Getting close to Christmas and my long-made promise to take Helen to St Andrews this year doesn’t have many days available if I am to fulfil it – so I threw a picnic lunch together and rousted out the ever-willing Loki. Helen didn’t take much persuading to go out and about either. For once she wore thermals under her outer clothes – even though she had no idea where we were to end up —
I didn’t hear any complaints when we arrived in a quiet St Andrews ki- found a handy place to park near the Cistercian Chapel and walked round the north side of the Abbey towards the harbour —
The group of families on the beach by the old chapel were practising their stone skimming in the ancient fish traps – no doubt with a view towards picking a team to compete in the World Stone Skimming Championships held on the old slate Isle of Easdale off the west coast of Scotland every year —
My days for stone skimming are long gone and the main abbey was closed for repair but Helen was delighted just to be there at long last. She was amazed at the what must have been the size of the original building which has no doubt been robbed of most it’s stonework and fought over by many factions for many hundreds of years —
The main site may have been closed due to investigations concerning it’s supposed unsafe condition —
but Helen’s prying eye wasn’t having any of it —
while Loki stood guard over the cannon above the harbour and Helen flashed her camera at every stone in the place —
I admired the wiggly wall and breakwater by the harbour where I had rowed dinghies as a boy —
A wonderful day out with not many people about and the weather stayed mostly clear throughout —
The sun was setting as we drove back through Crieff – about fifteen minutes from home – magic!
Thank goodness we are not all electric .. gas may be expensive these days but at least it continued to flow to our magnificent five burner hob while all else failed.
With the powercut stretching into it’s second day it was the packed fridge and freezer plus the unknown duration of the loss of electricity that was on my mind.
No worries .. with all four access roads into town blocked by falling trees, what better way than to spend the day cooking. Better a feast than a famine 😀
With snow and freezing temps out there this Sunday morning our front porch has the ideal conditions to store the stuff I rescued from the thawing freezer and turned into ready meals 😜
Saturday night without telly was a timely reminder of how things used to be. Snuggled up under blankets on the couch with full bellies in front of a blazing log fire .. Loki and Seamus stretched out on the rug and a bottle of Glen Scotia Cambeltown Harbour to hand while listening to Johnny Walker and his colleagues on a battery operated Radio 2 …..
If this is to be a winter of chaos .. bring it on .. Cheers .. 🥃
She was fairly cheap and basic when she first arrived in my hands. By all accounts mine was the first in the country and arrived into my shed before the model was officially released in the UK.
She didn’t remain ‘basic’ for long .. Rental bars with one inch risers were an early mod. Then it was a Wilber rear shock followed by uprated K-Tech mods to the front forks ..
The icing on the cake was the full lightweight Arrow exhaust and I was pretty pleased with her when I was done.
Wish I could have said the same for mesel .. unfortunately my old legs were letting me down by this time and it was time to move her on to make room for sumthin more suitable —
With a dusting of snow on the high tops and a wind that could skin you —
It was worth a little discomfort just to be out there with Helen and Loki —
Helen certainly made the most of it —
and Loki was like a dog with two tails —
Winsy says rain to the west and not so much in the east – it’s a no-brainer and I pointed the X-ADV where the skies were bluest —
Then it was a case of chasing rainbows —
all the way north-east to Pitlochry —
Where – not knowing where the blue skies would take me – I brimmed the small tank on the X-ADV and hung a right over the hill to the Perth – Braemar road where I turned left for more North —
Doesn’t look like much behind that ‘F-off’ Mercedes but the deer grazing just over the fence like it —
It looked gloomy further north towards the Ski-lift so I hung east down Glen Isla – a first for me as I’d never taken that route before —
There aren’t many roads in Scotland I haven’t ridden but boy was this one worth it —
It’s certainly one I will do again but it will be next year now as the weather is due to turn cold tomorrow and by Sunday the gritters will be out in force scattering their corrosive salt everywhere —
and this is one bike I want to keep salt free – so Mr Honda’s recall that arrived by post just as I was setting out this morning has come at the right time. The X-ADV750 has to go back to the Dealers to have the fairings stripped off and the wiring loom checked for dangerous chafing which could cause the motor to cut out anytime – anywhere – rather them than me —
My Dodge Calibre with 12ft Eriba Troll taking a break near Munich on the way home from a long hot summer in Istria several years ago —
As a state it reminds me of Scotland – not very big and with more than it’s fair share of pine forests – lakes and rivers. It was certainly punching above it’s weight when it sent Bill Cinton to the White House —
The happy-clappy Bible Belt stretches most of the way along it’s southern border with Texas – and – it’s a DRY state – in that there’s no liquor —
No doubt there’s plenty of moonshine available in the backwoods and if you really must have your drink and debauchery you can always head north and over the bridge to Branson Missouri —
Fishcakes and beans — the one-time diet of the working classes —
No matter how hard I try – I always seem to make too many … 😀