IT’S A LONG WAY FROM TIPPERARY TO BLAIR ATHOLL

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You’ll probably have worked out by now I failed in my Orkney expedition.

By the time I reached Inverness after a breathtaking stretch of A9 I’d worked out that exploring the Cairngorms by train, and a night on the town by Loch Ness (#Believe), was more enticing than another 4 hour slog up to Lands End.

That and Mrs RM had instructed me to meet her in Aberdeen the next day. I know my place.

Oddly, as I enter the Highlands and a series of mythical places, more people tell me they were there recently than when I venture into Cleethorpes. Even my parents have been here, and they’ve never been to Little Downham like Si and I have, twice.

Blair Atholl

Curry Charles had been within 10 miles of here a few days before me, and failed to leave me a double entendre. He’ll give me one later.

Next stop on the line back to Inverness was Blair Atholl, which sounds like an island that Anthony Charles Lynton has been exiled for crimes of your choice.

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Actually a real place
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With a future Signal Box No. 1 micro

I seemed to have it all to myself, with any American tourists heading to Blair Castle to look at kilts. You really have to be there to experience the calm.

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Exciting OS extract

The eponymous hotel looks grand, and is celebrating (hopefully) a South African victory over Engerland whenever the silly shaped ball cup thing ends.

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Grand

Several gentlefolk park up and head towards the entrance, after which there’s no sight or sound of them.

I head for the bar, ignoring the receptionist. Perhaps she is the barperson, too.

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Twee

Doesn’t look very promising, does it ? Does the lack of pump clip say “Real ale when we feel like it, order a coke“.

I swallow my pride and ask her if the bar is open.

The bar’s round the corner” says an Old Boy from out of sight.

And so it is.

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Bothy Bar

A bit of an affectation in country hotels, the “locals bar with odd name“, very Lake District. There’s even a little museum showing how the village looked in 2001, if I read that right.

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Typical Scottish micro

I expect something unbearably twee.

How wrong I am (again). It’s quite wonderful.

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Hotel photo
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My photo

The gentlefolk are ensconced in their menus, choosing between haggis nachos and macaroni cheese (national dish), leaving a couple of Professional Drinkers at the bar, one of whom was discussing the relative merits of chickpeas V broad beans in curry and how he’d use his day off to explore the bar at the bowls club.

I asked our PD where he came from, as he wasn’t local.

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The local’s choice

“Tipperary”

The barman, another gem exiled far from home (Swansea), sniggered. I wasn’t sure if this was a running joke or an involuntary action, and I’ll never find out.

The ale here is good, if you like your ale” said the man from Tipperary, drinking lager.

And the recommended Ale of Atholl was a good choice, rich and ruby (NBSS 3).

I could have stayed there all day and become a Professional Drinker myself. But the train to Aviemore waits for no man.

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10 thoughts on “IT’S A LONG WAY FROM TIPPERARY TO BLAIR ATHOLL

  1. “Blair Atholl, which sounds like an island” but is really an anagram of Orbital Hall.

    That’s a nice photo with “the purple headed mountains” in the background.

    I’ve not been beyond Broughty Ferry since 2013. Maybe next year.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “You’ll probably have worked out by now I failed in my Orkney expedition.”

    Sigh, not me. Wife’s catering has kept me hopping and I flipped a coin to do either you or BRAPA (after quickly doing BBM and Duncan) and am starting with your latest.

    “and a night on the town by Loch Ness (#Believe)”

    I can attest; though a six pack of Old Peculier wouldn’t go amiss in helping one to believe. 😉

    “I know my place.”

    Don’t we all! 🙂

    “He’ll give me one later.”

    I’m sure he’ll slip it in unobtrusively. 😉

    “With a future Signal Box No. 1 micro”

    Actually that would be pretty nifty.

    “with any American tourists heading to Blair Castle to look at kilts. ”

    Don’t you mean, look UP kilts? 🙂

    “Exciting OS extract”

    They’re certainly fond of their bridges thereabouts.

    “whenever the silly shaped ball cup thing ends.”

    With a nice balcony to perform the royal wave to boot.

    “Bothy Bar”

    Of course, I originally saw a ‘moulin rouge’ bar.*

    * moulin real (ales), natch

    “There’s even a little museum showing how the village looked in 2001, if I read that right.”

    Yup. With an added extra of being ‘Methuselah sourced’; which makes sense in a way?

    “The barman, another gem exiled far from home (Swansea), ”

    Good heavens. Is like the Scottish version of the French Foreign Legion?

    “But the train to Aviemore waits for no man.”

    And neither does Mrs RM. 😉

    Cheers

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sure Charles will enjoy that as well.

      May pitch Two Ronnies idea to Dave TV, I have to think about a second career. I forgot to monetise this blog by charging Koreans a penny a time to read my post about the grandfather’s clock in Piercebridge.

      No macaroni pie. I’m an athlete.

      Liked by 1 person

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