A Travellerspoint blog

Ayrshire, Dumfriesshire and Lanarkshire


sunny 75 °F

This morning Gordon and Margaret picked me up and we went down to Dumfries, Gordon was working and Margaret and I were just going to walk around. We had a very weird day, right from the beginning. We walked to get a tea, and we saw an area roped off and the police were standing around it. We had to take a different route and saw the forensics team in an alleyway. You don't see that over here too often, in fact its the first time in all the years I have been here, that I have seen it. We walked around different shops and then decided to get something to eat. We ordered our food in this line and you pay for it and then they bring it to your table. We got an appetizer and ate it and then waited and waited for our food. I went back to the counter to ask about our food and the lady said she would check on it. I went back and sat down and we waited again. No food. I went back and asked about it again. She said she would check herself in the kitchen. We then got our food, Margaret ordered a salad and the dish was hot, so was the salad. Margaret asked her why the salad was hot and the lady told her "It was under the heat lamp". Then Margaret said. "But it's a salad".
Then I got a baked potato which looked a few days old and was cold. We asked her to bring us new food. We waited. It did not come. I went back down and asked for my money back. At first she was just going to give us some, but eventually we got it all back. We continued with our day and ended up down by the river sitting in the sun. We waited for Gordon and then we headed back to Cumnock. Unfortunately after driving a short while, road signs told us that a few miles ahead the road was closed. In Scotland, if a main road is closed you are in trouble. The main road only has two lanes, one each way. We had to go all the way around on this winding road. If another car is coming you have to back up and let them go by. Margaret and I were not feeling very well after we got home. We had a big family dinner and we were late for it. We celebrated my nephew Scott's Birthday and Gary got a cake for him. The dinner was fun, as it always is on Glaisnock Street.

Posted by Daniellecand 10:56 Archived in Scotland Comments (0)

Mauchline Holy Fair

Music at the Craighead in Cumnock

rain 72 °F

This morning I drove over to Margarets in Mauchline. Today is the Mauchline Holy Fair and Margaret invited me to go. I did not really know the history of the Holy Fair, so Margaret at the end of the day gave me the brochure for the fair. Robert Burns worshipped in the Mauchline Kirk which was part of the original monastic settlement. It was in this church's and the grounds around it where the fair was held. The fair was an opportunity for people from Mauchline and surrounding areas to take communion. The occasion lasted three days, Saturday for cleansing and preparation, Sunday for the services and Monday for reflection. In 1788, 1800 people took communion which meant they had to wait for hours, therefore, tents were set up to supply food and drink and hucksters entertained the crowds and Poosie Nancies daughter "Racer Jess" plied her trade a the the Kirk gates. Thanks to Robert Burn's description of the events in his "Kilmarnock Edition" the scurrilous, bawdy scandalous circumstances came to the attention of the Scottish Kirk and the fair was eventually cancelled. It was not started again until 2002. We had a great time at the fair. We walked around all the booths and bought a few things. Carol joined us soon after we got there. We went into the church and listened to Ayr Pipe Band, they were wonderful. We also listened to a women's choir who sang " Californian Dreaming". We bought some lunch to support the Boy Scouts and stood and ate our lunch while we listened to another man singing country songs. We walked back to Margarets and sat around and talked for awhile, I then headed back to Cumnock. I had a great time Aunt Margaret, thanks for taking me to your Holy Fair. We had dinner and then Gary, Audrey and I headed down to the local pub named the Craighead in Cumnock. There was live music with a man playing the guitar and we sat and listened for a few hours. It was great. Audrey knew everyone in the bar, and it was hilarious. We walked back home around 1:00am. It had been a long day and I was tired.

Posted by Daniellecand 15:36 Archived in Scotland Comments (0)

Arran Island (2nd day of the heat wave in Scotland)

