Campbeltown Loch, och aye!

Just back from a great weekend visiting friend Elaine, who has been sent to Campbeltown for six months by her employer. Campbeltown is at the southern tip of the Mull of Kintyre, made famous by Paul McCartney who lived there with Linda many years ago. It’s really lovely. And it takes forever to get there. In fact even when you get to Inveraray, at the northern end of the peninsula, there’s still another two hours to drive. So it was good to have a really good reason to visit.

I decided to make a special pie for the occasion, to share with Elaine and Marian and Gavin. Actually, it wasn’t just a pie, it was a project, and here’s how seriously I took it: yes I boiled the bones and trotterIMG_7734 for the jelly. Anyway it was the first time I’d made a raised pork pie, and it was very good but not perfect so I have a few refinements to make before I’m ready to unleash it on the world. Marian, Gavin, Elaine and I enjoyed it with a cider tasting, which I must say was one of my more inspired combinations. On the drive down on Friday afternoon I stopped at the marvellously-stocked Co-Op in Lochgilphead and bought four bottles of posh cider and we gave them marks, along with the pie. As you cIMG_7745an imagine, it just got better and better as the meal wore on!

About 11pm Marian decided she and I would take a wee bedtime stroll  – so off we went, and were intrigued to find a large sign out on the Machrihanish road saying, ‘Drinks Ahead’. We followed on hopefully, till another sign told us ‘Five Miles’. That seemed a bit ambitious so we headed back. Elaine told us it was the weekend of the  Campbeltown Half Marathon – the drinks in question being bottles of water, not finest vintage ciders. Ah well you live in hope.

No more foodIMG_7819ie stories for the present. We got the ferry to Gigha yesterday and had a wonderful walk on an amazing beach, were adopted by two dogs, and met a bunch of local people and visitors out gathering rubbish off the beach, which faces America – stuff just washes right across the Atlantic, apparently. Here are a couple of pictures of Gigha: if you ever get the chance, you should go. And also to Campbeltown of course. Anywhere up and down the west coast, in fact. Scotland isn’t warm, but it’s beautiful.