The Grand Tour: Fife and Beyond

Ramblings of an inveterate cyclist

As Big Ben bongs out at 12 O’clock,

Old Scotia will count the cost,

Of what we’ve gained,

Of what we’ve lost,

But I can help thinking,

We’ve been taken for a ride.

But Hogmanay and New Years Day,

Bring hope for the future,

“Let us pray,”

Sing out old Scotia, sing out,

You people of this old warier race,

Raise that Saltire high in the air,

And with one voice declare,

“Stop the world, Scotland wants to get on”.

Another dreich day in St Andrews, still the winds are as quiet as a mouse. However before we think about bike rides, first things first. Since Hogmanay is almost upon us I need to get extra supplies in, milk and bread. To Aldi.

M&S must have a loyal following for as I passed their store customers were queuing around the block just to get in, whist 100 yards up the road Aldi, was busy, busy, busy but getting them in and out their store toot sweet.

“Attention Customers! we are opening lane number 5 for your convenience, please unload your shopping”.

Today I bought some diced steak for a traditional Hogmanay, steak pie, I will cheat and use Just-Roll pastry for the crust, but as tradition demands, this will be puff paster. And for afters, Apple turnover, (the apple filling from a jar) and from my Christmas box, Ambrosia Devon Custard poured over that said delight.

Since we (the royal we) will be alone this New Year, it is still fun to go through the traditional run-up preparations. As well as the traditional meal, I will not forget to clean the house from top to bottom so that I (by tradition) start the New Year with a clean slate, William’s all paid, (Bill is far to friendly a chap to put such demands on my cash), and no dirt from 2020 shall be carried into the New Year.

As I boy I would get the job of polishing the front doorsteps with Red Cardinal, a job that required great skill, with only the light from the lobby to guide my hand.

Thinking of Ambrosia,

I was invited by friends to their house for Sunday lunch. I had mentioned, possibly when it was the whiskey that was talking, that I loved rice pudding, baked in the oven, laced with raisins and sprinkled with cinnamon, mostly I loved the thick milky skin, so mouthwatering good.

To my surprise, baked rice pudding was served up for afters,

“In your honour, for I know it is your favourite”.

Fancy remembering that.

Her seven-year-old son took one look at the rice being served up to him and asked his mother,

“Why can’t we have ‘Real’ rice out of a tin?”

What have we done to our children?

My thought for today.

The television is often on in the background with the sound muted and I will read the news script that runs along the bottom of the screen, to see if there is anything I should be paying attention too.

Venezuela is to buy 10 million doses of Sputnik V vaccine and distribute it free.

I wonder where the Venezuela governments get their money, if not from the taxpayers of Venezuela – begging the question – if the taxpayer in Venezuela is paying for the Sputnik V vaccine, how is it disubstituted Free to the people?

Sputnik V was the first vaccine to be produced in the world, but since it is being sold around the third world at more or less cost, it will be shunned by the capitalist west. I listened as an expert in viruses, she was telling us how they were experimenting with mixed research from different countries. She went on to say how they were having great success mixing one vaccine they had on trial with Sputnik V vaccine. The interviewer asked

“Why are you using Sputnik V it has not been given approval?” you could almost hear the unspoken part of her question “and it’s Russian”

Maybe the English have forgotten that if it were not for the sacrifice of the Russian people during the Second World War, there would be no England. In the mid-nineteenth century, Thoreau told us that prejudice could be overcome. Sadly when I look at Brexit and how the arms traders in America and the UK have created a bogeyman, (Russia) to perpetuate their evil trade, I think it will take much more than fine words from a great philosopher, we are lacking education, in our Schools and in our media. Successive governments have failed our children, now adult.

Well, I really must go, now where did I put my pinny?

Happy New Year when it comes, and may I take the opportunity to wish you all, that which you would wish for yourselves, in the coming year.   

Stay safe, do you hear.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: