To be fair, while I was being useless for much of February the last week and a half I have been down with a horrible infection, which started as a sore throat and fever, but then decided to mix it up and add in a cough and earache for good measure. Maybe I should look on eBay for a new respiratory system.
So anyway, since I still don’t have enough brain to write something new you get my long-delayed writeup of my trip to Phil’s home area. Since no terrorists featured it didn’t get posted immediately. And by ‘not immediately’ I mean ‘got left as a draft for three months’.
On a long, dark winter evening there’s nothing I enjoy more thank snuggling under a blanket, my knees and arms softened by the covering into a tartan landscape. The Scottish Highlands as viewed from a train looked remarkably similar, the smooth folds of the hills covered in brown heather or dark green pines. Of course the trains were late, and crowded, and sometimes uncleaned; but still, I was able to sit and look at the view, which was spectacular.
We visited the very cute Edradour distillery in Pitlochry, where I learned that I only liked the most expensive whiskey, a beautifully smooth number aged in Pedro Ximenez barrels (though I didn’t like it quite enough to want to pay for it). We stayed in a bed and breakfast about forty miles north, in Kingussie. The air was fresh, it hardly rained, and we went for a seven hour hike through the highlands. There was plenty of wildlife, starting with a frog and red squirrel down in the forest, up onto the moors for lots of grouse, and finally a hare, crouched in the heather and eyeing us with suspicion. Barely sustained by our Fruit Pastilles and ‘Iron Brew’ macaroon, we returned to town and headed for an excellent restaurant. It really reminded me of how much I miss having real scenery. Perhaps the next government could move some bits of Scotland to London?