads whenever the sun came out. Gareth took me there on our first date and after we did a lap he said of his town, “Well… that’s about it!”.

Peacock doon the Glen

Peacock doon the Glen

Springtime in the park

Springtime in the park

Groovy places galore
You cannae beat Dunfermline Abbey. St Andrews. Falkland Palace. Culross. The fishing villages along the East Neuk (and the fish and chips). And the jewel in the crown, THE SECRET BUNKER!

Deep doon the bunker

Deep doon the bunker

Cultural happenings

Cultural happenings

The woods
I will miss pottering around the woods near our village. Why didn’t I go up there more often? It’s quiet and dark with bouncy pine needles on the ground, and every time I went for a walk I’d say “I need to come back with a picnic or do some writing or just have a snooze” but I never did, dagnabbit.

Bluebells in spring, too

Bluebells in spring, too

The beautiful Forth Rail Bridge
THE GREATEST OF ALL BRIDGES.

Forth Rail Bridge

Forth Rail Bridge

Not to mention wonderful pals, discovering kickboxing (let’s not mention destroying my knee), the giant chip-guzzling seagulls, and the most incredible yoga class.

Now bring on the North!

Newer Posts
Older Posts