At Edinburgh Castle

At The Castle

For some odd reason, I don’t have any photographs of Ilkley. I don’t even remember the place very well. The one thing I do remember, is stepping into a shop and picking up a CD full of music from the sixties. When I started to squeal with joy, the old lady at the counter smiled at me and said, “You know you are growing old when nostalgia is your favourite emotion”.

Blimey!! Nostalgia!! Old age? Me? Never!!!

We then moved on to Edinburgh. Thanks to our friend who had booked us well in advance, we got quarters, during the May holiday, 100 meters from the Royal Mile, at 40 pounds a night. It could not get better than that.

Moreover, we were blessed with three days of sunshine.. My my! Did I feel like Aqualung, sitting on the park bench, and eyeing pretty girls with bad intent! Luckily, my breath was not rattling in my lungs!

The castle was wonderful, as were all the old buildings in the Royal Mile. I walked up and down, trying to imagine the events of history during the times of Jack The Bruce, Mary – Queen of Scots, William Wallace and all the characters down the troubled and bloody history of Scotland. However, in the sunny days that we experienced, it was a bit difficult for me to create the dark, deep and bloody history of Scotland.

As we walked down the corridors of the castle, we came upon the dungeons where they still had the instruments of torture. I must say that we, as humans, are remarkably inventive when it comes to means to pain, torture and ways to maim people. Amazing use of our brains.

Edinburgh has some wonderful whisky tasting pubs, and we went to one of the places where they show you how whisky is distilled. I would have preferred to see how they distill vodka, as that is my preferred drink.

Then, of course, there are the obligatory ghost walks at night. These, are cute.

Yet, while history is fantastic, on that trip to Edinburgh, Aqualung reigned supreme!

At York

At The York Minster

I was at York during this brief British holiday. Early May, and we had really crappy weather. I had brought clothes for something rather summer, and what I got, was weather that was rather blustery.
It was cloudy, wet and windy; most definitely not what I would call great holiday weather.

My wife and kids were much smarter than me. They had packed clothes for cold weather, and it was then left to me to prove my claim that I can easily stand cold weather. I think that I did rather well, even if I say so myself.

So, we took the train, walked around the town a bit, poked our heads into the Minster and returned. For some reason, possibly the weather, I was not in the mood to really appreciate the beauty of the work on the Minster, nor the great history that it has, nor it’s preeminent position in the English church. All was lost on me, as all I focussed on that day was the rather shitty weather.

We walked around, and then came to this nice little restaurant, where I decided that I would have a Yorkshire Pudding. Putting on my best BBC accent, I asked for a Yorkshire Pudding.

“Wor tha’ ye wan’?” snarled the rather surly waiter.
“Yorkshire Pudding”, replied I, still in my best BBC accent

“Yer be wantin’ some puddin, aye?”, he rasped back.

“Yes, please’, my BBC accent starting to waver, with some Indian now starting to show through.
And, along it came, steaming hot, looking great but tasting less yummy than my taste buds had anticipated. This is a classic rookie mistake, I thought. Never expect too much, or else thou shalt be very, very disappointed indeed!

Luckily, the pudding was not too bad. The reputation of English cooking was saved for that day, and my mood improved, especially since it came accompanied with some nice beer. I don’t normally drink in the afternoon, so my head had a nice buzz to it, as I got into the train to make my way back to the friend’s den!


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