Next stop, Newtonmore, geographical centre of Scotland, which is just weird.
If you want to go there right now, there’s bargains to be had.
There must be a thousand villages bigger than Newtonmore in England that don’t have a railway station, but I guess Potton doesn’t have is a setting by the Cairngorms and shops with fonts like Toshac’s Tuck Shop.
The main street is wide and weird, with much to entertain fans of tweed and plush and slightly off-kilter sculpture.
It’s a very low key version of the pretend activity centre that is Aviemore up the road, but there’s plenty of easy walks from the cafe to exciting place called Milton of Nuide and “Aqua Theatre”.
I couldn’t wait till Aviemore; I was dying for a comfort partner, as they say in Dunblane.
Lucky the Glen Hotel is 5 minutes uncomfortable jog from the station, eh ?
Seasoned tickers will know the scenario well.
You tip up, desperate for the Gents. Do you buy your half/pint/schooner first, or nip straight to the loos, inevitably the wrong one, with the Landlord shouting “Toilets for customers only ye Sassenach“.
I hop at the bar for 30 seconds waiting for signs of life.
“IF YOU’RE WANTING THE LITTLE BOYS ROOM IT’S THRU THERE” booms a friendly voice from the kitchen.
Thanks for that.
The food he’s bringing out to a couple of young Pretend Walkers looks good, so I order one of their specials, probably haggis, before I remember it’s well past 2pm and I’ve missed it.
At least his beer, called Wooha Summit Smash and a favourite of walkers who make it here from the Co-op at the top of the street, was very good (NBSS 3+). Not my first Wooha, as Duncan will attest.
Nothing happens, even the WiFi, but there’s a wide choice of reading material.
Planning ahead, I make a mental note.
DON’T ALTERNATE COFFEE AND BEER YOU FOOL
But with half an hour till the No.32, what is there to do apart from excellent coffee and carrot cake at a café called Antlers ?
Music was Night Time by Master Peace, which at least proved 2019 punk rap has reached the Highlands.
I suddenly couldn’t wait to get home and start pinking in page 291 of my Navigator.