Whannel’s Long & Winding Wanderings Sunday 20th July 2014

Your writer had somewhere better to go (or so his wife told him- & if SHE says—), so the story is a compendium of what Alex said (the guilty party) which will be highly embellished, or some tales of distress & disappointment- boo hoo from others.

Great weather, good food at the right price and a look at God’s own country.
WAS IT HOT- YOU BET- Johnny couldn’t take it any more & had to bare all. (You’re seeing an expurgated version)
Apart from what turned out to be a flat battery it all went according to plan.Ian`s breakdown
The route was Monkton to Prestwick St.Cuthbert Golf Club, for a bacon roll and a cup of tea or coffee.Golf club coffee stopGolf Club 3 Then we headed for Glen Trool via Straiton, which is a great road. This is no mean distance, by the way.
Stunning scenery all day. What a difference the sunshine makes.Loch Trool Viewpoint 2Loch Trool rest stop
From there through to Garlieston, then the infamous Isle of Whithorn, (No burning at the stake or steak when there).Isle of WhithornThe Man - Port William Off to Port William, Stairhaven and the County Golf Club for lunch where we were made very welcome.Johnny`s legs
Then 3 rounds of golf to lighten the bulging stomachs. However, the Club Steward, Jimmy, has assured us that he would like to see us back any time. Preferably paying our bill for a change!
From what I have heard the run was a great success. Thanks, Alex.


Pensioners’ Day Oot- 6 17th July 2014

This was by way of a double bill. We were so close to Dave & Mary’s house a week before, when we went to Knockhill, that a little queezie feeling unsettled us (guilt) so we decided to rectify our selfishness & organise a visit to the pair.

You will recall that Dave had very recently undergone a very technical & dangerous procedure at Papworth Hospital, Cambridge, which could only be done there. (Dear Alec- please note). A magical recovery is under progress, & the lad seemed very healthy, if not a bit fragile.IMG_2524

Dave & Mary insisted we lunched with them, & since it was another glorious day, we ate, drank & chatted outside their very splendid house. One of the nicest houses we’ve ever been in, & very jealous of the house itself & all the engineering facilities associated with Dave’s previous occupation & passion.View from Dave & Mary`s house 2

Of course, he is a classic car expert, and some of the finished articles were admired.

Hopefully, full or near full recovery is on the agenda & we might yet see them on the Irish Run. Thanks for your hospitality, Mary, especially.

The second half of the billing was the run itself. We again met at ASDA, B’riggs, again via Linlithgow but this time via Torphichen (a lovely wee town) then via Beecraigs Country Park & down to Linlithgow Canal,Canal at Linlithgow having come down from a great height overlooking the Forth Valley (5 bridges in all now, the latest, now 50% ready)

Once we departed Dave’s house we decided to head for St Andrews, hoping to pass thru some fishing villages- nae luck- the Fife road network is a load of p–h compared to our western heaven, and we finished up going via the busy road from Cowdenbeath to join the Kinross- Cupar- St Andrews road.

St Andrews itself was very pleasant.St Andrews A wee donner thru the streets & alleys, to a splendid tea shop recommended by an American student- where again we sat outside & indulged ourselves. All too soon (or too late in JG’s case- 4.30pm ish) we set off home, yes, the same very busy road to Kinross, Kincardine & finally the M80 & for some, the M8 thru Glasgow at the wrong time.

Is this glorious Summer to continue? Hopefully, so.

Pensioners Day Oot- 5 Friday 11th July 2014

Yup- once more into the breach dear friends- it’s a hard life to be sure- so it is.

Weather was perfect, as per forecast.

7 of us gathered at ASDA Bishopbriggs for breakfast & then proceeded via the M80, up the Airdrie road, thru Greengairs, Slamanan & points east to Linlithgow.

We took our time to view the huge viaduct as you approach Linlithgow (you can see it from the M8).Viaduct at Linlithgow We marvelled at the immense task it would be to built it, before cranes & the like were available. How did they complete the spans with blocks of stone, & how could they prepare this ahead of the keystone being inserted?

