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 –
I 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…
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 –
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 –
Obviously 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 –
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 –
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.