Forging North with the Laird

Friday 3rd June 2016

The massive outing to Scotland, curated and guided by the Laird, was last weekend. We missed the Burrell Collection by the grace of Easy Jet being an hour and a half late. The Laird’s itinerary was colour-coded. There was fear that we’d be tested on the pre-booklet and DVD dispatched by post in advance from the Laird’s private office. But Laura Malcolm had become abusive at the suggestion of a test. Mount Stuart was to be the high-light of the visit. Do you know Mount Stuart? If not you soon will. It’s a hidden gem built in the 1880s by the then richest man in the world. Seats were not allocated in the mini-bus though and we drove straight to the Premier Inn at Greenock for a planned settling-in time. My room had a car-park view which I thought very suitable. Initially our mini-bus was parked right outside. Premier Inns are perfectly all right once you’ve got down the corridor of death to your room – which is purple and grey, quite large and designer although standard issue. There’s really nothing wrong with it. But the Premier Inn has no drawing room, the entrance lobby could be a pre-interogation station and outside there are no grounds, just the featureless butterscotch slab of the Premier Inn.

I changed into tartan. Just the Topman tartan trousers which proved throw-away, once-only because baggy and saggy and slimy as to fabric. But at £35, so what.  And tartan was essential for Scotland, surely. We were put into the mini-bus and removed to Gourock. I wondered at the landscape, the Clydeside. Where were the Bessemer Converters? Where the shipyards? It’s all been turned into waterside flats with spectacular views of bonnie hills and great sheets of Clyde river and even mountains in the distance. I’d no idea it was so resort-like and scenic. And the light! Evening drew in for hours. Even at 10pm it was flushed faded apricot.  Dinner was at the Cafe Continental, Gourock, where a football match was in progress on TV in the bar area. A thronging mass, although elsewhere Gourock is faded gentility beside large water. It was all so new to me. I was thrilled. The Laird had arranged place cards – made them on his computer, posted them in advance to the Cafe Continental and emailed a plan of where they were to go. I was facing the water and the sunset. Beamish O’Halloran of the Mail spoke of Ann Robinson, who regularly shouted at him out of her bedroom window as he passed: ‘O’Halloran, whose life are you going to ruin today?’

This was Scotland. I couldn’t believe it. In our own country yet not. They all had Scottish accents, even the young people, but only I was in tartan. But they were Scottish. There was no getting away from it. There was somewhere else.

Topman Came up Trumps with the Tartan Frock Coat for Scotland Reduced to £90

Topman Came up Trumps with the Tartan Frock Coat for Scotland Reduced to £90

 

 

The Football Match at Gourock

The Football Match at Gourock

The Premier Inn: Odd Cardboard-in-Bed Aspect

The Premier Inn: Odd Cardboard-in-Bed Aspect

Scotland: Tinged with Apricot in the Long Sun-set: Magic and New. Really Well Done, Scotland

Scotland: Tinged with Apricot in the Long Sun-set: Magic and New. Really Well Done, Scotland

 

 

Posted Friday, June 3, 2016 under Adrian Edge day by day.

Warning: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable in /www3/959/www.poorlittlerichgays.com/web/wp-includes/class-wp-comment-query.php on line 405

Leave a Reply