The Grand Tour: Fife and Beyond

Ramblings of an inveterate cyclist

 Wednesday and another fine day awheel. I was grateful for the light breeze as the day was hot and the pollen count high. My nose run like a burn, until I downed a couple of tablets, that I always carry with me. I did not stop off anywhere along the way today, I simply kept the pedals turning, down into Crail along the coast to Anstruther and then I turned for home.

Checking my e-mails on arrival home I found one from UPS to tell me I was due to import charges amounting to £359.06 – payable to UPS Limited. That is what Boris *&^%£$%^&*%$$^&&& Johnston and his gang of Brexiteers has cost me this morning and will have cost the bike manufacturer a lot of potential UK customers (I hope to get a refund). The good news, my now even more expensive folding bike, will arrive on Monday.

I thought a good shakedown ride would be over to Scotstarvit Tower, the door maybe open this time, so I can take some photographs of the inside, this is a really well-preserved tower. Then there is Hill of Tarvit, and Kelly Castle, some beautiful plaster ceilings to be seen there., and all on my doorstep too.

Falkland Palace. Well worth another visit, I can put the bike on the bus as far as Cupar and cycle from there, then return via Kettlebridge, and depending on how I feel catch the returning Edinburgh bus, back home to St Andrews, after all, that is the only reason for having a folding bike, flexibility.

Falkland Palace is only open on Sunday and Wednesday and you now have to book in advance, (coronavirus restrictions) so I booked up for the 7th July. 1300 Hours. Give myself plenty of time.

Having to book is a bit of a bugger, more so when your pass comes via e-mail, for you then have to print it off. The big problem, my printer went on the blink months ago and I never replaced it, well I don’t really use it all that much. Anyway, I’m as well to get some return on my National Trust for Scotland membership, It has been a dead loss over the last year or so. But, if like me, you regularly visit such places, it will soon pay for itself.

I have noticed the days drawing in and soon I will need light on my bike if I am going to trail around the country. In two or three months time we will be coming into autumn, ho-hum. Still, I hope to keep up my training runs all the way into spring if I can, even a short circuit will keep the knees and hips lubricated.

I started to dip into The Warrior Queens Boadicea’s Chariot, by Antonia Fraser – strange book and not at all what I expected. It is very academic in its nature and is really looking into the psychological makeup of a warrior queen. We get much history and myth from, Greek, Welsh, Irish, Persian…. And right up to modern times people like Mrs Gandhi, Margaret Thatcher.

We hear from the Xerxe’s council, (My men have turned into women, my women into men), talking about Artemisia. Mrs Gandhi was described as (The only man in the cabinet of old women), and Labour politician George Brown called Mrs Thatcher (the best man in the Tory Party). Why this is so? I’m sure Antonia Franser, will tell us in her own good time. So far it has not been much of a page-turner, more a hard slog.

I always go through the programme guide to see if there is anything I wish to see, mostly not. Tonight however there was a programme on ‘The life of the midge’ the programme was conducted by a Dr James Logan, who has spent many, many years of his life studding the little buggers (sorry beasties.) I had to wait until the end of the programme to hear what I hoped I would hear, that some people are immune to midges.

Thankfully they are not this size.

After years of research, they found out that some (around 1 in 7) of us produce a chemical odder that is repulsive to the midge, and thankfully I am one of those 1 in 7.

I wonder if that is the same oddar that has made me repugnant to beautiful young ladies, fair of face and with beautiful long slim legs?

Keep safe.

2 thoughts on “The Life of the Midge’

  1. Margaret Lear says:

    I think if you get emails on your phone you can just show the pass that way, save printing? Have fun!

    Like

  2. Good tip, but will only work if you have a smartphone, which I never have had.

    Like

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