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Lochs and Glens - March 2011
By Jeanette Lemmon


Day Six

It was a 5 a.m. day today. We had to have our bags outside the door by 6 a.m. so porters could take them down to the coach, giving Kevin time to organize them as to drop-off points and get them loaded. Breakfast was at 6:40 a.m., the staff as cheerful and helpful as always. We left the hotel at 7:30 a.m., back over The Motorway once again. Our first stop was at the Moffatt Woolen Mill for a comfort and shopping break. Jim hurried into the town to pick up some meat from the butcher. We had previously seen ham hocks in the window, something we can’t seem to find at the butchers in Eastbourne. We like them to make stock for soups. He bought two then realized they were so reasonably priced that he bought two more. He also bought some Scottish square sausage patties, known as Lorne sausage, and some Scottish spiced beef, something I had never heard about until he told me about it on the coach. The beef is cut very thin and is spiced with salt, pepper, cinnamon and nutmeg and something else I can’t quite identify. It fries up quickly for a sandwich and is very tasty! He also went to the bakery and bought two kinds of bread. In the meantime, I was filling my shopping basket with blankets and scarves, all on sale at the mill, but I had to go have a cup of tea and an Eccles cake and wait for him to return. Guides get a discount in these places, and I wasn’t allowed to purchase anything until he got back with his discount card! It’s the Scottish in him!

We were then on down the motorway and back into England. The next stop was at Wetherby Services. The colors of the countryside were so soft and misty, not a wet misty as the day was sunny and 19 degrees C., but a beautiful shade of misty. We passed the largest power plant in Britain at Ferrybridge, a coal-powered plant that supplies 6% of Britain’s power. Black piles of waste are moved to create hills which are covered in topsoil and replanted with trees and grass. We could see Stamford from the motorway, now on the old north road that led to Scotland. It is one of Jim’s favourite towns, and he says it is one of Britain’s hidden gems with the finest examples of unspoiled 17th and 18th century homes in beautiful stone. Costume dramas are filmed here because they don’t have to change much. The George Eliot drama “Middlemarsh” was filmed here. The tallest buildings in town are the churches with their spires and belfrys, all named after saints except for the largest which is called All Saints! On down the road to Cambridge Services we went, where we said goodbye to Kevin. The feeder driver for the rest of the way was Martin, a very young man who did a superb job driving the coach. We noticed that trees were covered in white blossom along the motorway, trees that had just bloomed in the past few days. They weren’t out on our way up the motorway last Friday.

In reverse order we dropped off in Hastings then Bexhill-on-Sea then we were home in Eastbourne. Saying goodbye to people who have become friends is always difficult. We had a wonderful group of people on this tour. We only heard good comments about the trip.

At various times Kevin had played a tape for us that featured radio wind-ups by Rich Galloway, who used to be a radio DJ in Edinburgh. His character, old Mrs. Galloway, “I’m 89 dear,” got into so many scrapes. He was recently fired after a stunt he arranged when interviewing the Labor Party Leader, Ed Miliband, but he has been hired now at a station in Glasgow. The stories had all of us laughing. One of the first things Jim wanted me to do when we got home was to get on Amazon and order the CDs.

Just as I am finishing the journal of this tour, Jim has called me into the living room to see an old movie with Liberace playing “Loch Lomond.” We’ve heard the song several times over the past few days, and our first full day back at home, we hear it again. It must mean we are going to return there! I hope so! With Lochs and Glens having ten different holidays on offer, I think I can find an excuse to go again! The value for money can’t be beat! When are you going to visit Scotland? Get your trip booked today!


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