Day 15 of UK Trip
July 19, 2009

I just realised (12:20) that I forgot to write the blog for today (or actually strictly speaking yesterday now).  I woke up at around 8:15 and then eventually got up at 8:45 when I couldn’t resist the call of the bathroom.  When I came back into the room Helen was stirring and she asked what time it was.  I said 8:45 but she didn’t believe me since she thought it was around 5am as it was dark in the room.  The black curtains definitely do their job!  We had agreed to go to breakfast at 9:15am with Chris & Alison and as that seemed unlikely to happen (as the kids were still sleeping), I sent a text to Chris to suggest 9:30am breakfast.  They readily accepted and then even at 9:30am when we were ready; Chris was still putting on his makeup so we had to wait a few more minutes.

As the hotel breakfast was £24 per person and as we didn’t think we could eat that much for breakfast, we went out to find a place. Helen has spotted the pub across the way did an ‘All-day breakfast’ (not a liquid one!) but when we got there we discovered the pub only opened at 10am.  We did find a place up the Royal Mile without having to walk the full mile.  Stephen was the only adventurous eater in that he had the Traditional Scottish Breakfast which came with Haggis.  He gave it a try and deemed it to be ‘flowery’.  I tasted it too (I have eaten Haggis previously so I am now a connoisseur) and I agreed it was a little ‘flowery’ and not as nice as the one I ate previously.  Might have been too much bone and too little brains in it.

After breakfast, the Nels went-a-walking (up and down the Royal Mile we heard later).  Chris reckoned they be doing 2 miles with all the walking they be doing today (one mile up the Royal Mile and one mile back again).  We went on an open-top bus tour.  The kids sat outside in the light drizzle (of course it is still raining) and Helen and I sat on the top but under shelter.  The hotel concierge suggested we use the Green bus as it had entertaining live guides.  We took his advice, the only problem being we didn’t understand much of what the guide was saying.  He should have warned us that they were speaking a foreign language as we would have taken the English bus then.  We did pick up the odd word about gallows, hangings, ghosts, exhuming bodies and selling them to the Royal College of Surgeons etc.  We also got a good overview of Edinburgh, saw some people playing Croquet (much to Michael’s amusement), some more playing soccer and a smattering of Scottish History (which Helen says is unimpressive that is the history not the croquet).  The bus tour took just over an hour and we disembarked at the same place we embarked and then walked back (with a few stops in the shops on the way back) to the hotel.  The morning had passed us by and due to the strenuous activity of the morning we decided on a short rest before going out for lunch.

We picked a sandwich place (O’Briens – I thought we were in Scotland not Ireland?!) and lo and behold, who were sitting there relaxing but none other than the famous Nels.  We got our lunch and joined them for a wee bite and drink (which would later cause us to need to do the thing that came before bite).  After lunch, we ambled down to the Museum of Childhood.  On the bus tour we were told that if there was one thing we definitely should do is visit the museum and as it was free, we gave it a try.  It was so good actually that I think they should charge for it.  We spent just under an hour wandering around.  They had various exhibits mainly of ‘old’ toys – many of them I recognised as things we played with.  Big Ears & Noddy plasticene sets (I am sure my brother and sisters would remember those if they saw it again – well maybe not Meryl she is getting old now and her memory is fading), toy cars, box cars, tricycles and dolls (including even Gollywog who we thought would be banned from such a museum).  There were also some old toys you could play with and Chris was forever fighting off the kids to get his chance at it.  Fortunately Alison was there to restrain him.  It was quite enjoyable (for everyone) and I happily gave a donation when we exited.

That had really tired out Helen who now needed her afternoon nap and so while Chris & Alison went down to use the hotel’s pool and sauna (Chris assures me that while he was naked in the sauna, he did hang the Do Not Disturb sign from the room on the sauna door handle), Helen got in afternoon nap while I did some CBD work and watched the British Open golf.  I am looking forward to the final round tomorrow … Tom Watson (at 59 years old and is a previous 5 times champion) is leading by one stroke and at least one South African (Retief Goosen) is in the running as well (at 2 shots back).  Will be a really interesting afternoon tomorrow (so you know what I will do for worship tomorrow).

We went out for dinner at 7pm and it took us until about 7:30pm to find a place to eat at.  We discovered that the pubs can only take children up to 8pm (not sure if that is a Scottish thing or an English thing as well) and so after walking down the Royal Mile for about 300 yards, we walked back up it again and eventually found an Italian restaurant to eat at.  The owner was very friendly and the food was again good.  The owner came half way through and asked me if I wanted a spoon to eat my spaghetti with because he said I ate like an Italian (I was wrapping the spaghetti around my fork like Italians do and he was clearly impressed).  Of course the Brits cut up their spaghetti into small bits so I did stand out I guess.

It is incredibly noisy (we have the window open but I am going to close it now) as there are bachelor and hen parties going on downstairs in the road.  There will be a few people with sore heads tomorrow am!

2 thoughts on “Day 15 of UK Trip

  1. Friends of the Temples will notice that the Nel clan had a real affect on Peter as he has some what muddled the days dating Saturdays events on the 19th when in fact Sunday is the 19th!
    More importantly, friends of the Temples may wish to take up a small collection to support Peter when he is sued for libel by Mr Nel. To say that I was ‘putting on my makeup’ was grossly unfair. I was only arranging the matchsticks in my eyelids after Mr Temple had coerced me into sharing a bottle of wine with him at the meal the night before. Far more than what I am accustomed to drink!
    Secondly, to claim I was ‘naked in the sauna’ is another libellious distortion of facts. The saunas were single sex sauna’s and I made sure I was wearing a 8 yard kilt (in the colours of the Mac Nel clan i.e. khaki and olive green – very useful during the boer war) and a suitably placed sporran. Not sure what my claims for damaged reputation will be but I’m sure Peter is worth a bob or two.
    On a more serious note – it was great to see Peter, Helen and the children again and all the more special in the lovely setting of Edinburgh. It is great how believers can so easily pick up a friendship again and have much in common. Still on a serious note – the banter about the saunas above does not reflect the sad situation in Scotland where an established hotel such as the one we stayed in made a special point on it’s website that it was ‘gay friendly’. It also had some pictures in the hallways that supported that claim. How the nation has fallen from the days following the labours of Knox and the many gracious missionaries that came from Scotland.

  2. At least you acknowledge that the first comments weren’t ‘on a serious note’ so that frees me from the libel claims!

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