Wednesday, August 31, 2022
Tuesday, August 30, 2022
' Bonjour Angus
I have been on it since we spoke last time.
I am pushing for you to be delivered next week.
They are closed today but I should have the final date tomorrow '.
A new complication enters the picture. The bed we ordered can be seen in the first photo. The bed that shipping guy wants to deliver has surprisingly morphed into the rather non-Presbyterian second one with a headboard out of a Hammer House of Horrors movie. There has been what is known in bed shipping circles as a mix-up.
No prizes for guessing that today will be spent on the phone trying to 'rectify' things.
Monday, August 29, 2022
Sunday, August 28, 2022
The sheep have got into the turnip field and are munching their way through it. Such is Sunday morning excitement in this small corner of paradise.
Saturday, August 27, 2022
Some of you have asked are we missing France ? No. We've been so busy we haven't had a second to miss anything. In a very real sense this part of Scotland is similar to the depths of France profonde. Endless skies, few people and slow moving tractors holding up the traffic. So far the weather has been clement with the exception of the day when the removal men arrived when it poured .
On our last walk yesterday we saw three young deer playing down on the seashore. That's the first time I've ever seen deer by the water. This morning Angus and Sophie are up and about at that time of the day when the sun rises and turns everything gold, then red, then orange. I'd forgotten how magical northern light is. Sophie finds a dead fish .
We're still sleeping in the wee house even though it's a thirty five minute drive from St.Andrews. The bed from Paris is supposedly en route. When it shows up we'll move. Calls to the bed showroom aren't answered presumably because they are all away on vacation.The Parisian company makes mattresses that are rock solid on one side ( for Angus who would happily sleep on the floor ) and 'pamperingly soft ' for 'The Font' who wouldn't. I am preparing for the worst. My last conversation with the young man in charge of shipping was brought to a halt when he informed me that Paris to London was easy but it was difficult getting to Scotland because the ferries from England were all full. I have an awful feeling he may have sent the bed to Iceland.
Builders, electricians, plumbers, insurance assessors all in the diary for next week. Let's hope the bed delivery company appears in our schedule as well.
Friday, August 26, 2022
Thursday, August 25, 2022
Wednesday, August 24, 2022
No less than 17 cheery 'Good Mornings' said on our pre-six am tour of the town. Surely, some sort of record ? Dog owners and early rising ancillary staff maintain old fashioned courtesies. This morning the breakfast shift at the new Pret a Manger on Market Street come to the front door, en masse, to chat to the PONette. They don't offer biscuits so Sophie is soon off. A girl has to be quite hard nosed about how much time she can spend saying 'hello' when there are sausages waiting.
There is a noticeable increase in the number of runners that we pass on our morning tour. Princeton and Heidelberg sweat shirts observed. I'm guessing that in two weeks time the number of PhD students out for a pre-breakfast jog will quintuple. Unlike the university cleaning ladies the runners are too busy and self absorbed to stop and recognize this shaggy canine presence. Sophie isn't quite sure what to make of runners. She stops and stares at them in disbelief. What is it they're chasing ?
Tuesday, August 23, 2022
This morning on our start of day walk Sophie is greeted by the University cleaning ladies as they're getting off the bus from Dundee. She is also acknowledged by a group of golfers waiting for one of their number outside the door of their hotel ( their golf trolleys are sniffed in the vain hope they'll contain Ginger Snaps ) and by an Australian gentleman sitting on a bench enjoying an illicit cigarette while his wife is still asleep. The Australian gentleman introduces himself to Sophie with the words 'You're a cute guy'. He is soon corrected .
