Mindful of today’s long drive from Stirlingshire to West Yorkshire, yesterday saw a particularly leisurely day here at my Loch Lomond lodge. My daylight hours spent writing, drawing, hot-tubbing and arbitrarily mulling over whether sloths are dangerous to humans…… According to my unreliable source (village idiot Hamish Troke) the answer to the latter is no. Unless antagonised, in which case they’ve been know to tickle human agitators to death.
The subjects of my caricature art were Beyond The Fringe members Peter Cook, Dudley Moore and Dr Jonathan Miller (I drew the fourth member Alan Bennett the previous day). I also sketched smaller facial interpretations of a minor selection of 1970’s entertainers who made Saturday evening the very anti-thesis of the insipid pap dished up in contemporary times. Included within sketches of those providing great childhood brio were Theo Kojak, Frank Cannon, Dick Emery, Mike Yarwood and Tom Baker as Dr Who.
My final evening meal in Scotland was a splendid Aberdeen Angus rump steak, garlic mushroom, thrice cooked fries and salad; an offering cooked by GJ Strachan’s own fair hands. A feast followed by the watching of a Ben Affleck movie (The Accountant), this watch succeeded by a last dip in the hot tub prior to today’s departure south.
I shall truly miss this luxurious lodge and surroundings with it’s beautiful scenery, on tap fresh air and most importantly quiet. This serenity affordiing exactly the environment I’d longed for pre-break to blow away recent increases in angst and fraughtness of soul.
It’s currently 7.30am on Wednesday; three hours shy of departing Balmaha. That reminds me I need to procure an obligatory tin of Scottish shortbread as a present for my mum. Failure to do so will see me breach long held holiday gift protocols which’ve run since Scots King Malcolm III five 11th century incursions into England….. Although, the Earl of Northumbria mustn’t have appreciated this shortbread trinket as he arranged for Malcolm’s ambushing and death in Alnwick during a fatal 1093 visit.
By remarkable coincidence Malcolm III married a woman called Margaret, the same moniker as the woman who my father Malcolm chose to swap marital vows. Okay then, it’s a pretty unremarkable coincidence; still, it’s one I thought worthy of mention in despatches.
I start this paragraph after a five and a half hour drive south which’s seen me safely ensconced back in West Yorkshire. A decent enough journey which saw such light traffic my car’s cruise control almost constantly set to 70mph on the Scottish leg of the drive. In fact, the worst part of the odyssey back home not a consequence of meeting vehicle latency, moreover the extortionate diesel price of £1.59 a litre I’d to pay at a North Yorkshire service station.
Mercifully, I only needed a few litres to complete my homeward journey, meaning I procured a mere ten quids worth of fuel. Still irked at paying such a hiked price as I departed it’s forecourt I felt moved to mutter “F*** your!” in the direction of the petrol station’s price sign …… I suspect the sign’ll not lose a moments sleep over yours truly’s petulance.
Anyhow, as a consequence of my five night in Scotland, I’ve returned to this West Yorkshire village feeling relaxed and re-energised, having made a raft of fond recollections in one of the most enchanting corners of the British Isles.
Goodbye Loch Lomond, thanks for the memories.