What I did on my holidays (1)

Drinking, mostly. But there were other things. I like to do something a little different from my usual routine when on holiday. Different booze, especially. There is a beer available in my brother’s favourite pub in Wales that comes out of a proper old hand pump. The beer is called Doom Bar. I think it comes from Cornwall. Very nice, and the local Tesco had it in bottles too.

My brother drinks Carling lager because he is an uncultured slob with absolutely no taste in anything at all. He smokes, but earns enough not to bother with growing baccy and anyway, he goes abroad so often he never needs to buy any here. Still, we can’t all be perfect. He is also a bit down because his previous favourite pub, the one at the end of his street, is now a posh bistro. Both pubs have really good smoking shelters, but the new one’s shelter is large and has seating.

I took no photos in Wales and none in Ayr. I have been to both places so many times now that there is nothing left to photograph. Also the weather was awful. Well, it was okay when I arrived but deteriorated rapidly. Wales experienced its coldest August day since 1964 while I was there.

So here are some photos on the way from Ayr to my last stop, a place called Elie in Fife. The great thing about being a passenger is that you get to look around and take photos. Here are a few samples of the glory of Scottish scenery between Ayr and the Forth Bridge –

props1Clicking should biggify the images. Try to ignore the rolling clouds. They are everywhere. Sometimes the sky turns blue but that’s probably caused by pollution.

props2You have to be quick when snapping a photo at 70 mph. I lost count of how many I checked and deleted because a 70mph bush had jumped in front of the camera.

props3I used to, long ago, know someone who genuinely believed that the word ‘picturesque’ was pronounced ‘pictureskew’. It wasn’t me who convinced him. Someone else got there first. Might have been my father. It now seems apposite to any picture of Scottish countryside because the tripods of H.G. Wells are now all over the country. You just can’t get away from the bloody things. They are marching over the hills near my home now. Soon, every picture taken from any angle is going to have one of these things in it unless you point your camera at the moon.

Anyway, so far there are none on the Forth Bridge itself…

forthI did get a photo of the rail bridge but it has a bus in front of it.

After a bit of detouring (there is a confusing bit of road and the map I had wasn’t up to the job) we made it to the little seaside town of Elie, which looks like this from the harbour –

elie1Lovely isn’t it? If you look towards the left hand side though, you’ll once again meet one of our rotating overlords. It used to be picturesque. Now it’s pictureskew.

Ah well. There are some towns in the area only lightly blighted with these things so far. Pittenweem didn’t seem to have any. Neither did a tiny place called Dunino (when you ask where you are, they reply ‘Don’ ‘ee kno?’). The lovely little harbour at Crail had no sign of them (photos later). And of course, St. Andrew’s, where the posh golf course resides, is so far free of pictureskewiness. Of course it is. It’s where the rich go to play. They don’t want their own scenery ruined.

On beer, there is a place in a town called Kilconquhar (if you visit, you must pronounce it Kil-con-kwa-harr because it drives them nuts) that has a brew so local it’s only available in that pub. They call it ‘Clock’ (I made no note of the spelling) and it’s well worth a try. The pub is opposite this quite nice church –

kilconquharObviously I didn’t go into the church. I don’t want to burst into flames again. The pub is directly opposite. I forget its name and that might be because I took that photo on the way in and this one on the way out –

treesI’m amazed that came out so well. That right there is a future book cover.

Anyway, back to Elie. I stayed with rich relatives, as skint spongers with too much pride do, and the place I stayed in was one of their spare homes. The view from the windows when I arrived was this –

arrivalTwo hours later it looked like this –

2hoursThen it rained. A lot. The clouds came from the south, where I had been.

Funny thing is, when I finally arrived home, it was sunglasses weather. An hour later it was sou’wester weather.

Maybe it’s me…

On the whole though, it was a good holiday. Bad weather and limited internet access is good for writers because we have to write. There’s nothing else to do. And it didn’t cost too much. The biggest outlay was transport and booze. Staying with family and friends is low-cost. It could be completely free but I can’t do that, it’s parasitism in my book. If I’m staying in your house I’m buying the whisky.

