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John Burns' Blog

Scotch mist; Clyde coast; Largs

Published: Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Scotch mist
I’m currently in Scotland where we are hoping to cut the first turf for our new warehouse. After weeks of dry weather it has turned a bit on the wet side. As Marlene (our Scotland office’s Manager) says “this is normal Scottish weather; if we want it really dry we will be waiting for ever”.

Clyde coast
Early this morning I dropped my friend off at Glasgow Airport and decided to take a trip over to the north Ayrshire coast. I stopped just above Largs and looked out over the Firth of Clyde to the islands of Great Cumbrae, Little Cumbrae, Bute, and Arran. Ailsa Craig (aka. Paddy’s Milestone) and the Mull of Kintyre were in the distance.  As usual Goat Fell, the highest point on Arran, was shrouded in mist.  It was pure magic.

A recent survey concluded that the Clyde Estuary and East Ayrshire are first and second in the unemployment league table. Can they really be worse than some South Wales towns?

Some think that Aran knitwear comes from Arran but it doesn’t. It comes from Aran, which is off the west coast of Ireland. 

Largs
The town of Largs seems to have been spared the devastation suffered by many high streets. It seems very well-heeled, although one disgruntled shopkeeper suggested the inhabitants were “cheapskates” compared to the people of much-poorer Saltcoats down the coast.

There was a bronze plaque on the wall outside The Bean Leaf Café on the sea-front: “Everyone who passes through this door brings happiness; some by entering, others by leaving.”

I bought Maw Broon’s But and Ben* Cookbook. The recipe for nettle soup recommended serving hot (or chilled if you’re posh).

Every 30 minutes a McBrayne’s Ferry crosses to Millport on Great Cumbrae. It’s about a mile. I imagine that for a sea captain it’s like being put in charge of a boating lake.

I went in to Holland and Barretts. The sign outside says “Health Foods” but they didn’t seem to know what sea salt was, far less stock it. As for, miso, which I explained was soya bean paste…

*Ma Brown.  A “But and Ben” is a two roomed cottage.

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