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what fun

this is my last scottish entry – nearly a month after we left the place !
these comedy items were on sale on a service station near the Scottish border. it wasn’t clear to me whether they were meant for:
* english people leaving scotland wishing to remember the scots
* english people on the way to scotland wishing to blend in with the scots
* scottish people heading to england wishing to reinforce national stereotypes
* genuine irony-free scottish accessories
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jane’s birthday

it was jane’s birthday when we were in scotland. i made jane a lovely cake. i pushed the candles in but kept it in is wrapper just in case jane didn’t like the cake.
luckily she did:
in the evening we went to a very posh restaurant:
it appeared that noel edmonds had got married there are some point. THAT’S how posh it was:

falkirk wheel

here’s a bizarre place. it’s the falkirk wheel. it’s a magic lifty thing to get canal boats from the canal at the top to the canal (and vice versa). it saves having a load of locks.

now, i may be wrong, but there seems little point in trying to speed up the flow of traffic on canals since it’s very charm is its slowness. and such a thoroughly modern solution is completely at odds with the historic nature of canal travel.
that aside, it is an amazing thing, especially the way the canal comes sweeping out of the countryside on a massive bridge:
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looking along the top bit:
this chap was some kind of curator and had a fanastic posh english accent. a proper english gentleman:


this appealed to me. it’s an electric cable which runs from underneath the loch to the house on the island (which i’ve helpfully highlighted for you!). it’s was very strange and the water was so clear.
the sign which warns of electric cables on the right wasn’t actually anywhere near the cable.
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i was hoping for fantastic sunsets when we were in scotland, but the drizzling clouds didn’t provide for that. instead i got some quite nice silhouettes.

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i was sitting outside a bar with my father in law when this chap walked by with his giant drum
a little later we heard the full troupe and went in search:
the sound of pipes is quite amazing. here is one being tuned. this sounded even more amazing.
here’s a a tune which i thought was great. it was played by a single bagman. does anyone know what this one is called ? and here’s that one that everyone knows.
sorry about the quality of the clips. my phone is a bit rubbish at recording stuff !

Montrose House, Balmaha

when we were in scotland we stayed in a plce called montrose house in balmaha. it’s a fantastic place. absolutely massive and handy for walking, a little shop and the pub. there some photos and stuff here
It used to be a holiday house for poor kids and there’s a picture of it in the olden days here
here is the entrance stair case:
and here is the dining room table:
and here’s what it looks like from the outside:
the view out the front was superb, as was the view from the back.
in fact, if you aren’t a regular reader of this blog then just have a look at the scotland category if you want to see what’s to do and see around and about.


it seems weeks ago since we were in scotland (because it was). here’s some pictures of our trip to Rowardennan

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a memorial:
happy walkers: