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Friday, April 02, 2010

Stones, Hunting Lodges and Royalty

Such a beautiful morning was deserving of an ejoyable stroll with Mrs G, her sister L, A&F and Squash (the dog) up the lane to the standing stones. Crispy snow up through the woods and F was able to fine a wooden-age pick axe, which wasn't able to cut down a very large tree despite his best efforts.

We also launched a rocket (several times) thanks to the ingenious physics that are water under high pressure in a tonic water bottle (not just any bottle, but a Marks & Spencer tonic water bottle). Proper boys own stuff with a hint of Heath Robinson.

Loch Kinord hotel (a Victorian hunting lodge) for lunch. A proper classic location I had the venison burger, but there was also a very intersting looking fishcake. Judging from the photos it's one of those places frequented by the semi famous although while we were there, it was American tourists sampling the haggis. Still the sort of place I'd happily stay.

From here we'd partially planned a trip to the Royal Lochnagar Distillery (Malts.com) just up the road from Balmoral, but alas the minimum age is 8 and the youngest of our group is a mere 7. Apparantly there are concerns that a 7 year old may inhale the fumes and that's not good for them. OK for 8 year olds though. How odd :-). £200 for a bottle of 26 year old aged, so would have been empty handed on that front.

Undeterred we decided to visit Balmoral instead. Needless to say we didn't walk from Dundee and weren't turned away at the gate because we paid for our tickets (see William McGonagall for an explanation). It's an interesting place if not entirely in keeping with it's surroundings.


The bridge across the dee was built in Wiltshire ( funny how so many things are west country related ). There were also examples of the local wildlife in parti - Squirrel!! - cular.....



We saw the ballroom (the only room open to the public because it's still the queen's household) and the deer pantry, the castle and it's grounds rounded off with a leisurly walk back along the dee to the gateway. A got to meet the royal ponies and W&F bundled about in the snow. Fascinating to walk in royal footsteps and didn't see her maj drving like a loon. Did make me think I'd like to fish the dee sometime but I hear the fishing licences are riverside robbery.

A wee dram and a takeaway curry for dinner from the local hotel. Superb.

Note to self: Must pick up a copy of "Poetic Gems" by William McGonagall (Poet and Tragedian). A truely disasterous read.

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