Flu, Foxes, Turnstiles and Books ……

Sat typing this back down in Yorkshire! But, it is only a fleeting visit. Heading back up home on Thursday.
Home! For just over two weeks now, Scotland has been my home and whilst it may not have been the best of starts, I am loving it.
We were meant to move up on Saturday the 3rd, but due to been laid up with the pesky Flu virus, I didn’t get packed, or moved up until the 4th!
As you know, Basil and I are temporarily living in a wooden cabin on a hilltop! Must be quite mad lol. Basil is coming round to the idea of it slowly! The walks are so much better for him. The views, as I keep saying, are stunning and it is peaceful, very peaceful. I am more than happy, with our lot.

So, still not unpacked yet! Got in on that Sunday evening and spent the next couple of days in bed with pesky Flu relapse! Am still deaf in my right ear, which is driving me mad!
Not getting much better, I contacted the local surgery and got an appointment made to see a very nice Doctor. More Antibiotics were issued to me. Such a nice surgery at Sandhead and I think the very nice Doctor thought I was mad too lol, but keen to hear about my story.

Thursday 8th had arrived! This was the Launch evening for the new book, ‘Whisky From Small Glasses’, wonderfully written by author and great friend: D.A.Meyrick and which I have had the great pleasure of doing the cover for.
This is when, Country Girl here, would be taking a trip up to Glasgow!

Running somewhat late, it was a foot down dash to Stranraer Station, to catch the 12.30pm train to Glasgow Central. Ran and got my ‘Return’ ticket and jumped on that Train, with only seconds to spare! I put on my iPod, sat back and relaxed. This, is when it actually hit me, I was actually living in Scotland! I can not explain how happy I was feeling. Not for a long time, had I been this happy. Sat there with a silly grin on my face, I leant further back into my seat and took in the beautiful countryside this journey had to offer.
I spotted lots of wildlife, granted, mainly Buzzards and Herons, but then, in the middle of nowhere, I spotted the most handsome Fox, am sure he was looking right at me. I sat and happily thought of him for the remainder of my journey.
Time soon passed and I was pulling into Glasgow Central Station. My first visit here I may add!

I Stepped off the train onto the platform and joined the hustle and bustle of commuters.
I was literally buzzing.
I soon came to a halt, there was a row of Turnstiles! I stood and watched a few folk go through, got my ticket, entered it in the machine and through I went. There I then stood, waiting for my ticket to pop out the other side.
Nothing!
Stood heart racing, this Country Girl, goes into a flat out panic! WTF was her ticket!
How was she going to get out of the big city?
Other people were coming through now, I feared my precious ticket would be lost forever!
Looking around, I see a guard, I approach him and babble out my tale of woe.
In his strong Glaswegian accent, he asks me why I would want my ticket back?
I babble some more, explaining again, that I had purchased a ‘Return’ ticket and how was I going to get back to my Poodle?
He then said to me, that I should have been given two tickets! No I replied, I only had the one!
He asks where I had bought it from, so I babble on some more, telling him of my mad foot down dash and buying it at Stranraer. He says again, ‘You sure you weren’t given two tickets’? ‘Positive’ I reply!
He calls over another guard.
He then gets me to explain to the second guard, the whole sorry story again.
This Country Girl, is getting somewhat a tad annoyed at this point.
Yet again, they both tell me, that I should have been given two tickets, but, been the heroes they were, they got some Keys and would open the Turnstile Machine. Obviously, this involved closing this Turnstile down and folk had to use the others, but I was beyond that worry, as long as I had my ticket returned to me.
They got the Turnstile apart and began to sort through what looked like 100’s of tickets, they kept searching for that special one.
It was soon beginning to look like a fruitless exercise, so they asked me if I had a receipt?
‘Oh yes’ I replied and reached into my my bag and delved deep for it.
‘Here it is’ I said smiling and there also …. was that second return ticket!!!
I now turn a whole new shade of Scarlet.
The Guards looked annoyed, but then began to laugh, seriously laugh at me and asked where on earth was I from and that they couldn’t wait to tell this story to workmates over a pint!
I apologised several times over, but they were still laughing, so I pointed out that they were just stood around doing nothing anyway and decided to it was time to make a sharp exit.
Walking away, all I could hear, was the howls of laughter echoing around Glasgow Central.

