The Travels VI – Bye Bye Bonny Scotland

So here it is – the final blog in my saga of travels.

Arriving back from our day trip touring around Scotland, we decided that a night of dancing was in order. What with our hostel being right above a great area for pubs and with some clubs down the street, we thought we’d be spoilt for choice. Oh how wrong we were. It turns out that all the clubs we’d want to go to are on the other side of town and what was left in our vicinity were a selection of pubs (not that that’s a bad thing normally, but it generally is when the aim is dancing) and some very seedy clubs. After wandering up and down the stretch for a bit, we decided just to head into a pub were our new activity fast became people watching.

The first pub we ventured into was, in retrospect, chav central. Shaved heads? Check. Fake tan galore? Check. Not a drop of properly decent alcohol in sight? Check. After watching and laughing at the antics and insecurities of a group of 20somethings, we decided to find another watering hole.

Pub number two was better. Having eaten in there only hours previously, we we surprised to see that the main section of the pub had been completely cleared so that it could double as a dance floor. Liking this, we sauntered up to the bar and began to watch those engaged in what we suppose they thought was dancing. Granted, shapes were thrown but thrown was most definitely the operative word.

Our time came to its height when a young German (?) boy took a sudden interest in my face. Although blissfully unaware of the fact, both mine and Laura’s gaydars were pinging at an alarming rate. This guy was most certainly not straight but he had no clue. The dead giveaway might have been when he backed onto me and started grinding. This might have been more enjoyable had he not also been smashing my back into the bar with every thrust. I didn’t know whether to laugh of cry.

After a fun dance session with the happy chap, we decided that we might as well brave one of the clubs along the street as they were free to enter. We chose the least dodgy looking one (which isn’t saying much) and went inside. Sadly our trip to this club proved to be without incident, even if there were some very questionably dressed individuals gracing the dance floor. We stayed for a while, satiated the larger portion of our dance craving and then we decided that we’d our shoes had had just about enough stickiness for one trip and decided to call it a night. Returning to the hostel, we decided that our night out, although not quite what we’d intended it to be, had still been very enjoyable.

The next morning was a little sad. Not only was it my last few hours in Scotland but it was also the last time I would see Laura for at least a year and a half. Doing our best to stave off the sadness until the very last moment we decided to cram in a few last bits of sight seeing.

The Elephant House is the coffee shop in which J.K.Rowling began to write the Harry Potter saga and because of this, it’s gained quite a bit of attention and not for the wrong reasons. On a little hill, the rear of the place has a fantastic view of Edinburgh castle through six huge windows. Not only this, but the coffee, tea, cake and food is all to die for. The reason for it being called The Elephant House is also quite apparent with the presence of an incredible number of elephants all over the place. It makes for quite a quirky dining experience.

Yet the time had come for me to leave. We trudged to the car park and then came the rather tearful goodbye. But with it the promise that we would both try to get to see the other in a year and a half, even if we had to rob a bank to raise the funds.

The drive back was a different route to my drive up. Instead of taking the east coast road like before, I took the more westerly roads, all the way down through Cumbria and the Lake District. It was such a sunny day and the hills were so beautiful that I couldn’t stay sad and sulky for long. Driving alone is a tiring job though! I had to stop off four or five times to inject pure caffeine into my veins or I’d have careened off the road before I got to Carlisle.

So there you have it – the end of my travels with the magnificent Laura Lamb. It’s odd, Laura said the other day that she keeps thinking that she’ll see me in a week or two and I’m the same. We spent so long with each other over the course of the year that we’re just used to meeting up every weekend and sharing music, trying our best to sit through all three extended Lord Of The Rings films, cooking up a rather messy tartiflette, drinking tea, drinking coffee, drinking wine, drinking beer, and then drinking more tea, dancing in random European clubs from Saarbrucken to Metz to Edinburgh, talking about all the fun things in life, talking about crazy politics, planning and plotting our next shenanigans and then totally improvising when our plans go a little squiffy. I miss Laura.

28328_392607972178_504847178_3817440_451412_nThis is so totally my favourite photo of us two. Taken by the illustrious Christian Houlgate who knew that the only way to get me to laugh properly in a photo was to insult me brazenly just before the he took the picture. I forget the particular insult he chose to hurl my way but I can say that it worked a treat.


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