Mind you, I’m also drinking most of it.

15 thoughts on “What I did on my holidays (1)

  1. Nice stories Leg! And GREAT pics! Your’e right about that book cover. And the views from the train ride from Wales down to Bath greatly impressed me as well during my visit over there! Very beautiful!

    P.S. If you visit me in Philly, you’ll not only have a free cot, but you’ll also get to drink all your whiskey on your own: I’m a vodka man.



    • The forthcoming pics of Crail harbour are better. Pity it’s so hard to get there now, you need to have someone willing to drive you. Oncve there was a railway, I saw the remnants on the way there.

      If a book becomes a bestseller I will have to visit the States. Never been. Philadelphia is definitely high on the list. Those who ran Alienskin magazine, where a lot of my stuff appeared, are also in that state.

      If that day comes, I’ll bring vodka. I would bring whisky but I’d probably drink it on the way.


      • Heh, speaking of bestsellers, I just happened to re-read Bernie’s Bargain in your “Tales of Darkness and Despair.” You really *DO* need to produce more books ya know: you’ve got a serious talent in that warped and twisted mind of yours. Heehee… you could market “Tales” as the perfect bathroom book: the Tales are just the right length, and you could advertise them as being “Guaranteed to scare the shit right outta you!”


        Liked by 1 person

  2. the beer is called Doom Bar. I think it comes from Cornwall

    It does indeed.
    It comes from Sharp’s Brewery,
    PL27 6NU
    according to a bottle of one of their other beers now in front of me and you can buy it from them online.

    We go to the brewery every year to bring back presents for the next door neighbours who are very fond of beer.
    Lovely place to visit on a hot day and do a little tasting.

    Doom Bar is named after the sandbar in the nearby estuary and there is a petrified forest under one end of it, for years I have looked for bits of fossilised wood on the beach at Daymer Bay in vain.


      • It’s worth exploring some of their lesser known beers too.
        I remember one that would be really good on a cold winter’s night, St Enodoc?

        I am beginning to feel another tasting mission coming on.


        • I have recently returned to beer drinking, now there are some good hop-laden ones about. Today I found ‘Barry Island’ in Tesco, an odd place to find an American-style IPA beer made by Brains brewery in Cardiff!

          It’s not all that Americanised. It’s 6% ABV.


  3. They do seem very keen on those bird mincers up there. I’m surprised no bright spark has developed some sort of avian haggis (minced eagle wrapped in bat wings perhaps, with a soupçon of songthrush for added flavour) to capitalise on the efficiency of the three-bladed killing machines. It seems to be the only thing they are efficient at, since they don’t seem to produce much electricity.

    We don’t have any of those stick-man things where I live. Instead, they cover acres with solar panels. However, solar panels are pretty low-profile, being only a couple of metres high, they don’t make a noise, and as far as I know, don’t seem to have any aviacidal tendencies. Whether they work or not I have no idea, but at least it keeps the greens out of mischief.


    • Aah but those in the land of the free are causing birds to burst into flames in the air okay they re not the kind one decorates ones south facing roof with just to get a bit of bunce from the mad government they are mirrors that focus the sun onto a tower..but still.


      • I view those things with deep suspicion. They look to me like they could well have a dual purpose. Could a communications satellite survive the attentions of a massive concave mirror?

        I’m going to have to change my brand of tinfoil. The hats I’m making with this latest brand feel really insubstantial…


  4. Had a laugh at Kil-con-kwa-harr. Just in case your international (and English) readership aren’t familiar with the bizarre pronunciation endemic to The Kingdom of Fife (Culross, Kincardine, Longannet and Kirkcaldy are others belonging to the list of unpronounceables) – Kilconquhar is pronounced Kinnuckar. Why, I do not know.


    • It’s deliberate, to root out foreigners. Like in south Wales where we have Ystrad Mynach, Cefn Fforest, Ynysddu, Mynyddislwn and the best of all, Ynysybwl with no vowels at all.

      We used to have tremendous fun with lorry drivers (dreifers – it’s actually pronounced ‘drivers’) looking for those places. The names are just there for a laugh.


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