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 NEWS, RAMBLINGS AND AWARDS                                           JULY 2010
                           THE SOUPSAYER'S GUIDE TO ANNOYING FOLK

HOW TO ANNOY SUPERMARKET CHECKOUT STAFF

Lesson 1d - 'A Hector card? A Hector card? It's none of your business what I do or do not have in my pockets.'

Lesson 3c - 'A hand to pack? Well, now that you mention it, a hand would be nice. Can you call a few folk over, maybe under the control of a project manager, and we'll bag up these three apples together.'

Lesson 3d - 'Pardon me for asking, but is your bread made from wheat that has been genetically altered so as to give a springier loaf?'

Lesson 4a - 'Vouchers for schools? What's that all about then? Is this recession so bad that schools can no longer afford to buy their own books?'

Lesson 4f - 'What do you mean am I doing much today? Don't try and engage me in idle chat young woman when you really don't care what I'm getting up to and are only asking because you've been told to do so.'

Lesson 17w - 'So, young fellow, can you tell me what Scottish farm your chickens come from?'

Lesson 43a - 'A bag for life? Please get the manager as I fear I am about to burst into tears.'

Lesson 44s - 'If I manage a pretty passable bleeping noise could you just put these items straight into a bag for me?'

Lesson 347f - 'Bleep!'
BEST SOUP IN SCOTLAND AWARD goes to Brian's Cafe in Bo'ness.

BEST ALE BREWED IN SCOTLAND AWARD goes to 'Seven Giraffes', a superb ale brewed by the Williams Brothers in Alloa.

BEST PUB AWARD goes to Greyfriars Bar in Perth. Go there now to find out why.

BEST THING TO SEE AWARD goes to the panoramic view from Edinburgh's Calton Hill.

BEST LITTLE WALK AWARD goes to the forest track through Mugdock Wood in Milngavie.
Awards
2010

Ramblings
Hi,
Apologies for this early July News. I know it's not yet July but I'm in the process of redecorating my toadstool and thought I'd better get this news out quick before the computer got buried under mountains of stripped wallpaper.
Wallpaper... sheesht... don't start me. It just wants to stick to something, doesn't it? You peel it from a wall and it then falls away and promptly sticks to the floorboards. So you then spend far too much time trying to scrape it off the floor, only to find that a good portion of it is now adhering to the soles of your shoes and you spend the next hour trying to peel it from your footwear. Then, not satisfied with having a sticky relationship with practically every item in your toadstool, large swathes which had hitherto been invisible and have a special invisibility gene incorporated in their DNA (I can very much assure you that wallpaper does have DNA) suddenly light up as if by some magical fluorescent means and reveal themselves to be still stuck to the wall. Turn your back for a moment and the stuff's slithering its way back to a wall like some strange Doctor Who being from Wallpapersville (where, I am reliably informed, the Daleks live).
Hopefully I shall emerge from this experience a better man.
An old Scottish brewery bottle label as a trade mark
GLUE STICKS THINGS
Next Month -
The truth about
wallpaper
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Wallpaper


The wallpaper that was on the ceiling
Has now stuck to the floor
And unless it pulls itself together
I'm going to kick it out the door,
But, then,
It would probably just stick to that too!
THE DEMON CYCLISTS OF GLASGOW
Be careful out there people. There are crazy cyclists whose sole raison d'être is to frighten pedestrians. It happens to me every time I walk along the cycle route (Route 7, if my memory serves me well) that runs beside the River Clyde in Glasgow. It's not just a cycle route. It's for pedestrians... you know, people whose sole means of propulsion is their legs (except, of course, on occasions when they have consumed a specific combination of Guinness, beans and a lentil curry, when they may find themselves being jet-propelled along the ground at great speed). And yet the cyclists seem to have very little respect for the pedestrians who use this route. Indeed, I often detect more than a hint of hate out there for us leg-users, the same sort of hate you get when you're standing at a supermarket checkout in front of a long queue and decide now is the time to interrogate the assistant as to the potential benefits of signing up for a Hector card. It is as if the cyclists take no small amount of pleasure in approaching from behind at great speed and with inches to spare. It is an action that in most cases gives the pedestrian a fright, so much of a fright that one's instincts are to run after the culprit and wrestle him and his bicycle to the ground. Because it does seem to be perpetrated solely by male cyclists, all overdosing on testosterone and happy hormones brought on by all the exercise. Whatever happened to those serene days when bicycles had baskets and cyclists announced their presence with a little ting-a-ling from a small bell? I suppose we lost them at the same time as we lost tasty bacon, milk with cream, Wagon-wheels, Marathon chocolate bars, jam-jars that got you into the cinema, Lemon Cremola-Foam, penny caramels, baby rusks (goodness, but how I loved them), shops where people talked about more important things than a bag for life, and fish suppers whose purchase did not require one to remortgage one's house. Sigh.
Rating System details for The Good Soup Guide, Scotland's online tourist guide
FAILINGS WITHIN MANY COUNCIL CLEANSING DEPARTMENTS

