Fàilte gu Alba Pip
! Welcome to Scotland. Yes I'm Bertie. Oh I am so thrilled that you and your
partner in crime
travelling companion, the notorious Puddles
, have made it all the way from the USA on your 'Bucket Tour'. I have just about bounced my hind legs off in excited anticipation. OK, let's go out. Which hill do you want to climb this afternoon? Beinn Alligin perhaps? Or Mount Keen? Clachnaben? Liathach? Morvern?
Er, Bertie, it's great to see you my wiry friend, but just hang on a minute. Haven't you noticed the horizontal rain lashing the windows of your solid granite home? Can you not hear the icy wind roaring in from the North Sea. And anyway it is barely light. I think we should at least wait until the sun is up. I have to say I am disappointed by the weather. It usually looks so sunny on your blog. And remember, I am not too well. Perhaps we could stay inside in the warm and dry?
Pip dearest Pip, I'm afraid you need to learn a few home truths about Scotland. Too many of you pups in the US have a rose-tinted view of our country. One that, in my ongoing campaign to win a contract with the Scottish Tourist Board, I am occasionally guilty of playing up to.
Oh. So. Are you telling me this weather is quite normal for January?
Er, well, yes, I suppose I am. And frankly it is often not much better in July. At least there is no danger of being eaten alive by midges at this time of year. As for daylight, well I hate to break it to you, I know you will be jet-lagged and doubtless confused about timing, but it is now midday and this is as light as it is going to get.
Look Bertie, tell you what, let's forget about going for a walk anyway. Puddles and I have brought along supplies. We are ready to party.
What on earth is all that?
Food Bertie. Good ole American food.
Are you quite sure? No wonder you have not been feeling tip top lately Pip. I think you need some proper healthy Scottish nutrition. Gail, bring on the Irn Bru (made from steel girders) and the deep fried macaroni pie. With an extra helping of chips. That's french fries in your language of course.
Thank you Bertie, that looks, um, nice... But perhaps you could possibly also serve up a crisp fresh salad?
Oh I have been warned about you Americans. So polite but also so demanding. Why not just wait for the chips to go cold? In Scotland, we call that salad.
Puddles? Who are we visiting next? I think it must be time to be going...
No no Pip, please don't go! Pip, Puddles, I am so
sorry. Tact is not always my strong point. I see your glasses are empty. You cannot possibly leave without at least sampling one more Scottish delicacy. Now which is your preferred whisky? Do you like an Islay malt or one from Speyside? In my opinion the island whiskies taste of seaweed, but each to his own. In this house, we're particularly partial to a Highland Park (which was also my predecessor Hamish's favourite tipple).
Pip, let me pour you a wee dram.
Now you're talking Bertie. Yes and I see you have quite a selection there.
I think we need to sample them all. Puddles where's your glass? This promises to be a long night.
(Sigh) I'm telling you it's still daytime....