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
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
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.
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
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.
GLUE STICKS THINGS
Next Month -
The truth about
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,
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.
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
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).
AND NOW FOR THE NEWS
3rd & 4th July
[12.30 to 4.30pm]
10th & 11th July
(12.30 to 4.30pm)
[12.00 to 4.00pm]
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
EVEN MORE NEWS - STEAM DAYS AT DUNASKIN
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.
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...