The cleansing departments within some town and city councils in Scotland have yet to grasp this tourism thing.
I have walked through tourist hotspots early in the morning to find discarded litter piled upon the ground. The men or women in charge of these departments don't seem to realise that much waste will be thrown away by drunk people trying to stuff their beery faces with salt and cholesterol of an evening, and that unless cleaned up it will still be there the next day.
I know we don't have the numbers of staff or the budgets that we would all like, but it surely has to be top of the agenda to clean areas much frequented by tourists, and to do so at first light. The early brush catches the litter.
You've got to prioritise, guys. Either that, or we've got to start sacking managers and getting in people who have at least two brain cells to rub together and who care more about their home town than they do about the fat cheque they will get after spending many years sitting on their backsides doing nothing but spinning a good yarn and fiddling expenses.
BUILDING/STRUCTURE OF THE MONTH
Long long ago, men and women would enter structures like these to be transported to another galaxy. Or, they could speak to other people who were far far away at the end of a long wire. Many of these telephone boxes, as they were called, were made in Kirkintilloch, just outside Glasgow. Go there now, lift a hand-set, and try it for yourself. Telephone boxes are fun (and occasionally smell of pee).
Telephone boxes in Kirkintilloch
AND NOW FOR THE NEWS



3rd & 4th July
[12.30 to 4.30pm]


10th & 11th July
(12.30 to 4.30pm)


25th July
[12.00 to 4.00pm]
LINLITHGOW PALACE



LINLITHGOW PALACE



ABERDOUR CASTLE
Billed as a 'Spectacular Jousting Extravaganza', this is a must-see event. There will be knights in armour on horseback charging each other with long lances. A superb day out. Check The Good Soup Guide Linlithgow pages for good places to get soup and ale in the town.

In case you missed it first time around, or supped too many ales in either the Four Marys or Platform 3 and don't recall exactly what it was you saw, then here's another chance to see knights in armour doing battle on horseback.

Ever wondered what deodorant Mary Queen of Scots used? I can't guarantee that you'll find out, but at this event you are given a 16th-century fashion show and an insight into the 'make-up and grooming regimes of the period.' There is also archery and military feats. The Soupsayer has not yet visited Aberdour, but he understands from special sources that good ale may be supped at the Aberdour Hotel, where good soup may also be had. You can get a train to Aberdour from Edinburgh.
REMEMBER - IF YOU MENTION 'THE GOOD SOUP GUIDE' YOU WILL BE GIVEN A FREE ROUND OF APPLAUSE AT ALL EVENTS
Another old Scottish brewery trade mark
EVEN MORE NEWS - STEAM DAYS AT DUNASKIN
Dunaskin Steam Day in May
Fancy a hurl on an old steam train? The Ayrshire Railway Preservation group (a bunch of dedicated folk with black oily overalls) operate the Scottish Industrial Railway Centre in what used to be the Dunaskin Heritage Centre (on the A713, 10 miles south-east of Ayr, at Waterside, near Dalmellington). Various Steam Days have been organised. Those in July are on 4th, 11th, 18th and 25th of the month. Opening times are 11am to 4.30pm. There will be brake van rides, a shop and museum. Great day out guaranteed, as the surrounding countryside is beautiful.
Glasgow's new tour ferry
SAILING DOON THE WATER... AND UP, TOO
The city of Glasgow has a few new boats coasting up and down the River Clyde. There's a regular Riverlink ferry which is like a bus service on the water. It travels between the Broomielaw, the Glasgow Science Centre and Braehead, every day except Mondays and Tuesdays, up until 10th September. Right beside the new ferry terminal at Braehead there is an excellent museum (Clydebuilt Museum) which gives a good history of shipbuilding on the River Clyde. You'll see the times of this ferry at each of the three stops (first in the morning is 10.35am at the Science Centre).
In addition, there's a slightly larger vessel (shown on right) which offers sightseeing tours of about two-and-a-half hours, going as far down as the Titan Crane at Clydebank. This only operates once a day (except Mondays and Tuesdays, when there is no ferry), and leaves from the Glasgow Science Centre pontoon at 1pm.The Titan Crane is open to the public, and each sightseeing tour will allow you to disembark (get aff) at either Braehead or Clydebank, with a specified time slot to see things before getting back on. Your ferry ticket will entitle you to discounts on entry to certain attractions, so hang on to it. You can buy your ticket on the ferry, or phone 01475 721281 to check availability.
REAL ALE FESTIVALS IN JULY


As far as I can see, there are no real ale festivals to talk of in Scotland in July. As such, it might therefore be time to check out The Lade Inn at Callander and their magnificent selection of Scottish bottled ales in the Scottish Real Ale Shop. But you'll have to sneak past Hamish...