Vacation – day 5: Glasgow => Allandale => Bridge of Allan

Woke up in Glasgow. I have found as I get older that I just wake up early. I’m not sure why that is, but I got up around 7:30 am. I took a shower and then I read which was nice. The morning was grey and wet, the air near the windows was cold. Here’s the view from the table where I was sitting.

There was no WiFi. Barbara had reached out to the host last night who rather succinctly replied that she’d call in the morning and goodnight. The only way we could get any service was from Barbara’s set-up (a personal hotspot), which she rightly only wants to use when she’s on the road. She took a shower, but it was not warm 😦 Mine had been and there had been time for the water to reheat (land of boilers and radiators), but no luck for her. We found a cafe that was about a half mile away where we figured we’d spend some time working etc since we couldn’t at the flat. The walk there was brisk, and Barbara is a fast walker! I was working to keep up. But the cafe was perfectly lovely. Not what I was expecting, more fine dining restaurant than a diner or coffee shop, but it was perfect. It was probably around 11 am when we arrived. The waiters were exceptionally handsome and sweetly flirty. I had eggs Benedict and coffee; Barbara had a panini and Diet Coke. Then she got a cappuccino and I got a mocha. Through it all, we chatted and still hadn’t heard from the host about the WiFi. Barbara also shared that she had to get an extra blanket the night before because the heat wasn’t great either. The blanket was stained. Plus the outlets in her room seemed to be frying her charging cables. As we came to add all these things up, we decided it might be best to ditch this AirBnB and find another for the next couple nights. So that’s what we did. Once we’d made the decision, the next set of events went quickly. She found another AirBnB, she messaged the current host about cancelling and requesting a refund, we skedaddled back to the flat to pack up our stuff, which we did in record time. All said and done we were probably on the road to the next place by about 1:30 pm.

So our day of lounging turned into a day of scrambling, but we definitely made the right decision. Glasgow has a different feel to it than Edinburgh. It’s much more a working city rather than a destination city if you understand my meaning. I’m sure given the time, I would be able to find beauty and something to love there, but not that day.

We made our way out of the city to an area called Falkirk (home of the famous Falkirk Wheel) to a wee village called Allandale. Before we got there, though, we made a stop at a Tesco Superstore, a supermarket, so I could buy some distilled water for my machine. But they didn’t have any. A quick Google search (thanks Tesco WiFi) led me to find that they sell it in pharmacy shops. So we put a pin in that and headed to the flat. The AirBnB host, Margaret, was waiting to meet us. She showed us around the flat (btw, all the rooms have doors, including the kitchen and living room, to better manage the heat). It had been redone and was ‘well-appointed,’ as they say. Alas, there was trouble with her WiFi as well, but what did Margaret do? She got on the phone with the internet company to get it sorted. We heard back from the other host around 4:30 pm and she had said that she could ‘pop by’ to talk to us, and then an hour later, she only said that the WiFi should be working now. Meanwhile, B had put in a request for a full refund through AirBnB. They requested photos of the ‘amenities’ that were not amenities. Thankfully, B had taken photos of the stained blanket and a screen shot of the non-functioning WiFi.

Back here in Allandale, the tech company told Margaret to unplug everything and give it half an hour to reset. So after 1/2 hour, she came back, but it still wasn’t working. She got on the phone again, and this time, between me, Margaret, and the nice woman at the company, we got it all figured out. Plus, bonus? Margaret happened to have a supply of distilled water! She brought up a jug of it for me! Plus fresh eggs from her hens. And double bonus? Right below our flat is a takeaway shop for hot or cold food. It’s open from 6 am to 2:30 pm. Turns out Margaret owns the whole building so she rents out the shop to a lady who makes all the food everyday. We totally scored, plus Margaret is just so great. Oh, and here’s what it looks like outside the front door:

After everything was settled, I took a nap and Barbara relaxed. By 7:30 pm, we left for the gig. It was nearby in a town called Bridge of Allan. On the way, we passed the actual Bridge of Allan, the Stirling Castle, and the Wallace Monument. I realize I’m kind of missing out on these tourist destinations, but I did plenty of touristing in Edinburgh. Plus, one thing I love to do when I go to places is to do what the locals do, and that was exactly what was happening. After a quick stop at the KFC drive-thru (the gig didn’t have food and we hadn’t eaten since Coia’s that morning), we arrived at the Allenwater Brewhouse. The first thing I noticed was that there were several tables reserved, so thankfully, I was able to sit with the wife of Malcolm, who was sitting in with Barbara on pedal steel. Her name is Rosealee and she was with some of her friends. I was happy to have a table. Barbara introduced me to the owner of the place, Douglas, and slowly the pub started filling up. It’s close quarters in there, but it was quite festive. The music got started around 9:15 pm with a few tunes from John Hinchelwood, a friend of Barbara’s. Malcolm sat in with him, too. Then Barbara got on stage a little before 10 pm. It was so cool to hear her play in this area of the world and to see how people reacted to her (they loved her, of course). The audience, when they’re listening/watching, don’t look very into it, but then they whoop and holler at the end of songs and interact with her between songs, and of course, after the show, she sold a bunch of CDs, and everything was great.

My temperature fluctuated all night, with the crush of bodies, the beer, the straining to hear and understand everybody. But it was all fine, and I wouldn’t have wanted to be anywhere else. Here’s a collection of shots of B on stage:

That’s three shots. The long one on the left shows a mannequin-type Scot in a kilt sitting on a ledge at the top. I found that so funny. It reminded me of when you’re riding Pirates of the Caribbean and you look up and there’s a villager sitting on the bridge with his leg swinging above you.

It was a wonderful, warm, crowd who entirely adored her. It was so wonderful to witness. We left around midnight and got back to the flat by about 12:30 am, exhausted and content.

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One Comment Add yours

  1. Sandy says:

    I like your photos!

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