2004-06-11 : Och aye, the wee bonnie cromacks etc.
Here be I in Glasgee Toon, sitting at the workplace of my friend Grahame who I used to work with back in the Old Days at Mindvision (I won't say Good or Bad Old Days, because there was a fair mix of both). You might wonder why I'm in here typing this rather than out frolicking in the Glaswegian environs – well, as a stark throwback to the Adelaide mentality, the bus only comes past here once an hour, so I've got a wee bit of time to kill.
Yesterday I spent the day in Stirling looking around Stirling Castle. Any misgivings I had about possibly missing the bus stop to get off to go to the castle were somewhat eradicated when I saw the damn thing – you couldn't miss that even on a dark night. Not surprisingly, they built the castle on the biggest bit of rock for miles around, giving them the best vantage point, and giving the castle quite an imposing presence.
The castle served as the residence for King James V of Scotland, King Jmaes VI, Mary Queen of Scots (until she was whisked off for treason), and I probably should know more seeing as I wandered around the place all day, but hey – you get that… OK, so that's probably complete bullshit – hey, do I *look* like I know what I'm on about ?
Anyway, the point is I went to a big old building which was well funky, it pissed down with rain for half of the afternoon – this was wild in an atmospheric sense and irritating in an i-want-to-keep-dry sense.
At the castle they had a whiskey shop, so what could I do but drop in for a taste eh ? At this juncture I uncovered one of my newly realised points of intolerance – I've decide dthat I can't stand Australian Tourists (that's Tourists with a Capital T, and I suppose it extends to all Tourists, but in this instance it's Australian ones)… It just really gives me the willies the way that they initiate a conversation with someone and then try to impress them with the fact that they've come ALL THE WAY FROM AUSTRALIA, as if the other person in the conversation should be instantly impressed. This really actually happens, because I've really actually been obvserving it since I got here, and it really actually shits me. ANYWAY.
After leaving the castle I wandered down past some shops and dropped in at a bottle shop to grab some beers, and found they had an impressive whiskey connection. I got chatting with the guy and he said 'Is there anything you'd like to taste?'… And so we were away ! Just what the doctor ordered.
Upon wandering down to the bus stop I was hit with the realisation that not all British cities have the same public transport setup as London, and that I now in fact had to wait an hour and 20 minutes for a bus from Stirling to Balfron. No big deal – I had a book to read. Upon getting to Balfron, I found I then had ANOTHER hour to wait for the bus to Blanefield… so I called Grahame and Julie up and then passed the time in the front bar of the pub across the road from the bus stop. I got chatting with a couple of the local blokes and we traded various views on whiskey and Billy Connolly.
I suspect at this point that this post is something of a shambolic ramble, and isn't really telling anyone anything. I guess that's what you get from time to time though – it's not like my brain always organises itself to provide the optimum description of my activities for the benefit of the casual or devoted observer. I think I might finish up here as it's not going very well.
In short, since coming to Scotland I've visited Stirling Castle, Loch Lomond, the GlenGoyne Distillery, I've seen a squirrel, I've decided that by and large this place is beautiful and that I'm going to have to come back and spend more time here, and I've also decided that I can barely understand a damn word anyone's saying around here.
That oughtta do ya for now.