This July we where home in the UK for 17days, so to follow is the blow by blow account of our holiday as is expected. So best get a cup of tea now before you start.
Taking the direct flight to London is great because it means I can have a coffee as late as I want and I can officially say that airport beer is among one of the best beers in the world. The flight was uneventful. Gurning babies no longer irk me as much as they once did. I just now wonder if the parents are deliberate self harmers.
Landing in Glasgow on the Friday morning we met Gordon, Moira, Brenda and Moira at the airport. The ladies where boosting of to Holland for the weekend to see Andre Rieu in concert. After our first square sausage in the country we popped back to the house for showers and to re-arrange the bags for the week ahead. It was quite nice to have no one know we where in town so we could do all the dreary first day stuff like exchange monies, pick up gifts, set up the telephone and visit the bank in peace. We drank some tea with Margaret before some beers with Sandy, Liz, Morag and Alex before a take out curry and bed. Let the breakneck tour begin!
Saturday we went for a run, trying to start the holiday with the best intentions.We saw the ducks and a few dogs before getting back in time to head in to town. We had a coffee at the train station with Gordon before catching the train up to Inverurie. The train was nice and peaceful as we read the paper and I did my nails. It was still lovely and sunny as we got off the train about 6pm so once we have set up in the hotel we met Baz and Louise in the first pub we spied. After some disappointing fish and chips Gerry came down and Baz and Louise departed. The strange this about all the pubs up there was that they all started playing REALLY loud 90s house music about 9pm. Which was strange because absolutely no one was paying any attention to it. I’m talking about old man pubs where everyone just stares in to their pints playing REALLY loud awful music on a terrible sound system. Totally bizarre.We headed off at last orders to get a good sleep in before the next day.
The wedding on Sunday was gorgeous. Absolutely lovely. Ruthra looked breathtaking and the venue was so pretty. After the ceremony we spent sometime exploring the house grounds before dinner and the dancing. A wonderful day in all.
Monday and we where up early to catch the plane down to London town. After getting in and having a mooch around Camden we had some beers with Williams in the same pub we always go to. Then from there on to dinner with Tod, Sally, Jasper, Lisa, Neal and Rachael. It was great to see everyone looking so well and sounding so interested and optimistic. Urgh, I want to move to London so much!!!!
Tuesday morning and while trying to pay for our next night in the hostel, they inform us that we had no reservation. Thanks a lot booking.com! In the end we just had to sit about waiting for the staff to find us somewhere else to stay. They where really really helpful but it was still a pain in the arse. In the end Tod and Salloy gave us a lift up to the new hostel before boosting up the road. We popped over to the British Museum ourselves to see the (terrifying) mummy exhibition. It’s really exciting how they can use technology to see inside the mummies now. They also had 3D printed models of the amulets inside the wrappings! Very cool! Back to the hostel for a quick turn around before back out to the Shard for dinner and drinks. The bar in the tower is a gin bar and we had a lovely time drinking local gin and marveling at the view. I thought that it might be anti-climactic being only 50 stories high but London is quite a low city and the scale was perfect. The city looked wonderful in the evening sun. The dinner was as fabulous as the view but they obviously have some teething problems with the staffing. The poor sommelier simply had too many tables to manage. While she was doing a great job, she was run totally off her feet while the matradee just gawped about like a fat useless lump. I’m sure those glitches will be ironed out soon. Either that or it will be deserted by locals as soon as the novelty wears off. We’ll be back next year to find out.
Wednesday we ventured in to Bethnal Green, where a junkie spectacularly tripped over me, to eat brunch with Jenn Wu. A quick 8 year catch up and we where off again to catch the train to picture postcard Princes Risbourgh to meet Mum and Dad. Gran was looking excellent as always and we had a lovely lunch of quiche, cold meat and salad. Followed by tea and cake. I feel like we never really stay long enough there but that is the unfortunate truth of everyone being so far apart! That evening we all drove up to Lincoln. Seeing Johnny and Sammy and all staying in the house was quite fun.
Thursday we spent a quiet day in Lincoln. We walked to town and drank coffee before meeting Jimbo’s dad to collect the guitar. In the evening we ate BBQ and played board games. I love being there because I can properly hang out with my family because we do no know one other person in that whole town. It was excellent.
Friday I went for a run in the common. It was really exhilarating and really lovely to be by myself for a time but I can’t expect to be able to fit it in when we get back up north and that kinda makes me sad and full of dread. We all went up to the Lincoln Life Museum to learn about the cities tank and tractor making history before coming home and getting ready for dinner. We had dinner at the Bronze Pig and it was delicious. It may be the most unsafe place in the UK according to most statistics but they sure have some excellent restaurants!
