Saturday, April 15, 2017

A lovely day and a frayed nerve

A lovely bright day. Lorraine and I met Sam and did the Darn Walk, much of it alongside the River Allan rushing through the woods, and then skirting a golf course down to Dunblane. A beautiful walk. One favoured by Robert Louis Stevenson, and a cave by the river is said to have inspired Ben Gunn's cave in Treasure Island.

Then into Dunblane, which seemed a very pleasant quiet town. Terrible that for outsiders it still is most famous for the deadliest mass shooting in UK history where tiny children and a teacher were massacred by a crazed gunman in 1996. Seeing the little town makes you think about the trauma it endured. Everyone must have known someone who was directly affected.

We had a nice hobbits' second breakfast there (having eaten a banana first thing) and then went down to the little station to go two stops to Stirling.  Enjoyed seeing a poster for the trains with the headline, 'Your ticket to fun filled places, and excited wee faces'.

Into Stirling, also a lovely-looking place in the sun, where we went into a cafe called the Sable and Flea, for a quick coffee before venturing next door to a gentleman's tailors. Here to get the ball rolling on getting a stylish suit for Sam for his wedding. There was a room full of burly men in kilts when we arrived, and there was all the paraphernalia of traditional scottish clothing there. Kilts, and gorgeous jackets in some amazing colours, and kilt hose, and colours for the socks, and more sporrans than you could shake a stick at. Sam favouring a blue three piece suit, and having chosen the fabric, and paid a deposit, and made an appointment for Sam to be measured up, made off back to the Station (very clean and free of graffiti as all of them seem to be), to return to Bridge of Allan.

Then a bit of downtime, having done a fair amount of walking. We tried to book a nearby restaurant called the Bologna, but were unable to get a table. Lots of the food places here are run by Italians, and there seem to be a fair amount of people of Italian background here, including the owners of the cafe we eat in in the morning.

At tea time, we went to have another fish supper at the Allanwater Cafe. The haddock was perfectly cooked and delicious. Leaving the cafe en route to the magical Allanwater Brewhouse, I decided to call home to see how Mum and Mas were. I'd had a vivid dream about Mum the night before which had reminded me to call them. I said hello to Mas and asked him how he was, he said fine but said Mum had been in hospital for three days. He had been in to visit her with Robert today, and she was much better. Something had flared up after her pancreas test last week, and meant she was in lots of pain, but the was now being controlled.

Somewhat alarmed by this, let Toby know, and then went back to the hotel to use the power of Google and get the number for the ward she was in. I spoke to her nurse who said she was comfortable and okay, and was being settled in for the night. She took a message from me. Let Toby know this. Then, nerves a bit frayed, went back to the pub.

Drank deep of the 70/- beer, which was lovely, and had a good night. Musicians playing in the pub tonight, and it full and cheery. Lorraine talking to family on the same table, whose son was at Stirling doing an MA. We were there till the end, and this brilliant pub's Narnia like qualities on full force, and quite hard to drag ourselves away back into reality.

Below, shots of the river Allan, and along the Darn Walk, including the Stevenson bench and cave, part of the the sporran section in the House of Henderson tailors, inside the haven of the Allanwater Brewhouse.

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