Saturday, 12 October 2013

Thoughtsplat! #2 - Scotland

Scotland The Brave!
It's been far too long since my last (and first) Thoughtsplat!, but here we are with another one, finally! If you can't remember what a Thoughtsplat! is, or you're new, follow the link above. I think it's probably pretty easy to guess this splat's topic, what with the flag picture and the title. Yes, it's that great country just north of me, Scotland!

So, where to begin with Scotland? Well, first off, I have to say, the weather is rather a lot like home for me. That is to say, most of the time it's bloody freezing! Or raining. Or both. But like I say, for me that's like home. Scotland is like a second home for me, I've been there so many times. I've been to Edinburgh several times, both to stay there before going to the RAF Leuchars Airshow, or to see the Edinburgh Military Tattoo. Edinburgh is a pretty good city. It's a bit like Newcastle (my hometown...ish), all filled with old buildings and everything being close together. The food is great, the people are friendly, and the big castle smack in the middle is a sight to see. But have you seen the trams? No? Neither has anyone else, because they've been under development for years, and all they have to show for it is aload of holes and half laid tracks across the otherwise beautiful streets. Don't get me wrong, it's a great city! But the transport could do with a bit of work...

My Dad took this brilliant picture of Kenmore and Loch Tay
Anyone, let's move a bit further north, to my favourite place in all of Scotland! Kenmore is a tiny little village on the north end of Loch Tay, a long thin stretch of water in Perthshire. It's got a wonderful little holiday village attached that my family go to pretty much every year, where we go hill walking, and fishing, and take pictures like that one on the left, and just have a damned good time. I like to think that even as an adult I'll be going back there to relax and enjoy myself. I mean, look at that picture! Have you ever seen somewhere more peaceful? For me, I can just forget all the problems I have, with organising, or socialising, or anything, and just relax.

Whisky! Can't come back without it!
Nearby there are so many things to do, like visit Aberfeldy, a nice little town where JK Rowling just so happens to own a rather large house. There's also Pitlochry, with the shops on the main street and the salmon ladder being fun to go to. I have to say though, I think my Dad's favourite attraction has to be the Edradour distillery. The smallest legal distillery in Scotland, it only has two or three staff, and they only make around 18 casks per week. Yet, somehow my Dad always comes away with at least one bottle, so there's allways one at home somewhere. They do a great tour as well, taking us around the distillery, through the bits where the stills are and where the beerlike wort is fermented. The smells in each section are great! From a really strong beer in one place, to a sharp smell in another, and finally the smell of the matured whisky when my Dad get's a wee dram at the end. Sadly I'm not old enough for one yet, but I will be next year!

Now, if you've been reading my blog recently, you'll know that I recently, via my good friend, met a couple of great Scottish girls, who are now my friends. That in itself, apart from being awesome, isn't particularly spectacular news. But as it turns out, these two girls happen to live in a little town called Bo'ness, which I go fairly close to every single time I go to Kenmore. Not only that, but said town also shares several place names with my town, which is a little weird. I love coincidences! They can be added to the already stupendously long list of similarities I share with one of the girls, and the several I share with the other.

So, it looks like my links with Scotland aren't going to be getting weaker anytime soon, and I hope it stays that way. I love Scotland, and I'll keep going back as often as I can. Anyone up for a recital of Auld Lang Syne?


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