Saturday already and after a big breakfast we got the train the Edinburgh. Meeting Al off the train we got to see his new flat and it looks awesome. Martin and Meryl came over and we ate dinner in the flat before heading to the pub. Kirk, Ben Peggy and some other Edinburgh folk joined us before heading back to Al’s to make a heroic attempt at finishing the whisky.
One stinky hungover Sunday brunch in the sun with Al and Meryl just before a pint with John-Paul and Susanna then we where on the train to Glasgow to start what is always the most intense part of our trip home. We where met by Lewis and Sara before going directly to the pub where we met pretty much everyone, you know who you are. Moria and Gordon picked us up to head up the road which was a great idea because it was going to get pretty messy.
Monday and a quick re-pack of the suitcase and a load of washing later and we where off again. A quick cup of tea at the flat, picked up Sara and then up to Tynult to see Anna, Andy and Hayden. We smoked, drank and BBQ’d in to the night. Tormented the dogs and played with the rats in the shadow of Ben Cruachan. It was really really lovely.
Tuesday we where up to the Sea Life Centre in Oban. It’s not actually too close to Oban but we got to see all the cool animals, the funny seals and the mean looking otters. Heading in the afternoon we dropped Sara off at the train before one last coffee at the house with Anna, Andy and Hayden before pushing off to Jim and Junes. The coastline drive was really breath taking as anyone who has ever watched James Bond would know. We arrived in time for sun downers on the balcony, too much food and a good sleep.
Now it’s Wednesday and the trip is ending fast. After breakfast we are back on the road up to Glasgow. Once off the ferry it’s motorway all the way to Glasgow and not really as pretty. The strange vibration the car had been making all the way the last few days started getting worse until when coming off the round about the car just decided to power down and we had to pull over. The previous day we though we had a flat but we couldn’t see anything so had concluded that there was maybe something wrong with the electric traction control or something but now we where stumped. The old turning on the off again trick worked and we where off again thinking we’d drop it off at the garage on the way up the road but the mad vibration was worse now! A few more miles and Graeme decided he wasn’t driving any further in the rickety car so we stopped and called the AA. The guy came in and took one look at the wheel and said ‘yeah, 3 of your wing nuts have sheered off, you’re lucky the wheel hasn’t fallen off.’ Well we felt really dumb having looked at that exact wheel so much and not seeing that the thing was missing 3 fucking wing nuts! The guys says it happens all the time when folk change the tiers and just don’t screw the bolts back on properly then the bolts just vibrate and sheer off as your driving! Terrifying! He went round and had to tighten EVERY OTHER BOLT and was like, ‘yeah, you’re pretty lucky’. Scary stuff! After all that excitement/horror, we left the car in a car park and Gordon took us up the road in time for a quick turn around and then off to the Opening Ceremony of the Empire’s Sports Day!
We had dinner at Celino’s before hand with Ben, then we ate ice cream cones on the way up the Celtic Park. I really enjoyed the opening. I don’t know why everyone was so down on it or what exactly they where expecting instead.
Thursday we got the train in town and had morning coffee with Shandy. A meeting with the mortgage adviser. Then over for tea with Lewis and Sara, and a walk down to the Quay with Dougal in the baking heat. Over to Jonathan and Jennifer’s for sun downers in the park, dinner and more whiskey than is strictly necessary.
Friday breakfast with Jonathan because Jen had already left for work. We walked through the park to have a lunchtime pint before a spot of shopping before picking up Kimberly and Justin at their hotel. We had one in the new Art School Student Union before dinner at The Wee Curry Shop with Sara, Lewis and Declan. We all walked up to Brew Dog before meeting Moira and Gordon again who had been at the gymnastics in the afternoon. Once they had left we popped over to the Merchant City for one more with Cammy and his lady friend Then up the road while consuming our last chips and cheese.
Saturday and it was time to go. Breakfast and tea up at the house with Moira and Gordon, more tea with Morag, Alex and the dugs before saying goodbye to Margaret and driving up to the airport. One coffee with Lewis and Sara before checking in and then being delayed for 2 hours. We spent that time figuring out our savings goals for the next year.
Arriving home on Sunday night and directly back to work on Monday, head long in to a busy week and now it feels like we where never away 😦
Roll on next July when we’ll be back for another wedding and to do it all again. Stay Classy Britain.