Food and Drink

Oh it’s a jolly holiday with Sophie …


A week in Sunny Scotland with a first experience of sailing and a recap on our drinking skills, with my beloved by my side. What more can a man ask for, short of singing rude songs and a side platter of nostalgia?

Drove up to Dumfries on the Friday afternoon with the traditional stop at Tebay services, now featuring a snazzy and posh Deli/Organic/GorgeousStuff counter. Drove on with the traditional “wooohooooo we’re in Scotland!” when passing the Iron Bridge.

Maw and Paw chuffed to see us, of course. Spent a cheery Friday night nattering to them and being fed to within an inch of our lives.

Shona arrived on Saturday so more nattering before Sophie and I went for a mooch round Dumfries. There was some sort of street theatre going on which was probably very entertaining but I got distracted by the woman in a ringmaster’s outfit and stripy tights “training” another woman in a Lion suit which appeared to be slightly too big for the pert bottom she ended up virtually baring in the High Street. Hence my distraction …

The centre of Dumfries is a bit of a sorry sight. So many boarded up shop fronts and what’s left is mostly charities and cheap tat. I remember it being a lot busier and the shops being more varied. Whether this is a trick of my memory or a sad symptom of the growth in out-of-town shops, I don’t know. There was a market behind the steeple which was quite cool but I did leave town feeling a bit sad.

Saturday night and it’s off to the pub with Tracy and her new man, Jack who turned out to be a semi-pro musician and a top bloke all round. We spent the night discussing guitars, music, songs and generally boring the arse off of the womenfolk. Smoking is banned in Scottish pubs now so as I was with 3 chain smokers, I spent more time than I care to outside in the freezing cold – and I don’t even smoke.

Once we’d out-stayed our welcome in every pub we could find, we headed back to Tracy’s flat where I strategically passed out on the floor. We somehow managed to get lost between her flat and the main road which is quite an impressive feat, but eventually found the taxi and made it back to my parents’ house.

Sunday, as you may imagine, was quiet.

Monday morning, and we said all our goodbyes before heading north. We decided to take the coast road which, to Sophie’s relief, only referred to the part around Largs and not going via Stranraer. On reaching the road approaching Ardrossan, my excitable driver spotted something:-



“what? oh yes, those…SEAGULLS!! I CAN HEAR SEAGULLS!!”


“WOOOWWW!!! Proper ROCKS!!! I’ve never SEEN a ROCK POOL, d’you think there’ll be a rock pool? maybe i can get a bit closer … “


“you’re not even Catholic, smart arse”

“…ofourdeath – i don’t care, it’s worth a try – LORRY! LORRYYYYYYYY!”

” I saw it, I saw it. Calm down. Honestly, what a wendy”

“you mean Jessie. No, wait …”

200 miles and Four of my Nine Lives later, we approached Greenock. Or Gourock. One of the two. I get them confused. Just as we were coming in, my phone goes.

It’s the police.

in Holyhead.

in Wales.

… to be continued



Been an odd few weeks. Lots going on which I might write about later. Possibly much later. Nothing mysterious, though!

As buggerlugs mentioned, we went out to Yakisoba for her birthday, a variation on a usual Saturday night which involves yakking and no sobriety whatsoever. We nipped into Bar Braw first to discover whether it was genuinely Braw or or actually Keech. Seemed OK – not the rough dives I like, but pleasant enough.

I felt a bit apprehensive when we opened the door to Yakisoba. Not due to the restaurant so much as the sound of cackling Chorlton flooding the place. A small place with a bare wooden floor and 12 hopped up hoorays yelling at each other.


Maybe it was because they were busy but seemed a bit “cosy” to me. I like to operate my elbows in time with my eating requirements, not as a culinary ballet with the next table.

The food, though – wow, the food! I had a suspicion the Bento Box thing would seem a bit gimmicky but in fact it’s a perfectly sensible way to present a selection of food items in one go. Plus I imagine it makes washing up easier.

Anyway, a bigger range of veggie food than you usually get anywhere, which was cool. I went for the Happy Buddha Bento. Cos I was happy and have a physique like Buddha, innit?

‘erself had some fish based concoction and judging by the slurpy noises across the table, that was excellent, too.

Mr Fix It


Yesterday, the drawer broke when I opened it to get a spoon. I managed to take it out and nail it together at the SAME TIME as preparing my soup.

I’m like a crazy hybrid of Handy Andy and the Galloping Gourmet

Ralph arrived last night and we went to the fantastic Coriander restaurant in Chorlton. I’m going to mention the name a lot in case the owner notices and I get freebies. If that works, expect a lot of references to Mesa-Boogie from then on.

Anyway, a fabulous meal (at the marvellous Coriander on Barlow Moor Road, a range of prices and an excellent vegetarian selection…ok, ok I’ll stop ) we headed home for a few cheeky shandies and some banter. I passed out by 2 unlike ‘erself and Ralph who teetered on until 8, by which point Sophie was incapable of operating the duvet or her speech centres.

Guess which of us three is feeling smuggest today?

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