'A sense of humour lends you poise, it gives you balance and it helps you to bend without breaking'

(HH Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda)

Menootanabootagain' The Callander Diary, Part Second

The morning dawned bright. Very crisp, but bright. We woke early and had a morning natter, a first cuppa and then rose, washed and dressed and packed. Our breakfast orders were for the first sitting at 8am. Down we went and were greeted by Dina and another staff member whose name we didn't get. There were cheery good mornings as we sat right beside the window. We were invited to go obtain whatever we wished from the continental buffet bar - which was five star! It would be hard to tell you what wasn't there. I don't think anything wasn't there. We made some fruit selection, homemade bread, fruit juice, yoghurt... An enormous pot of tea arrived, along with milk and our 'hot starter' of porridge. Not a large amount, not a small amount, just the right amount to feel we had room left for our breakfast 'main'. Mac1 had the smoked fish kedgeree and I had the avocado and cream cheese on rye with poached egg and fruity salad. By the time we were tucking into that, quite a few other guests had appeared for theirs and everyone was 'oohing and aaahing' at this most incredible of breakfasts. There had been about seven or eight choices; I could have had the vegetarian haggis and homemade tattie scones with scrambled eggs and green salad, or a choice from any other other options, just minus the meat portions. Recall I had mentioned an expectation for the five quid per head? This was far beyond a five quid breakfast let me tell you! I honestly do not think I have ever had a brekky like it - and have had a few very satisfactory brekkies in my time.

Then... THEN... the chef and Dina came out singing 'Happy Birthday' and brought a chocolate cake to place in front of me - the whole dining room joining in by the time they had finished. Oh, my word, what a shock. I thought Mac1 had organised, but no... it must have been Dina picking up my very briefest of brief comments about Mac1 paying for the room because... I blew out the candle and cut the cake (not a large one but way more than was good for one) and shared it with all who were still sitting at their tables. That removed a little less than half. A couple of pieces were taken by staff, then it was wrapped for me to take with. What a wonderful end to what had been so short a stay, but felt like we'd been on a full holiday!!!

Did I mention it was the Abbotsford Lodge in Callander? More boutique hotel than B&B. A place filled with positive intention and food whose extra ingredient is Love.

...and who takes a camera to breakfast? Not me at least. So you just have to live on these words.

Mac1 had to get into her skate and head back to Balfron for the second day of her coursework by 9am, so I just headed off then too. I drove back by the South route (the orange line on the map yesterday), passing Balfron, as it happened, then cut across to Helensburgh and up via Garelochead. The day remained bright and became quite warm where the full sun hit.

I did stop in Helensburgh with a notion of visiting Hill House. There was a whole group of other folks parking about the same time - 10:30-ish. We sauntered down to the gate at which point I noted on the board it said the house would be open "...most days by 11:30..." Which day was counted as 'most' was unclear. What the alternative to 11:30 might be was also unclear. I and the group of strangers were disappointed and moved on. I did catch a beauty shot of the exterior.


It is going to be under wraps before long, needing maintenance, so I was perhaps meant to catch this and at a later date, the interior. Don't hold yer breath.

Along Gareloch banks, where the peace camp lies festering as it keeps an eye on the goings-on at Faslane. Nuclear subs and all that. (It celebrated 50 years, yesterday.) There's no stopping permitted the entire five-mile length, so no photos from the Fudge of that either. Just trust me when I tell you it was somewhat unsettling to see rolled razor wire which looked recently added. on top of an already very high stone and wire barrier. Garelochead is a quaint village port and from it, the road rises at quite an angle. Near the top, there was a parking spot. Time for elevenses. The Fudge got a work out now.

Li'l Ren basks in 13'C!!!

Garelochead jetties with tyre-wrapped bumpers

Female chaffinch foraging for grass seed
There are plenty more images, but need to keep them for the Tuesday posts. Back into Ren and along Loch Long to Arrochar, thus closing the loop. Heading back to the Hutch had to contend with the works at the Rest and Be Thankful once more - but caught it on the right flow this time. The major hold-up came right in Dunoon centre, where the Queen's Hall has been receiving major refurbishment (polishing coal is only going to end in shiny coal in my opinion, but that's a whole other post...) Due to 'heavy plant' doing heavy planting of full-grown trees on the forecourt, the traffic in both directions was held up for the best part of twenty minutes. Tantalising to be five minutes from home and then this!

At least the sun was shining...