So, out in to the city centre I ventured, time was now becoming an issue again, as I was to find the Hotel, meet Helen (aka Barn Studio Signs) and husband Terry, then it would be off to meet Denzil and Fiona before the start of the launch.
According to iPhone, it was a two mile trek (The number two, was seriously starting to hack me off by now lol), so Taxi it was!
Arrived at hotel, fortunately passing the bar enroute, so I knew where to find that!
Checked in, texted Helen and Terry, who replied, that they were very nearly there.
Then, another text came in saying ‘We took a wrong turn, are on the  *bleeping* M8 and are now 5 *bleeping* miles away’!
So, I would explore what was to be my room for the night and made myself a much needed coffee.
Shortly after, yet another text ‘We are on St Vincent Street’. So I head down to the reception and make enquiries as to where this street was. The manager led me to the hotel front and pointed it out to me, excellent, they will be here any time now, I will wait.
At this point, I had noticed, that there was an awful lot of guys around, to the point I realised I was the only female! What it looked like, me been stood on the steps, at dusk, under a light, I have no idea! But the next thing I knew, I heard an ‘Evening Love’, there next to me, was a guy in a blue football shirt, swigging a can of John Smiths! He was from near Birmingham, but was not to be called a Brummie! He was a construction worker, also staying in the hotel. I exchanged minimum pleasantries, informing him, that my friends would be here at any minute! The Hotel Manager overheard and yet again, pointed out St Vincent Street, ‘Its only two away’ he said! Damn that Two! Then another text ‘We took a wrong turn and some how have ended back up on St Vincent street’!
My new friend, says ‘Oooh looks like your friends aint coming’ and smirked! ‘I know a good bar around the corner’, ‘not that great for totty like you (Totty lol), but serves a proper pint, then we could go to the curry house’! ‘That sounds a really good night, but sorry, I have got plans tonight’, ‘Where’? he asks, I pointed him in the opposite direction, as he produced another can and tells me all about himself! With that, another text: ‘Somehow, we’ve done it again, we are back on *Bleeping* St Vincent Street’! Good god, John Smiths man, had even read it over my shoulder! ‘Told you love, they aint coming, they’re winding you up, looks like you’re stuck with me’! The manager reappears again, ‘Not sure what has happened to Mr & Mrs Newman’ he says, ‘But St Vincent Street is only over there’!
Some more smirking by my new John Smiths friend! He then announces, that he was going to shower and change and that if I was still on these steps on his return, we were going out for that curry! Then gave me his room number, just in case!!
Stood alone, I was busy looking at iPhone as per and suddenly see another guy stood straight in front of me! Terry! HOORAH! Lets get this evening rolling.

Lots of chat with Helen whilst Terry had lay down and requested, that he never wanted to hear the name ‘St Vincent Street’ again, now of course, that was never going to happen lol
We got ready and headed out, stopping off at reception, to ask where the Black Sparrow was. The guy had no idea!
Terry suggested we turned right, I said no, we go left. He was adamant we went right, but I was soon keen to point out the driving up and down St Vincent Street saga and that his navigation skills, were perhaps not that great! Left we went!
I had bought some new tartan heels for the occasion, I would soon regret not wearing these in before hand!
15min later we spot the Black Sparrow,find our bar, meet Denzil and my dear friend Fiona and order Tennents! So bloomin wonderful to see them again.
It was an absolute fabulous night, Denzil spoke wonderfully, Rachel and Jason acted out a scene from the book, just brilliant, they are two future stars, without a shadow of a doubt.
Sonja (aka the very talented Artist @ShadedFaces) was there, some trek from Moray! Stuart who we got to know via Twitter came along too, great company. Laugh, we laughed so hard, it hurt, which possibly made us laugh some more.
It was Reggae night in the club, so we got down to some of that also.
I have no idea what time we walked back to the hotel (actually, that should have been staggered)! But by now, my feet could take no more, so bare foot I went along the pavements of Glasgow! It was just wonderful.