sunny 78 °F

Today I decided to go to Arran which is an Island off the west coast of Scotland. This day was to be the second day of the heat wave. In all of the times I have been here, I had never been to this Island. I drove down to Ardrossan, left my car in the ferry car park and boarded the Ferry for Arran. I had read and talked with people about some things to do on the Island, so I had a plan. The ferrry ride was about 55 minutes and it was a beautiful clear warm day. I was not wearing a jacket and for me to not wear a jacket in Scotland it is warm. I got off the ferry and immediately went to the bus stop, where I asked the driver what bus went around the Island. I bought a ticket for 5.70 pounds for the day and got on the bus. We headed northeast. It takes about 2 1/2 hours to get around the entire Island. It was a wonderful bus ride. I passed castles and beautiful houses all over the Island. There are lots of walking trails and bike trails. The bus stays very close to the water so you are on the shoreline most of the way. I went about halfway around and got off in a town called Blackwaterfoot. I think I forgot to mention that I had a picnic with me. I sat at the picnic table that you see in the pictures and had lunch. It was beautiful overlooking the water. I then walked down to the beach, which was at this golf course and sat there for awhile too. I headed back to the bus, got on again and my next stop was Whiting Bay. I got off there, walked around for awhile and took a walk up through the woods for about a mile. I was going to walk to a waterfall that was 2.5 miles, but I stepped on some rocks on the path and my ankle turned out as the ground was uneven. I yelled out because it hurt, not that anyone was going to hear me. I did not hear it crack, luckily but I knew it was painful enough for me to turn around and head back. I never made it to the waterfall. I got the bus back to Brodick and went into a cafe to wait for the ferry to come. I downloaded all my pictures on the ferry coming back to Ardrossan. I drove the hour back to Cumnock. I put ice on my ankle when I got back to the house and it wasn't too bad. I had a great day, and really enjoyed being on the Island. The people were very nice especially all the bus drivers I met. They went out of their way to give information on the places you should see. I would like to go back again someday and do some of the hiking trails, they looked beautiful. I showed John and Betty all my pictures when I got back and gave them a detailed description of the day.

Posted by Daniellecand 16:11 Archived in Scotland Comments (0)

Heat Wave in Scotland

Spending the day with Donald

sunny 78 °F

Now, when I say heat wave in Scotland, you have to understand what that means over here. It's above 70 degrees. That is a heat wave. This morning I drove down to Donald's house and then he drove us as we set out to have fun during the heat wave. We started driving up the coast towards Largs. By now, you will have already guessed that I had the picnic with me. You don't leave the house without the picnic. When we got to the coast it was still foggy, so we just kept heading north. We went all the way up to Fairlie and then turned around and came back to Ardrossan. We stopped by the side the road, took out the chairs and set them up on the grass and had a wonderful picnic. We sat in the heat wave for over two hours talking and catching up on our lives. I met Donald at the same time I met Iain, and although we don't get to see each other very often it never seems as though time has passed. He has not changed any part of his personality since the day I met him. He loves to talk, tell stories and his sense of humor is as funny as it was 34 years ago. We then decided to leave and head back to Kilmarnock. I took the chair I was sitting in and tried to fold it back down to put it in the car. It would not collapse and fold. Donald then tried to do it and he couldn't fold it either. There was a car with some elderly women in it next to us and they started laughing at us, because we could not fold the chairs. Eventually another lady came over and after several minutes she turned the chair over and folded the legs together from the back. I don't think that is how you really do it, but at least we got them back into the car. We drove back down the coast through some of the ports. We went to a park in Kilmarnock, called Kay Park. We walked around for awhile and went up to to see the Burns Monument that is there. We also went into a new Geneology center that was located by the Burns Monument. In this center you can research your Scottish roots. They also had books on Cumnock, where they had information on this town during the 16th century. Donald and I sat in there and read some of the information on Cumnock. I later quizzed John and Betty on Cumnock information and they knew all the answers. Donald and I then went out to dinner and sat outside, which is very unusual for Scotland. We had a great day. On the way home, I stopped by Gordon and Margarets. We sat outside for awhile talking. I think the temperature got up to 78 degrees today and yes, that is a miracle in Scotland.

Posted by Daniellecand 14:42 Archived in Scotland Comments (0)

Johns Birthday and Loch Lomond

overcast 67 °F

Today is my father in-laws birthday so we decided to venture out and celebrate it. We went with my brother in-law and my niece to Loch Lomond. It is about an 1 1/2 hours from Cumnock. We first went an area called Loch Lomond Shores and walked around. It was not exactly a sunny day in Scotland but it was not cold or raining. My brother in-law wore shorts which I thought was very brave, but I think he wanted to make me feel at home. We then drove to a town on Loch Lomond called Luss. This town became popular on a soap opera in Scotland called "The High Road". Yes, you guessed it we had a picnic there. I have been to two picnics two days in a row. The sandwiches, chips, drinks, tea, coffee, shortbread all came out of these two little bags my in-laws carry around with them. We had a great time sitting and talking. We then walked into the little town of Luss and also walked out to the Lake and took some pictures. Loch Lomond is a beautiful lake famous for being in a Scottish song called "The Bonnie Banks o'Loch Lomond". It is also the largest inland stretch of water in Great Britain. We walked out to the pier and took some pictures, we watched a group of Dutch students that were canoeing in the lake. We made our way back home and Papa thought his birthday was over. We had dinner and then Gordon, Margaret, Erin, Gary and Audrey came over to celebrate. Aunt Margaret had gotten a cake and papa got a shirt, puzzle and Jacket. I think he liked all his gifts. We had a great day and I was so glad to be here to help John celebrate. My father in law is a wonderful man! Thanks for calling Connor!

Posted by Daniellecand 15:21 Archived in Scotland Comments (0)

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