Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Scotland Day 4

Scotland – Day 4 – April 19, 2011

Today we were a small group, just CMMS, Chip, my beloved and myself. Annski & Suzetteski went off on their own adventure and MOC staying behind at the cottage to relax and make new friends.

We headed down into Beauly to walk around and see the shops. The had a great hardware store, I guess we would call it in the states. They call it an ironmonger. It was a great place full of everthing from hand blown glass perfum bottles (not local or one would be in my luggage right now) to potatoe seeds for planting. Chip and the ever kissing ass CMMS picked up a set of small teaspoons for MOC because she had been admiring them everywhere we went, so now she has her own.

Then we went into the local haberdashier, where they sold beautiful wool cloth for kilts, wraps and hats. They also had sweaters, gloves and scarfs. Unfortunately, I discovered that I actually have a limit on what I am willing to pay for something and 150 pounds (do the math) was a bit more than even I was willing to cough up for a wrap. What is wrong with me???

We took a tour of Beauly Priory. Spooky. We wondered around and while it was beautiful in the way of ruins, it was not very spiritual but we liked it anyway.

We had lunch at a little deli right on the main street in Beauly, we had ordered and were sitting having a lovely lunch and I was facing the street. The place had big windows and I could see everyone walking by. So, I was people watching and this woman stops right in front of me on the outside of the window because her skirt fell down, I mean really fell down. Slipped right off her body to the ground. I froze with my soup spoon halfway up to my mouth as she calmly put down her bags and pulled up her skirt. She pulled her jacket up and tucked the skirt under her belt, it did not seem to be zipped in anyway so I wondered if she did not spend her entire life picking her skirt up off the ground. She came into the deli and she was still pulling and picking at herself, she was one hot mess. She was quite attractive, but just a little off. Her cloths were not the most stylish, but they were good quality and she had big sun glasses on and her hair really needed a hairbrush. She dropped her bags into a basket full of chips and ordered something, she pulled out her cell and called someone and told them “to get down here and join her now” and sat at a table with her glass of wine. I noticed in her bag she had a bottle or two more of wine, so wine at mid day did not seem so out of character.

Then we went off in search of the Black Isle Brewery, which is down a little (what else) road where my travelling companions found a couple of beers that they liked enough to purchase. There was Heather Honey Beer which is recommended to drink with your porridge at breakfast. This has not happened so far, but there is still time. Although the Feckkin makes a daily appearance.

Then off to find the only winery in the area, Highlands Wineries at Moniack Castle, which turned out to be the current home the Fraser clan and has been since 1580. It was the final home of Lord Lovet, the grandfather of Jamie (if you have to ask...). The Fox was one of the last Highlanders to lose his head after the 1745 because he had changed sides a little too often and probably the crown realized they really could not trust him.

Then over to Wardlaw Mausoleum which is the final resting place of many of the Clan Fraser.

We came back to the cottage for a little rest and relaxation before heading out to dinner at Culloden House, yes THE Culloden House where Charles Stewart stayed for a few days before the Battle of Culloden which wiped out the highland life. The guy at Culloden House sounded a little bitter when talking about life after Culloden, it became illegal to wear the tartan or play the bagpipes or show any highland pride, your family could be raped or killed if you violated the laws. It has been a long time for such a young man to sound so bitter, after nearly 250 years (April 16, 1746) there still seems to be so much anomosity regarding this. The current Colloden House is not the house Charles Stewart stayed in, it has been rebuilt, but still exciting.

Dinner was fantastic. We were brought into a sitting room after being gracefully welcomed, we sat in the sitting room and a drink order was taken and we were given menus to order our dinner. We were brought into the dining room when our first course was ready to be served. It was one of those places where you sat down and already had three glasses, a bread plate and two forks and two knives at your plate. Then the little waitress comes by to give you your utensils for your first course, your second and third courses. I ended up with three forks, four knives and a spoon.

This moment was one of those times that I thanked my lucky stars that my sister in law had been to a class that told you the B & D secret and that she shared it with me. Always remember make a “b” with your left hand and a “d” with your right. Your bread plate is on the left and your drink glasses are on the right. You can thank me later.

We spent about two to three hours having a wonderful dinner with service that was sublime. A good time was had by all and I believe my beloved had a nice birthday celebration.

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