We’re on the move—India awaits. Before we go, we thought we’d put together a recap of our time in Scotland. So here it is…
Where we stayed
We were house sitters for a farm house and 2 cats in Darvel, a little town 40 minutes drive from Glasgow. The house owners, Suzanne and Mike, took a 2 month trip in India, New Zealand, and Australia.
We renamed Harvey ‘Face Cruncher’. He brought all sorts of gifts for us. One morning he blatantly plopped down a dead bunny next to his food bowl, and then came whining at me to satiate his addiction to Whiskas. Apparently he was just showing off, and this isn’t normal behaviour.
The first time I saw a dead rabbit in the house was a shock. I came down the stairs to the sight of a full sized adult rabbit on its back. Dead. But there was something missing—hence the nickname. I can’t quite understand it, but apparently there’s good nutrition in the brain.
Despite the killings, we loved the cats. We didn’t see much of Caitlin as she was so timid, but we grew very fond of Face Cruncher.
Suzanne and Mike keep their own bees, which bring honey. Raw, organic, unpasteurized, unfiltered BEAUTIFUL honey. We reckon it tasted of liquorice, but nobody else really got that. We had a near unlimited supply of it. What a nutritious treat.
We did a short workout 2 or 3 times a week, followed by a steaming hot sauna. The luxury! Sorry, no pictures of us in the nude.
Our trips out
We rode to Galston and Kilmarnock, but most trips were to Co-op in Darvel. From the house, it was a three minute adrenaline ride down the farm path to the road. Janine would get a head start, saying ‘see you at the bottom sucker’, and a moment later I’d whiz past her, smiling. Near the end, Janine became braver and eased off the brakes, beating me down the hill.
On the cold May bank holiday we had a day out to the seaside resort of Largs with our friends.
Half way through our fish and chips at Nardini’s, Billy Connelly took a seat on a table next to us. Janine and I didn’t believe it was him from his looks and manner, but our friend Amanda was convinced.
When he stood next to us in the queue for Nardini’s famous gelato, there was no mistaking his voice. We learned from a Google search later on that he has Parkinson’s. This would explain why he keeps his head down when he walks, and doesn’t seem the large as life comedian we remember.
We had a few great days out in Glasgow while we were in Scotland. Our highlights were the street art, the shopping (more relaxed than Oxford Street, but just as good), and a meal at Pinto Mexican Kitchen.
In our time here, our only proper walk was to the top of Loudoun Hill. We walked from our house, which was an 8 mile round trip. At the top we found the strange site of boiled eggs everywhere (it was Easter Sunday), Europe’s biggest wind farm, and beautiful views. A great day.
On our last afternoon in Ayrshire, we set off on our bikes to look for the wild boar we’d heard so much about. It took us into Lanfine Estate next to the River Irvine.
Goodbye to our hosts
Mike and Suzanne are great people; fearless, exciting and adventurous. They cooked for us and plied us with red wine before they left on their trip. We were happy to show them the same hospitality when they arrived back to the UK, an example of a great house sitting exchange.
On to India…
Signing off. See you in India!