Good morning from Sophie who starts her day by glaring determinedly at the curlews in the field by the salt lake . The curlews continue chattering away which suggests they are oblivious - or at least untroubled - by the presence of the PONette. The days are getting noticeably longer now. How Sophie - who is the sort of girl who's up at first light and in bed when it gets dark - will cope with twenty hours of daylight will be interesting to observe. By the potato barns we meet two local farmers. One of them found a couple having a Valentines Day picnic in the middle of his freshly planted field of spring wheat. 'They even had a table cloth set out on the ground ' . The conversation turns to the resignation of the leader of the Scottish National Party. We have a wee wager on who the replacement will be. I put my money on Angus Robertson.
Another shop in town is closing. By a quick reckoning seven have closed since Christmas. Is it a slowdown in the economy, the advent of shopping malls, or an acceleration in online buying ? Quite probably a combination of all of the above. The same hollowing out of town centres was happening in France. Angus is tempted to open up a small wine bar that has poetry readings and serves affordable but drinkable wines. In the summer local caddies could lecture visiting golfers on Old Course 'etiquette'. 'The Font' thinks Angus would drink the profits.
Sophie leads the way from the centre of town down to the beach. We're early today so we have the beach pretty much to ourselves. A group of players from the rugby team come running past. Two of them stop to chat with the vision of loveliness. She lets one of them tickle her, the other she doesn't. Both of them laugh.
On our return we stop off at the good coffee cafe. There are lots of young people about waiting for their caffeine shots before the first lectures. During term time we drive at no more than 20 mph through town. The students are great believers in their own personal immortality and spill off the pavement onto the road with no concern for oncoming traffic.
We pass an exceptionally fine wooden door. It looks more Spanish than Scottish. The stone door piers have been recycled from the old cathedral. Waste not want not is written into this wee towns DNA.
The book by the spare to the British throne does not seem to have sold well in these parts. I would have expected there to be a copy in the window of the booksellers . They are stacked up on a table inside. If the window display is anything to go by then Mary Queen of Scots seems to be a hit with local book buyers.
Of course the local rugby players would stop to greet the local 'vision of loveliness'.
Gail is curious to know who the local farmers think will be our next First Minister.
Yesterday my cycling friends (all Unionists bar one ardent Nationalist who was not present) were unanimous that Nicola will be a very hard act to follow, recognising her communication skills and mastery of her brief while disagreeing fundamentally with her core political aim.
As the daughter of a grain merchant I am always enraged by people tramping through a sown or a standing crop.
Fun fact - Angus Robertson used to live in the house that my great grandfather built in Craigellachie. He took it over from one of the Baxters of Baxters Soups fame. I lived there until I was 5 (not at the same time as either of those) and still return to the house and garden in my dreams. It was a magical place for a child. My mother however was not so enthralled at having to do the washing with water heated in the original wood-fired copper boiler, and then put clothes through a mangle. This was in the 1960s.
Interesting discussion on kettles v. microwaves etc for tea. Personally I find microwaves the work of the Devil and wouldn't go near one for my cup of tea!
How nice to have the beach almost to yourself. Hard to imagine that it could ever be covered with deckchairs and sandcastles!
Had to smile at 'The Font's' comment to your opening a wine bar! That would be most wives reaction, I suspect. I think it's rather a good idea Angus - you could always give it a try and 'The Font' could look after the profits.
Sensible Scottish parsimony winning out - who in their right mind would pay that sort of money for the waffle and lies promoted by the spare to the throne? Mary Queen of Scots is much more palatable - and interesting.
It's sad to see local shops close. Seven since Christmas seems excessive. Is Sophie a good judge of character? Just wondering why one rugby player should be acceptable and another not - too much garlic in the diet, or not enough, maybe.
The spare obviously feels comfortable with creative storytelling since he knows there will no royal rebuttal. Mary Queen of Scots for me.
Tickled by a rugby player, what a lucky little sweetie.
Hmmmm... wellll... if the St Andrews branch of M&Co follows the example of the Dunoon M&Co, it will still be displaying 'closing down sale' in four years' time. Yes, that is when the same first appeared here. Their website even has a page marked as Closing Down Sale, but only then says "sale now on". Why they don't just rebrand as a discount store confounds me. YAM xx
When I was a child growing up in Perth, a trip to the beach at St Andrews to build sandcastles was the highlight of my summer.
M&Co also closing here in Llandudno and like you I have noticed quite a few closures recently. Being a tourist town like St Andrews other shops take their place eventually but the trick is to keep in business during winter months and this is where St Andrews has the golfer/student advantage.
I have noticed from your pictures that not so many students wear their gowns as a daily norm which was certainly the case when I was there in the 60's...they were great against the cold!
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