Back home ! 29 Beer Guide ticks up, but sadly none in Orkney (and there’s none to do in Shetland as Bill has drunk all the Doom Bar).
So I can return to blogging on the laptop, and bring you proper maps (stops at Greggs at Carlisle services NOT shown).
You’ve already seen the mysteries of Castle Douglas, though I failed to show you the unexpected Galloway street art on the way out of town. Almost as good as those air pressure fonts.
“I love CDs” it says, and in a parallel universe that is always 2004 someone DOES still love CDs, rather than cassettes and vinyl albums.
Actually, the menu for Mr Pook’s Kitchen in Castle Douglas was an artwork of a sort.
Is that really a scotch egg for £8.50 ?
Barry Nice (real name), the guy who fixed my Aygo every six months while I was in Waterbeach till he suddenly went into hiding/retirement, used to come on holiday to D & G every year. At the time I thought it a dull choice, but after last March’s pre-pandemic incursion and this top-up I kinda get his point, and Kircudbright proved a winner.
Any town that measures its worth in terms of distance from Huntingdon is OK with me.
It describes itself as an “artists’ town”, but whether that’s a BRAPA sort of artist I failed to discover. Talking of BRAPA, the town was the setting for a famous ’70s film about a hero hounded by ungrateful locals.
Did we get a better reception that Sergeant Howie. All will be revealed.
Situated by the banks of the Dee, Kirkcudbright has the feel of a modest Suffolk village, so I declare it the Framlingham of the North (Ed Sheeran free). Or it may be Saxmundham. Go there and find out for yourself.
Loads of gentlefolk scouring the cafes and craft shops, leaving the TWO (2) Guide pubs for Mrs RM and myself.
The Masonic Arms is the grey building in a row of Tobermory-styled loveliness, and is a stunner. Who can resist a Greene King “A” board.
Sadly the interior is a bit modernised, though the entrance redeems it, even if that swinging door still haunts my dreams. Note the skill in taking photos while moving.
I asked if we could sit at the bar and admire the Roderick Dau mirror (?), but were politely told we had to sit in the back room by ourselves. Perhaps they had as down as Mancunians.
That meant I had to talk to Mrs RM, and we all know how that ends.
In fairness, the barmaid was an exemplar of friendliness (keep reading), and the lonely Black Sheep that Mrs RM kindly left the dregs of was one of the better beers of the trip (NBSS 3). Black Sheep is a bellwether pint.
It reminded me of a few other Greene King/Belhaven pubs that have a decent drinking trade and a bit too much shine, like that one in Dunblane I’ve forgotten the name of.
“If they’re all as good as this I’ll enjoy these pubs” I thought to myself as we set off to St Mary’s Isle with the confidence of an innocent young copper solving a disappearance on a remote corner of Scotland.