๐Ÿ”ท๐Ÿ”ท๐Ÿ”ท๐Ÿ”ท๐Ÿ”ท๐Ÿ”ท๐Ÿ”ท๐Ÿ”ท๐Ÿ”ท๐Ÿ”ท๐Ÿ”ท๐Ÿ”ท๐Ÿ”ท๐Ÿ”ท๐Ÿ”ท๐Ÿ”ท๐Ÿ”ท๐Ÿ”ท๐Ÿ”ท๐Ÿ”ท๐Ÿ”ท๐Ÿ”ท๐Ÿ”ท๐Ÿ”ท๐Ÿ”ท๐Ÿ”ท๐Ÿ”ท๐Ÿ”ท๐Ÿ”ท๐Ÿ”ท๐Ÿ”ท๐Ÿ”ท๐Ÿ”ท๐Ÿ”ท๐Ÿ”ท๐Ÿ”ท๐Ÿ”ท๐Ÿ”ท๐Ÿ”ท๐Ÿ”ท๐Ÿ”ท๐Ÿ”ท๐Ÿ”ท๐Ÿ”ท๐Ÿ”ท๐Ÿ”ท๐Ÿ”ท๐Ÿ”ท๐Ÿ”ท๐Ÿ”ท๐Ÿ”ท๐Ÿ”ท๐Ÿ”ท๐Ÿ”ท๐Ÿ”ท๐Ÿ”ท๐Ÿ”ท๐Ÿ”ท๐Ÿ”ท๐Ÿ”ท๐Ÿ”ท

...and now for something completely different... during the A-Z I was enjoying daily prompts for writing over at 


with Debbie. Most of the time I just put my ideas down in the comments - but this one I emailed and she has given it a post all of its own! Hop on over and take a gander ... once you've left your comments here, of course!!!  Yxx

I also wish to place this marker of respect and Love from the Office of Wellness and Concerns to one of Blogville's own.

image from Legacy Chronicles

16 comments:

  1. Wow double Wow....what a way to start a grand birthday that just kept on giving you pleasures and beauty!!!
    Now I'm hungry for breakfast at 3 pm. LOL
    Heading now to check the B&B link and Random Musings.
    Hugs HiC

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  2. What a fantastic birthday DAY! Breakfast sounds delightful, and the celebration part must have been such a pleasant surprise.

    We are heartbroken for Andrea - two terrible losses in such a short time. She is being so strong giving Casey these few days of joy with family and friends. Beautiful marker from you to her.

    Woos - Lightning, Misty, and Timber, and Mom too

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  3. I was waiting to read that your breakfast was a slice of toast and some tea. I can't believe how amazing the spread was - and so many choices + a birthday cake thrown in! Goodness woman, you wouldn't have needed to eat for the rest of the day! I now have genuine holiday envy :)

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    Replies
    1. Hari OM
      Flights from Perth to UK are plentiful and reasonable these days Leanne... hint hint!!! Yxx

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  4. oh what a super birthday surprise... any leftovers from that cake for a hungry weimaraner? .... we are in tears today for Andrea and Casey, I read the post last night promised myself NOT to cry but...

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  5. So pleased you had .such a great birthday!

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  6. still smiling at the got in her skate and went to work. i will head over to look at the b and b link and the other blog AFTER my comment as directed. HA HA...wow on the breakfast, the cost and the great way you were treated there. a wonderful birthday trip

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  7. forgot to say, Casey will be missed as his sister Jessie is to

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  8. YaYa we who met Casey, Jessie and receive Boxer kisses and met Andrea in 2016 know just how sweet they all were and so very very devoted to one another. Staying at the RRI gave us extra opportunities to visit and touch their furs
    Hugs HiC

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    Replies
    1. Hari OM
      oh yes, and our hearts weigh heavily today... Yxx

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  9. I told my brother Andy 'bout your brekkie and he said, "She had poached eggs? Did she save me some yolk?" I'm tellin' ya, that long-haired freaky marmie brother of mine is REALLY INTO HIS EGG YOLK. Don't worry, I let him down gently. I said, "ONLY THE PEEP GIVES YOU HER EGG YOKE, YOU FREAK!" I'm pretty sure he understands now. PURRS.

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    Replies
    1. Hari Om
      OMC thanks for warnin' me of Andy's prediliction for licking the yolks, I shall be very most watchful with all breakfasts online from now on!!! (Truth be told, it doesn't surprise me to hear it; my angel Jasper cat liked an egg. He got a whole raw egg once a week and you'd think I was pushing nip, the song and dance that went on around it!!!) Yxx

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  10. A wonderful birthday! We are thinking of Casey and Andrea today
    hugs
    Hazel & Mabel

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  11. That breakfast sounds delightful! My dream. Glad you had such a lovely birthday.

    The loss of dear Casey is so sad.

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  12. Your Ren is quite the cutie! All your posts are so enticing to visit Scotland. Mom said her side is of Scot/Irish descent. Youngest sis and I may do the trek by our selves at some point.

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  13. I enjoy your trips!!! Mostly your writing, though! You have a way with the accent, I can hear you speaking!!!

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