Monday, August 22, 2022
Four American gentlemen in bright golf attire are waiting outside their hotel as we wander by on our start of day walk. They are in quite remarkable outfits that could prosaically be described as purple, scarlet, lilac and orange . The colours are of an intensity that could easily be caught by sensors on low earth orbiting satellites. Usually it takes Sophie and Angus twenty minutes to walk from the cathedral to the Old Course. Our return journey takes forty minutes as every doorway and lamp post along the route must be carefully studied. Conversations with friendly passers by , such as these, add to the length of our excursions. The American gentlemen inform me they're three minutes early for their driver. ' We're playing Kingsbarns today. Should be great ' says the most vocal. Angus has no opinion as to whether this will, or will not be the case, so he emits a non-committal guttural noise. This is enough for the vocal gentleman to volunteer the view that ' You Scotch guys are so friendly'. A guttural grunt seems to be an abnormally low bar as a signifier of friendliness but who am I to point this out ? Sophie is disappointed to discover that the golfers don't have a single Ginger Snap between them. She soon decides that she's had enough small talk and heads off to explore a flower bed by the band stand. Friendliness has its limits. All the golfers chuckle and say goodbye to her. I'm ignored. When I look back they're piling happily into the back of their mini-bus and chatting away to their driver who has an accent out of Brigadoon.
The local croissants are dire. The fancy bakers produces something akin to under cooked choux pastry, the cheese mongers ( at an exorbitant £2.90 each ) are made with what I think is honey but could just as easily be treacle. Whatever it's made with is a sin against croissants.Tomorrow we shall try the offerings from the bakers near the town church. If that doesn't work there is a Marks and Spencers food outlet in town and an upmarket farm shop out near where Prince William lived when he was a student here. Surely something recognizable as a croissant must be available ? In the interim Sophie has a morning rendezvous with her French breakfast chef and a tasty chipolata.
The blog still being posted on 'The Fonts' French keyboard laptop. This makes formatting difficult. Normal service will,hopefully, be resumed later this week when the removal company show up on Wednesday with the desk tops. The removal firm are allowing for three days to unpack everything. The cleaning ladies are coming into the new house today to give it top to bottom work over. The family diva displays enormous courage when she finds that the field at the entrance to our new village is full of young and extremely inquisitive cows.
Back at the Wee House we dine outside on the small deck at the top of the stairs that lead from the kitchen into the garden. Sophie discovers that she adores a little langoustine bisque with her kibble and ( in a unexpected turn of events ) is transported to heaven when taken out at ten thirty for an ice cream from the cafe by the roundabout.
Sunday, August 21, 2022
We get the keys to the new house. The first time Angus has a chance to see inside it . It's a quarter of the size of The Rickety Old Farmhouse and an eighth the size of what went before that . The sort of place that can be locked up and left alone. .... and kept snug and warm in a Scottish winter. It has breath taking views of the sea across the wheat fields. Come out of the drive and you have three options. You can go straight on to the sea, turn right to the sea or turn left to the bridge that runs over the burn and heads along half a mile of unpaved road to the village ..... and the sea.
We'll do the bathrooms as a priority and then decide what else needs to be done to the kitchen and room layout. Rather than have bedrooms that are never occupied we shall keep one guestroom and open up the other rooms to make them bigger and brighter. In a perfect world all the building work would have been done before we moved in but planning permission takes six months and we have yet to chose an architect. Family and friends can stay at the neighbouring hotel which is a twenty minute walk away along the cliffs. This is a much more practical and cost effective alternative to maintaining a large house that is only ever partly used. The kitchen, the drawing room, the library and the bedroom seem to be where these empty nesters spend their time.
Sophie will have company in the village. A Jack Russell in one house and a one year old 'mutt' in another . Outside the front door hare, deer and rabbits aplenty to chase ineptly but with gusto.
The furniture is due to arrive next week but we discover, to our horror, that major road works are about to start. They effectively cut off the village and require a twenty minute detour along back lanes for anyone wanting to get here. A call to the removal company will be the first item on Monday mornings to do list . Number two on the list will be a call to the Parisian bed company that had arranged for a new bed to be made in time for our moving in at the end of the month. Shipping to Scotland has proven to be quite a challenge for them. At times I think they must have Scotland and Alaska mixed up. This latest news will drive them to despair.
Sophie, as you can see from the photos, has taken enthusiastically to this first introduction to her new home. While we wait for furniture to arrive she will, go back to the 'wee house' and the morning half sausage from the French breakfast chef. Last night she discovered the delight of Lanarkshire Blue with pear as a starter. In the cheese stakes Scotland can hold its own.