Breakfast! OMG! My poor head! But seeing Terry looking how I felt and sat there armed with Anadin, made me feel a little better. I wasn’t alone in my suffering.
Boy was I hungry all of a sudden. I scoffed that breakfast and apologise to Helen and Terry for me hogging all the toast!
It was a good breakfast, only to be marred by the cigarette smoke wafting out from the kitchen! I kid you not!
Then it was time to say our goodbyes, Helen and Terry assured me, that they would be exploring Glasgow on foot!
I can not wait to meet all the above mentioned for another night out.
Taxi for Appleyard arrived!

So, I was back at Glasgow Central, I kept my head down, that is for sure!
Found a table and ordered a large strong coffee, sat and slumped over it.
I felt something, WTF, there was a club footed Pigeon pecking at me foot! I tried to shoo it away, pesky thing just came back for more! Damn thing wouldn’t leave me alone! I moved, it followed!
My Train was due, back past the Turnstiles and on to Platform 9.
Two hours (damn number 2 again), of swaying Train back to Stranraer was not making me feel too good.
Back to the Cabin and Basil and I hit the sofa.

Have taken Basil to Ardwell Bay a couple of times, glorious, had the place to ourselves.
Unfortunately, Basil ate a dead Seagull on the second visit!
By Monday, I was back in bed with the Flu! Managed to crawl out and make the Doctors again on Wednesday. I had no energy. More tablets!

Thursday, I decided to unpack the Mac and do some work.
I blew the electrics :-/

Saturday was Basils Seagull day.

Sunday, I did nothing, just slept.

Monday, Gales and Floods, I had to abandon the cabin, electrics had gone again and rain was pouring in through the kitchen window! And it meant a white knuckle drive back to Yorkshire.
Tuesday, Basil to groomers and Mac back to shop, Apple had recalled my particular model to replace the hard drive!
I am hoping to pick it up today and that this time tomorrow, McBasil and I will be on our way heading Oop Narth and back home again. Home to Scotland!

Karen x

To purchase a copy of Whisky from Small Glasses, visit Amazon, or order directly from http://ringwoodpublishing.com/catalogue/whisky-from-small-glasses/ and get it signed by Denzil himself!

Our View to the right
View of Night Fall from cabin
McBasil in his new home
Wake one morning, to be greeted by this, beautiful.
We like to get off the beaten track
McBasil navigating
Basilika
Ardwell
McBasil at Ardwell
Port Logan
Port Logan again
Have only managed to rock the Nikon once in two weeks 😦
A ruffled looking McBasil
Got set up and sparks flew!
Boots treading Glasgows pavements
With Fiona and Helen x
Brilliant Author D.A.Meyrick making his speech, with Publisher Sandy looking on.
A great book for my Train journey
The infamous return ticket
Special Keepsakes
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4 thoughts on “Flu, Foxes, Turnstiles and Books ……

  1. Dear Karen,
    Thank you for a most entertaining blog. I lol’d! You were very kind to not mention that we kept you waiting 2 hours!! Another 2! So thrilled to have met you after being friends on Twitter for over a year. It was a grand night for all concerned.
    Love your photos and I’m sure McBasil is loving his new walks!
    I know you’ve had it rough sometimes recently but now you’re up there and the future looks Scottish!!
    Much love, Helen xx (and Terry!)

  2. Good to hear that you are getting over the Flu, and everything seems to be falling into place with your new adventures. I hope all goes well for you and basil and look forward to hearing about more stories from across the border. Good luck and best wishes Karen. 🙂

  3. Good to read that you take all that is thrown at you with a good sense of humour. Was really nice meeting you in Glasgow, at last, social networking doesn’t have to be all virtual, does it, pity it was so brief, but I am sure it won’t be the last time! Glad you are kind of settling into your new surroundings – notwithstanding floods, gales and power cuts lol – and hope you have finally managed to shake off the flu bug by now. Exciting photos to come in the next few months I bet 🙂 Good Luck with it all! xx

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