Life in the Highlands

Hello and thank you for looking at my Blog...i hope you enjoy my site. I'm pretty new to this but hope to keep it all updated with the progress of my garden. I've really enjoyed being able to start everything from scratch and the hard work has been worthwhile. I hope you enjoy seeing my progress too! Feel free to leave comments it's always nice to get feedback.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Had a fun weekend in Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland. Loads to see and do and despite the short timescales we gave it our best shot. We had checked the weather forecast beforehand and it said 'rain' for the whole weekend! It was wrong - we only had a few small showers on the Saturday the rest of the time it was glorious and the sun even managed to raise the temperature on the Monday and almost make it Summer - well as in a Scottish Summer!

The first tour we took was the Edinburgh Literary Pub Tour where at the Beehive Inn in the Grassmarket area where we met our guides for the tour, Clart (as in muck!) and the clean-hankied intellectual McBrain who took us on a dramatic romp through the wynds, courtyards and pubs of Edinburgh's Old and New Town. There were hilarious duel of wits across three hundred years of great writing and colourful characters. Performed in and out of Edinburgh’s famous - and infamous - taverns and ‘howffs’. The tour took the form of an impassioned debate. In a lively duel of wits, they question the importance which the unique pub atmosphere offered creative and intellectual thought. Of course, a drink in each establishment was essential to get the full effect!

We dashed back across town to Grassmarket for our the 10.30pm Terror Tour and with guide Luke, who took us through the historic wynds and closes of the city. Here we were told tales of witch trials once held here in the old town and then into the infamous dark underground vaults where we were shown genuine torture instruments, where one of the girls in the group fainted. I have to admit i thought at this point it was part of the tour as i watched the lassie fall to the ground, erm it wasn't! The legendary haunted vaults are home of the notorious, violent and misogynistic South Bridge Poltergeist (they actually split up males and females in one of the rooms!). The Tour ended in the vaults bar in the haunted 'Nicol Edwards' pub. We had planned to have a drink here and move on... but not before we were introduced to the delights of 'Acoustic David' who turned out to be great entertainment! He moved effortlessly from Oasis through David Bowie and into 'Ten Puppies' (can't stop humming it now!) all in the space of 3 minutes! He didn't take a break at all it was just non-stop good fun, obviously 'Dave' was a regular here as he had quite a following!

We had pre-booked the Vaults Tour where with guide John we visited the 18th century vaults beneath the South Bridge - a great bridge built which spanned the deep valley to the south of the Royal Mile. Under its 19 enormous arches, is a catacomb of underground chambers where people lived and worked. The tour was very good and interactive....the only problem being that we were still recovering from the previous evening! So being rather worse for wear after our previous nights jaunts around the city we decided that we would take things a tad easier and take...yes a bus tour of the city courtesy of Mactours!

The Edinburgh Dungeons tour was a bit disappointing. It started having your photo taken on the stocks with a variety of props and a scream...not easy. The set up was very sophisticated but it lacked the sponataneity of the other tours. As we were herded like 'coos' from room to room with the actors, the boat ride was a welcome break to the monotony of the tour but far too brief. I was rather relieved to get to the end as boredom set in. Alas there was no quick and easy escape as in their usual style you are herded through first to view your photographs and then into a lift which took forever and just as you thought freedom was nigh....erm the gift shop! A protracted route through the gift shop before you are finally released. I wouldn't recommend this tour for youngsters under twelve as it is a bit graphic in parts i felt.

A more pleasant and worthwhile visit was to Edinburgh's Camera Obscura and World of Illusion. The Camera Obscura show was a fascinating and an amusing way to see the city. From inside Victorian rooftop chamber, you can view the moving images of Edinburgh City projected onto a viewing table through a giant periscope. You get to pick people up on your hands, squash them to a pulp and even make the traffic climb over paper bridges. The guide was entertaining, engaging and informative. Also from the rooftop were breathtaking views of the city and its surrounding areas looking over Edinburgh's Old and New Towns as well as Edinburgh Castle. Free telescopes allowed you to see the city close up or see far into the distance. Viewing panels help you identify the many sights and inform you about Edinburgh's history. The World of illusions on the lower floors was very interesting and interactive too and it was somewhat different from the ghostie theme.

Oh and guess who forgot to set the date correctly on her camera! D'oh!!


Blogger soggibottom said...

gracedogHi up there...DEVON calling....
Just wanted to know about courgettes and if I could freese em. Seem to have come across your blog.
Love to post comments, but still wondering what the hell do I do with all the courgettes I've grown.
love to keep them, I'm really full on courgettes at the mo.
Pleased at least someone does things with them.
All very best wishes

Michele, Amie and Soggibottom

12:38 AM  
Blogger Ziggywigs said...

You can technically freeze courgettes but i wouldn't they tend to go mushy on defrosting a bit like strawbs do. I tend to use my glut for soup which i adore. Also a friend of mine makes a lovely courgette, tomato and Brie pastry dish which is nice for a change. Quiche is good too, again though don't freeze it. A good book for courgette recipes is 'What will i do with all those courgettes' written by Elaine Borish and available from Amazon. I'll post a recipe for anyone interested in making the soup - it's really quick and easy. I've become a real soup maker since moving to the Highlands and could give Ena Baxter a run for her money tee hee!

12:58 AM  
Blogger soggibottom said...

Saviour...Thanks...I also have a glut of sweet peas, my own fault for planting rows and rows of again for the recipe.
Amie and Soggibottom

11:33 PM  
Blogger Ziggywigs said...

You're very welcome. Good to hear that you've had a productive crop of least they freeze well. Take care.

12:01 AM  
Blogger soggibottom said...

Ha ha... just looked at your comments. Oh boy.....
it's late. If I was to tell you that I onece worked with the guy who was given the task of "why did the tiles on the space shuttle burn "I know you would never believe me.
Also ... it rained when I was at the Shieke of Oman's birthday party. It hadn't rained for a year.. until I turned up....Ho ho ho.
Haven't got an allotment, but any tips welcome...

1:52 AM  
Blogger soggibottom said...

SWEET PEAS, not PEAS as in EAT...

1:54 AM  
Blogger Ziggywigs said...

Hey Soggibottom, loved your blog. Thanks for your nice comments...loved the bears too! Soo cute. Ooops must be my age...misreading your sweet peas for garden peas LOLOL.

2:07 AM  
Blogger soggibottom said...

Your up late is this a blog or just email....?
Going to rain in Devon tomorrow., Can't go out in the garden. TOOOOOO slipppery.... Willl post a pic of the garden for you.
Watch out for pink and fluffy...

2:20 AM  

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