Monday, 17 October 2011


Hi All;
Today we are setting off to the last destination on our tour of Scotland and this time we will be going way up north to the village of Rogart. Below is a picture taken on the road to Rogart complete with rainbow. You will probably notice that the photos from Rogart are not as good as normal. The reason is that they were taken with an old-fashioned film camera, so sorry about that, but I'm sure you'll still get a feel for the place.

It was going to be a long trip, so we planned to stop at a B&B near Fort William to break up the journey. However, before we go dashing off to Rogart, when I was writing this post I was reminded of some trips to Scotland, which I did on a professional basis.

I did some subcontract work for a chap who dealt in machine tools, presses lathes and the like. Anyway, in the course of this business we would drive from Stafford to Glasgow; do the business in the factory that we were visiting, which usually took about 5 hours, and then I would drive back to Stafford again. I did all the driving because my colleague had a medical problem that meant he could fall asleep at any time; I didn't fancy going arse over tit on the M6 motorway, so I kept a firm hold of the wheel.

It was funny when I think about those trips. We were both in our late fifties and neither of us in the best of health. He had a serious medical problem, as I just mentioned, and I was recovering from a heart-attack. We set off at 5am and stopped for breakfast in Morrisons on the outskirts of Glasgow. We needed food, not just for sustenance, but because we didn't want to take our medication on an empty stomach.

Perhaps you can imagine the scene that was undoubtedly caught on Morrisons CCTV more than once, and I bet it left a smile on the face of anybody who saw it. When we arrived at the store it would have only just opened and the car park would be almost empty. I parked the old grey Mercedes in one of the disabled bays outside the store then we went in for a big Scottish breakfast. We always enjoyed the breakfast and it set us up for the day. Once we got back to the car my friend would sit in the passenger's seat with the door open and take out a syringe which he would use to inject his medication into his stomach. Meanwhile, I would stand at the side of the car and get out the jar of tablets my wife had prepared for me. I would put the jar of the top of the car then get out a bottle of water which I would use to take a succession of tablets. Given our ages and the state of our health I think we did well to drive to Glasgow, do some work and then drive back all in the same day.

Thankfully, my wife and I found our trip to Rogart was much less hectic, we took it at a leisurely pace and at that time I was blissfully unaware of the heart attack that would come a couple of years later.

I always thought that my Scottish holidays didn't really start until I'd negotiated Glasgow, and so it was on this trip to Rogart that we found our spirits lifting as we tootled up the A82 towards Loch Lomond and our B&B which was waiting for us at Fort William.

I don't want to rush the second half of the journey so I will leave this post here with a picture of a small loch near Rogart.

Here's just a reminder that my new book A Staffordshire Boy: Tales of Fishing and Other Fun is now available from the usual place. For more details about it and my other books please click here.

My pyrography collection is also growing, if you would like to see some of my work please click here.

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