Enough of culture- we headed to South Queensferry to visit the Scottish equivalent of the “Ace Cafe”; A previous visit elicited the description of “everything & everyone was ODD”.. This time, we concluded they were quite normal, if not huge, bearded (not the women) and surrounded by Harleys. Good guys, really. made most welcome.QueensferryIMG_2478

So now for something quite different- a dodgy journey found us at Knockhill Race Circuit. Unfortunately, they didn’t have spare capacity or marshals to let us on the circuit.

So we lunched and then watched the car track day drivers for about another 30 minutes.,wandered about & chatted to people. Worth a visit, even mid week.KnockhillIMG_2480IMG_2490

So we headed off passing loads of signs for “T in the Park”, up to Glendevon where we indulged in what must score as the best Tea/Coffee & Scones EVER. See foto.Go for itAfternoon coffee and sconesTormaukin Inn

Eventually, off to Gleneagles (preparing for The Ryder Cup already), turned West for Braco, the fab road to Comrie & another stop at St Fillans- what a glorious day!St Fillans

Strongly warned about NOT going via The Trossachs, so via Callendar to Aberfoyle (JPG headed home South of Callendar). I understand that ice creams were consumed at The Aisle- & the rest is a mystery to me.

A somewhat different run than usual & no worse for it.

PS- A mystery no more- one of the 5 gannets let slip that they had fish suppers on the way home


Ian MacPherson’s Wunder Tour Sunday 6th July 2014

You can always rely on Ian sorting out a good run. it’s attention to detail that shows.

Milton, as normal, to the Nursery wot we’ve visited before between Cardross & Helensburgh. Super breakfast- recommended.

Thereafter up the hill (near Hill House) in H’burgh, then up to Tarbet. Some bikes got into wobbles as we ignored our favourite cafe at Tarbet.

A wee shower as we headed up the Loch via Crianlarich then near Killin, (where Willie did NOT fuel up), down Glen Lyon to Lochearnhead for a breather.

Since we were running behind schedule, we did not go round Loch Earn, but straight to Drymen, via Callander, Lake of Menteith and Buchlyvie.Drymen (2)Drymen (5)

We lunched at The Buchanan Arms- where the meal was absolutely excellent.Drymen (3) Thereafter we lounged in their front seating area for about 1½ hours (Willie was apparently shoving his thirsty bike to a petrol station in Balfron, which really knackered the schedule, had there been one)Drymen (1)

The other good news was that Ian persuaded friends of his to join us on the run. AP & Mrs AP (Aarti)- he on a huge 1600ccs 6 cylinder BMW Tank. Well he looks like & is built like a Tank Commander- welcome AP.

Thanks again Ian & Elaine for organising a grand day out.


Pensioners’ Day Oot- 4 Tuesday 3rd July 2014

Another glorious day so, this time rendez-vous in Lanark. 8 of us, the Haynes (all 4) the Taylors, John G & Garry from Uplawmoor-and NOT a Member!

Scones etc in Broughton, via Stobo to Peebles, Innerleithen, Yarrow, Tibby Shiels (a great stop off, much chat with wirsels & fellow bikers) and then to Moffat for lunch, in the open, absolutely perfect.Tibby Shields

Garry & JPG headed home- it was already nearing 4pm, but the gannets went on to Galloway country.

You get a very self satisfied feeling on this type of day- & so does your tum!


Pensioners’ Day Oot- 3 Thurs 26th June 2014

Absolutely fabulous weather all day and so-

the same old crowd. Johnny & Cathy, John & Doreen and JPG, the Gooseberry, ventured forth.

Via the Campsies, Kippen for Brekkers, Doune, Dunblane, Braco, Crieff, Aberfeldy & Kenmore for lunch.Kenmore

We returned, just, via Killin, Kilmahog, Trossachs again & stopped for ice creams in Aberfeldy- some for a couple of hours.

I say “just” above, as Johnny had a very severe brake test just out of Kenmore. The proverbial “ba’hair” separated his VERY expensive BMW from a Volvo who had pulled out of his drive. (I suspect he missed seeing the flying missile- a 50/50 shot I think).

So another successful day, making best use out of the taxes you working folk pay to keep our pensions up, in line with inflation- I will NOT mention the other possibilities if the referendum goes “tits up”- which ever way that is!!!