• Review

    Review of Ziggys Restaurant in St Andrews

    It was my first visit to Ziggys Restaurant in St Andrews, and I was intrigued to see it described as a family owned ‘themed restaurant’, decorated with rock and roll memorabilia. I was guessing it would be a bit like Hard Rock Cafe, but more personal and individual. If possible, I try to support local businesses, rather than national (or international!) chain restaurants.

  • forgans st andrews
    Fife,  Review

    Restaurant Review of Forgans St Andrews

      The town of St Andrews is world famous for many reasons – Scotland’s first university was founded here in 1413 and town is of course home to the game of golf. The oldest golf manufacturers, Forgan’s of St Andrews was established here. The former factory site of the club manufacturer, in the heart of St Andrews has undergone a spectacular transformation, with the opening of the restaurant Forgan’s in 2013. This review of Forgans St Andrews was not requested or paid for by the restaurant. A hidden gem, Forgan’s is located behind the popular Mitchell’s Deli on Market Street. The covered passageway is lined with pots of herbs, giving…

  • Glamis Castle
    Scotland

    Ghosts – The Grey Lady of Glamis Castle

    Glamis Castle is on my home turf, not far from my parent’s house and has always been one of my favourite castles.      Not just the look of the castle, which with its turrets and towers would not be out of place in a Disney movie, but also the extensive grounds, the charming tour and the massive scones in the Victorian Kitchen Tearoom. There is a wooden playground for children next to a field of highland cattle. Throughout the year, Glamis Castle welcomes visitors with various activities and exhibitions. This summer, inspired by the Royal Wedding, saw a fascinating array of wedding dresses from past times, including the one…

  • Switzerland

    Smoking In Switzerland

    Can you guess from which age a child can legally purchase cigarettes in Geneva? 15 years? 18 years? Perhaps even older? I bet not many of you would have guessed that a child can buy tobacco here as soon as it is able to walk and talk. There is absolutely no restrictions. You could, if you wanted to, send your toddler into a shop to buy your cigarettes. This really threw me, when I heard it on the news yesterday. The legal age from which children are able to buy cigarettes is set by the Cantons, the Swiss states, not the central government. Which means that you may be able…

  • Politics

    21st Century Clearances

    This is what the blogger GentleOtter calls the situation facing tenant farmers in Scotland right now. Feudal. Medieval. Unfuckingbelievable. GentleOtter and her family live and farm in the Perthshire Glens. An idyllic location that hides the desperation that she and many other tenant farmers face right now. She started blogging last winter, that harsh and unforgiving winter, when they were without running water or heat for weeks. During that winter, GentleOtter posted about the barn needing repaired, she wrote to Alex Salmond, Scotland’s First Minister, she tried not to panic when her husband suffered a heart attack, and we all breathed a sigh of relief when he recovered well from the…

  • b and b badachro
    Review,  Scotland

    Secrets of Scotland for Tourists – Review – Aird Hill B&B Badachro

    It is a tricky thing, choosing a B&B. You can look on TripAdvisor.com and ask on Twitter, but when it comes down to it, you are on your own. A highly recommended B&B might have had a change of owner, or the owner may be having a bad day. You may simply not like the place, or find the pillows too hard. Trawling TripAdvisor only takes you so far – you have to weed through the reviews a bit as there are some people who are slightly hard to please such as this reviewer of a Spanish hotel. In Spain: “The staff were friendly enough but the food was very…

  • scottish artist Ron Lawson
    Scotland

    The Secrets of Scotland – Scottish Artist Ron Lawson

        Is it Awfully Middle-Class to Have an Art Theme?  You are all nodding. This is a bad sign. It was not planned, but we seem to have a Scottish art theme in our living room (and now I angst about using living room or lounge, or sitting room. I should not have read the book about class distinctions in UK*). The Scottish art theme is all down to our recent trip. Finding Scotland both picturesque and, in comparison to Switzerland, inexpensive for buying art, we brought home three different pieces. And that sounds even more middle-class poncy than ever. Pieces. Urgh. Anyway, here is what we bought.   The first piece…

  • scotland for tourists
    Scotland

    Secrets of Scotland for Tourists – Off the Beaten Track – Part Two

    All beautiful countries share this problem – you can’t see Scotland for tourists blocking the best views and roads. Find unspoilt and less traveled paths with this series of articles on the Secrets of Scotland   If you are looking to go off the beaten track in Scotland, find some places that are not clogged with tourists, turn your back on Loch Ness and Edinburgh and head for the West Coast. As I posted on my blog last week, a lot of the foreign tourists seem to head from Edinburgh up to Loch Ness, then over to Skye. Some of them might journey on further North, but many don’t. The…

  • Scotland

    Secrets of Scotland – Off the Beaten Track – Part One

        All beautiful countries share this problem – you can’t see Scotland for tourists blocking the best views and roads. Find unspoilt and less traveled paths with this series of articles on the Secrets of Scotland  – the hidden parts of the country that are not on the normal bus tour itineraries.     Seeing your home country through the eyes of a stranger, as a foreigner, is always interesting. I recall being surprised at some of my husband’s observations over the years. He loved the typical British pub, with carpets. It had never occurred to me that carpets were strange in pubs – but considering all that must get…

  • Photography

    Favourite Photos of 2010

    Today I was thinking about the passing of the year 2010 and thought I would gather some of my favourite photos in one post. These are the ones that I particularly like, or which bring back memories of a certain moment in time.