NEWS, RAMBLINGS AND AWARDS                            SEPTEMBER 2009
                             FREE SOUP RECIPE
Register now to receive your weekly soup recipe. Just send in your email address to and we will send you a free soup recipe. The recipes will be sent out by email every Wednesday to cheer you up mid week. We're going to call it SOUP WEDNESDAY.
I was through in Lanark recently to take a few photos and suss out the good places for you folks out there. I was somewhat shocked to see the vast piles of food leftovers discarded on the pavements by schoolchildren. It's a scene that you will probably see all over the country during term time. Amidst a most colourful array of polystyrene food containers were the remains of half-eaten food that had been clearly eaten in a half-hearted manner before being tossed aside; soft flaccid chips coated in some brown gloop, doughy pizza bases turned blood red by tomato ketchup, mud-coloured grease lavishly sloshed over some indeterminable fry-up, and so on. It was quite unbelievable. The stuff looked so horrid that it's hardly surprising that the eating of it was executed in a somewhat less than enthusiastic manner. And in the wake of these kiddiewinks was a man in a yellow fluorescent waistcoat who did what he could to pick up what had been left behind by employing his extended metal grab with no small amount of dexterity.
What tourists think of it all, I've no idea, but it can't be good. I find it hard to imagine a similar situation in other countries. Of course, the question is, how on earth have we allowed this to happen? Why have we tolerated this for so long? We've pussyfooted around with schoolchildren for long enough, and it is now time to (forgive the expression) kick ass.
There has been some talk of keeping the little terrors in their school at lunch time, of giving them healthy food and things to do to keep them mentally stimulated, and in a few cases this may have been a bit successful. But we do appear to be fighting a losing battle. Parents have been squeezing huge burgers through railings so their offspring are not deprived of their daily high doses of salt and cholesterol, and the human rights brigade have been up in arms because we are taking away the freedom of this group of responsible adults. Responsible adults? You've got to be joking. You're not going to tell me for one minute that any person, young or otherwise, who discards a half-eaten lunch on the pavement (and right next to a bin on many occasions) then perhaps spends a moment scrawling graffiti on someone's property before returning to class is a responsible adult. Whatever hormones are circulating in the veins of these juveniles clearly turns them into herds of antisocial imbeciles who have no place on our streets at lunch time, or any other time.
It is now time we deployed police officers in and around schools to hand out on-the-spot fines to any person discarding food or any other litter on the streets. Perhaps being deprived of their favourite X-Box game through a lack of readies will make them think, and ultimately start taking some responsibility for their behaviour.
BEST SOUP IN SCOTLAND AWARD goes to the Darnley Coffee House in Stirling.

BEST ALE BREWED IN SCOTLAND AWARD goes to 'Blackfriar', a delicious bottled ale brewed by the Inveralmond Brewery up in Perth. It was made for the American market, but if you know where to look you can find the odd bottle here.

BEST PUB AWARD goes to the Ben Nevis in Glasgow, because it's just a great pub.

BEST THING TO SEE AWARD goes to the walled garden in Bellahouston Park, Glasgow.

BEST LITTLE WALK AWARD goes to the Pendreich walk above Bridge of Allan.


Things are going well, folks, there's no doubt about that. Things are indeed going so well that if I get any more visitors to this website I'm going to have to start using the fingers on my other hand to count them.
I mean, what's a man to do to get folk interested nowadays? Should I perhaps organise a soup-a-thon in Glasgow's George Square, a Soup Festival in Edinburgh's Royal Mile, or maybe a slurp-and-buy sale at the Farmers' Market up in Perth... Whatdya reckon?
Or perhaps I should be giving stuff away - freebies like wot they did way back in the old days when comics like The Beano offered free toffee or triangles of card that made a loud noise when you snapped them through the air. Anybody any ideas? Anybody out there? Please tell me I am not alone in this world and spending what years I have left on this mortal plane talking to myself on a website.
In some desperation I've taken to introducing strange little fellers. Have you seen them? I'm not saying there's a resemblance to yours truly, BUT, I do have a knapsack, did once have a wooden staff, and have shared a bowl with Gandalf. Lembas Bread Soup, if I recall. And quite delicious it was.
HERE at The Good Soup Guide our technicians have come up with a new rating system. It involves stars (original, huh?). Basically, one star [*] means the place has been visited by us and deemed to be of a good standard (and that applies equally to pubs or cafes or views). Two stars [**] means we reckon it's very good, and three stars [***] means it was so magnificent that we nearly wet our pants with excitement.
WE are getting reports of strange goings on up in Glenfarg. Apparently between 12.30pm and 2pm in the village hall on the first Wednesday of each month the Perth & Kinross Federation of the Scottish Women's Rural Institutes organise something of a soup jamboree for locals. It's called Soup and Chat. There is no charge, although all donations gratefully received. Residents happily donate four or five different homemade soups for the occasion, and visitors are made welcome. Sounds to me like a good excuse to just happen by Glenfarg some day.

THE 'Recommendations' link in our Other Places page is growing steadily. It contains cafes and coffee houses recommended by followers of The Good Soup Guide but not yet visited by us. If recommendations keep coming in at the current rate (as we hope they will) we will have to come up with some sort of map thing where you just click on the area you are visiting and all the good places will pop up before your very eyes. If we become adept at selling advertising space and become very rich we will finance research that will allow you to click an area and be instantly transported to that very place in some cosmically unfathomable manner. That's gotta be the way to go.
HAD any bad customer care experiences? Let The Good Soup Guide know and we'll name and shame the culprits. If we do enough naming and shaming we'll either end up being sued or we'll have cleaned up a lot of the bad service you folks out there are at times on the receiving end of. We reckon the 'Leave Your Boots and Rucksacks at the Door' signs once found outside some Highland eateries was disgraceful.
The Ditty
When the yellow's on the broom
And the yellow's on my nose
The snotters they are tripping me
With rivulets quite gross
When my eyes feel slightly nippy
And it seems like I might sneeze
There's only one thing I can blame
And that's the bloody trees